Last year, AFI FEST broke new ground by offering free tickets to all of its screenings. With the support of Audi, the festival’s presenting sponsor, and other committed sponsors, what began as a recession-inspired experiment has proven a new model for film festivals, where the price of admission is not a barrier to experiencing the best of world cinema. The success of last year’s AFI FEST has led some other film festivals to explore adopting a free festival model.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes AFI FEST as a qualifying festival for the Short Films category of the annual Academy Awards. AFI FEST is the only film festival in the United States to hold the prestigious FIAPF accreditation (FIAPF.org), assuring a high standard of quality and reliability for the international film community.
AFI FEST also announced today that the 2010 edition of the festival will feature a new section and award to highlight films discovered solely through the submissions process. Films in this new section are eligible for a cash award of $5,000, which will be decided by the audience at AFI FEST.