WORLD PREMIERE OF "THE LIBERTINE'"
FOLLOWING ON-STAGE TRIBUTE
LOS ANGELES, October 13, 2005 - AFI FEST 2005 presented by Audi has selected actor Johnny Depp as this year's tributee. The Tribute to Johnny Depp will take place at ArcLight Hollywood on Friday, November 11, 2005, followed by the World Premiere of The Weinstein Company's THE LIBERTINE, starring Depp, Samantha Morton and John Malkovich, as part of the Festival's Special Screening series. The film is Laurence Dunmore's directorial debut. (Picture of Johnny Depp available upon request).
"Our challenge each year in choosing a tributee is to find someone who is a highly accomplished artist about whom we crave to know more," says Christian Gaines, Director of AFI FEST. "Johnny Depp is such an artist. He has made interesting, risky choices in his career and has evolved into one of the most absorbing actors of our time."
Johnny Depp will make a rare appearance in a lively on-stage conversation with acclaimed film critic, commentator and author Richard Schickel. The Tribute will also include a career montage, and a series of clips that will take a close look at the work and art of this singular, stylish performer. The Tribute is made possible through a collaborative partnership with the Skirball Cultural Center.
"Johnny is a brilliant and truly unique actor, whose remarkable career has been defined by its diversity and veracity. The originality of both the characters he has portrayed, and the films he has made, further emphasize his integrity and passion,” says Laurence Dumore, director of THE LIBERTINE. "I am delighted Johnny is being honored by AFI FEST."
THE LIBERTINE stars Depp as history's notorious enfant terrible, the Earl of Rochester. Rochester was a man of many contradictions: an anti-monarchist Royalist who was the confident of British King Charles II (played by John Malkovich in the film); an atheist who converted to Christianity; and a poet and pornographer in Restoration-era Britain. The film follows how Rochester's famous cynicism is thrown for a loop when he falls in love with a struggling young actress (Morton). THE LIBERTINE opens in New York and Los Angeles on November 23, and wide on January 13.
"Johnny's character in THE LIBERTINE is multifaceted and he conveys the complexities with brilliance," says Harvey Weinstein. "He is a true master and his performance in this film is outstanding."
Johnny Depp is one of the most versatile and compelling actors working in contemporary world cinema. His ability to recognize and then whole-heartedly immerse himself in memorable film roles has made him the rarest of movie stars—simultaneously iconoclastic yet eminently bankable—a true original. Pivotal performances in films as diverse as CRY BABY, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE?, ED WOOD, DONNIE BRASCO, FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, DON JUAN DeMARCO, BEFORE NIGHT FALLS, BLOW, CHOCOLAT and ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO make his matinee idol good looks almost incidental to his work as a great actor.
More recently, PIRATES OF THE CARRIBBEAN (now with two sequels currently in production), FINDING NEVERLAND, and CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY have earned Depp a new legion of fans and made him more in demand than ever, with a slew of new projects in the pipeline.
As part of the Tribute, AFI FEST 2005 will also screen a retrospective of four of Depp's films during the 10-day Festival: DEAD MAN (1995), directed by Jim Jarmusch; EDWARD SCISSORHANDS (1990), directed by Tim Burton; FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS (1998 ), directed by Terry Gilliam; and WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE? (1993), directed by Lasse Hallström—whose latest film, CASANOVA, will close the Festival's program this year.
AFI FEST 2005 presented by Audi will run November 3-13, 2005. Passes are on sale now and individual event tickets go on sale to the public on Friday, October 14, 2005. To order passes and tickets and to get more information, visit www.AFI.com or call 1.866.AFI.FEST.