Disney's 'Saving Mr. Banks' to Open AFI FEST 2013
Disney announced today that "Saving Mr. Banks" has been chosen to open AFI FEST 2013, presented by Audi, on Thursday, November 7. The film, which will have its North American premiere at the festival, stars Academy Award-winning actress Emma Thompson and Academy Award-winner Tom Hanks, both of whom will be in attendance at the Opening Night Gala, along with director John Lee Hancock and other stars from the film.
Inspired by true events, "Saving Mr. Banks" is the extraordinary, untold story of how Walt Disney's classic "Mary Poppins" made it to the screen and also stars Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, B.J. Novak, Rachel Griffiths, Kathy Baker and Colin Farrell. The screening of "Saving Mr. Banks" for the Opening Night Gala will be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre, formerly Grauman's Chinese Theatre, where, almost 50 years ago in 1964, Disney's "Mary Poppins" premiered. "Mary Poppins" went on to receive 13 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and ultimately brought home five Oscars: Best Actress (Julie Andrews), Best Effects, Best Film Editing, Original Score and Original Song. To celebrate both films, AFI plans to bring "Mary Poppins" back to the TCL Chinese Theatre for a special screening of the classic film over the weekend of the film festival.
When Walt Disney's daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers' "Mary Poppins," he made them a promiseone that he didn't realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney's plans for the adaptation.