Emma Thompson to Be Honored with Handprint-Footprint Ceremony at SAVING MR. BANKS AFI Fest Opening, 11/7

Emma Thompson to Be Honored with Handprint-Footprint Ceremony at SAVING MR. BANKS AFI Fest Opening, 11/7

Academy Award-winning actress Emma Thompson will be honored with a handprint-footprint ceremony at the Opening Night Gala of AFI Fest 2013 presented by Audi, featuring Disney's "Saving Mr. Banks," in which Thompson stars as "Mary Poppins" author P.L. Travers, on Thursday, November 7th at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

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 Tom Hanks, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, B.J. Novak, Rachel Griffiths, Kathy Baker and Colin Farrell.

When Walt Disney's daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers' "Mary Poppins," he made them a promise-one 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.

For those two short weeks in 1961, Walt Disney pulls out all the stops. Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Sherman brothers, Walt launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers, but the prickly author doesn't budge. He soon begins to watch helplessly as Travers becomes increasingly immovable and the rights begin to move further away from his grasp.

It is only when he reaches into his own childhood that Walt discovers the truth about the ghosts that haunt her, and together they set Mary Poppins free to ultimately make one of the most endearing films in cinematic history.

Disney presents "Saving Mr. Banks," directed by John Lee Hancock, produced by Alison Owen, Ian Collie and Philip Steuer, and screenplay written by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith. Executive producers are Paul Trijbits, Andrew Mason, Troy Lum and Christine Langan. The film will release in U.S. theaters on December 13, 2013, limited, and open wide on December 20, 2013.

About the American Film Institute: AFI is America's promise to preserve the history of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. AFI programs include the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and AFI Archive, which preserve film heritage for future generations; the AFI Life Achievement Award - the highest honor for a career in film - now in its 42nd year; AFI Awards, honoring the most outstanding motion pictures and television programs of the year; AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies television events and movie reference lists, which have introduced and reintroduced classic American movies to millions of film lovers; year-round and special event exhibition through AFI Fest presented by Audi, AFI Docs presented by Audi and the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center; and educating the next generation of storytellers at the world renowned AFI Conservatory, recognized for the quality of its instructors and speakers and its notable alumni. For more information about AFI, visit AFI.com or connect with AFI at twitter.com/AmericanFilm, facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute and youtube.com/AFI.

About AFI FEST presented by Audi: A program of the American Film Institute, AFI FEST presented by Audi is a celebration of global cinema and today's Hollywood - a showcase for the best festival films of the year and an opportunity for master filmmakers and emerging artists to come together with audiences in the movie capital of the world. AFI FEST is the only festival of its stature that is free to the public. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes AFI FEST as a qualifying festival for both Short Film categories for the annual Academy Awards. This year's edition takes place November 7-14, 2013. Additional information about AFI FEST is available at AFI.com/AFIFEST. Connect with AFI FEST at facebook.com/AFIFEST, twitter.com/AFIFEST and youtube.com/AFIFEST.

About Audi: Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. Audi was a top-performing luxury brand in Europe during 2012, and broke all-time company sales records in the U.S. Through 2016, AUDI AG will invest about $17 billion on new products and technologies. Visitaudiusa.com or audiusanews.com for more information regarding Audi vehicle and business issues.

About the American Film Market: The business of independent motion picture production and distribution reaches its peak every year at the American Film Market. The global film industry converges in Santa Monica for eight days of deal-making on films in every stage of development and production, as well as screenings, conferences, networking and parties. With 8,000 industry leaders from more than 70 countries, 700 screenings and the industry's largest Conference Series, AFM is the pivotal destination for independent filmmakers, directors, distributors, financiers, industry executives, producers, talent, writers, the international media and all those who provide services to the worldwide motion picture industry. The AFM is produced by the Independent Film & Television Alliance, the global trade association of the independent motion picture and television industry. Visit www.IFTA-online.org for more.

About the Chinese Theatres: Since 1927, The TCL Chinese Theatre has been the home of the most important, star powered red carpet movie premieres and special events, where Hollywood's biggest and brightest talents have come to watch their movies. The most famous movie theatre on the globe is world-renowned for its unique forecourt of the stars, featuring cement hand and footprints of major movie stars, from Marilyn Monroe to Brad Pitt, and numerous stars from all eras of Hollywood. In addition to being a major international tourist destination, The TCL Chinese Theatre, and its six adjacent cinemas, the Chinese 6, are everyday working movie theatres, hosting millions of moviegoers year round. The TCL Chinese Theatre was declared a historic-cultural landmark in 1968, and there has always been a restoration program in process to maintain the theatre's beauty. With its current, on-going facelift and new name and new added amenities and event spaces, guided by a new and vigorous ownership team, the TCL Chinese Theatre Imax and its famed "hands and footprints in cement" forecourt will continue to be the preferred location for tourist visits and the entertainment industry's most prestigious red carpet premieres for years to come. In 2013, the main theatre was re-launched as the world's largest Imax theatre.

Photos by REX USA/David Fisher/Nils Jorgensen/Rex


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