AFI Fest 2011 coordinators announced on Wednesday, September 7 that Clint Eastwood-directed drama "J. Edgar" would open the annual festival. The world premiere of the film will take place at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on November 3.
"What a gift it is to be going to the movies when Clint Eastwood is making them, and what an honor it is for the American Film Institute to premiere his latest contribution to America's cultural legacy," Bob Gazzale, president and CEO of the American Film Institute, said in a statement announcing the selection.
The J. Edgar Hoover biopic is starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Judi Dench, Armie Hammer and Naomi Watts, using the script written by "Milk" scribe Dustin Lance Black. It will hit limited theaters a week after its AFI premiere on November 9 and go wide two days later.
In its 25th year, AFI will run through November 10 this year. Again, the festival will offer patrons free tickets to the majority of its screenings. However, the screening of "J. Edgar" would take out a price between $1,500 and $5,000 for the Star Patron or Marquee Patron Package.
In 2010, AFI Fest picked Anne Hathaway-starring drama "Love and Other Drugs" as the opening film. The movie went successful on the box office but failed to garner any awards.