Spielberg’s The Fablemans will close AFI Fest 2022

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The American Film Institute (AFI) announced that Universal Pictures’ and Amblin Entertainment’s The Fablemans, directed by AFI Life Achievement Award recipient and Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg, will close AFI FEST 2022.

The semi-autobiographical film is co-written by Spielberg and Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and Pulitzer-winning playwright Tony Kushner and is produced by Academy Award nominee Kristie Macosko Krieger, Spielberg and Kushner. 

Not much is known about the plot except for the official description, “Growing up in post-World War II era Arizona, from age seven to eighteen, a young man named Sammy Fabelman discovers a shattering family secret and explores how the power of films can help him see the truth.”

The film has been described as Spielberg’s most personal project. He shows us not only what sparked his love for cinema, but also how empathy and human relationships snuck into the work of this master filmmaker.

“AFI FEST is where magic happens,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO. “And there is no greater cinematic magician than Steven Spielberg. We are honored to celebrate his return to the festival with this intimately powerful film that will send the audience’s spirits soaring.”

The Fabelmans stars four-time Academy Award nominee Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, Gabriel LaBelle, Academy Award nominee Judd Hirsch and David Lynch.


The ensemble cast includes Oscar nominee Jeannie Berlin, Julia Butters, Robin Bartlett and Keeley Karsten, with music by Academy Award winner John Williams, cinematography by Academy Award winner Janusz Kamiński (AFI Class of 1987) and editing by Oscar winner Michael Kahn and Sarah Broshar (AFI Class of 2005). The film’s production designer is Academy Award® winner Rick Carter and the costume designer is Oscar winner Mark Bridges. 

Now in its 36th year, AFI FEST 2022 will take place exclusively in person in Los Angeles from November 2-6.  Tickets and passes to will be available in October on FEST.AFI.com. AFI Members receive exclusive early access to purchase passes and tickets and other exclusive benefits. To become an AFI member, visit here.

The Fabelmans arrives in theaters beginning November 11, 2022. 

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