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AFI Fest 2006 Tix Go On Sale Tomorrow

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Tickets go on sale tomorrow, Friday the 13th, for the 2006 installment of AFI Fest, Los Angeles' valiant (read: sometimes comical, sometimes desperate) attempt to mount a world-class film festival, something this city deserves but sorely lacks. This year AFI Fest will screen 147 feature films and 36 shorts including several special screenings and premieres.

The festival will host the U.S. premiere of Bobby, the Emilio Estevez-directed drama about the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. The cast is a bizarre and massive hodgepodge that includes everybody from Laurence Fishburne, William H. Macy, Sharon Stone, Harry Belafonte, Anthony Hopkins, Martin Sheen, Christian Slater and Demi Moore to Ashton Kutcher, Helen Hunt, Lindsay Lohan, Nick Cannon, Heather Graham and Elijah Wood.

As one of its Centerpiece Galas, AFI Fest will showcase Pedro Almodovar's latest film, Volver, which stars Carmen Maura as the ghost of a recently deceased woman who returns to her hometown of La Mancha to comfort her two surviving daughters (played by Penelope Cruz and Lola Dueñas) and unravel the mysterious death of her sister. Volver has already played at Puertollano, Cannes, Moscow, Cambridge, Iceland and Telluride (emphasizing how truly secondary AFI Fest is in the scheme of global film releasing), and it's received almost universal acclaim. Expect Almodovar's trademark mixture of outlandish comedy and high melodrama tempered with an emotionalism that seems to be deepening as he ages.