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David Lynch Named AFI Fest’s First-Ever Guest Artistic Director

Director will program films, create artwork for November festival in Hollywood


Director David Lynch, who made his first movie on the grounds of the American Film Institute, will return to the AFI as the first-ever guest artistic director of the AFI Fest, the film festival announced on Tuesday.

David Lynch AFI artworkThe director of "Blue Velvet," "The Elephant Man" and "Mulholland Drive" will program a sidebar selection of films that inspired and influenced his own work, and introduce those films at the festival, which runs from November 4 through November 11 at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the Mann Chinese 6 multiplex and the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.

Lynch has also created special artwork, left, that will serve as the official image of the AFI Fest.

In the 1970s, Lynch was a fellow at the AFI Center for Advance Film Studies, which evolved into the current AFI Conservatory. He worked on his film "Eraserhead" in secrecy on the grounds of the complex, which at the time was located in the Greystone mansion in Beverly Hills.

David LynchHe has also said that he lived on the AFI grounds for a spell, having a friend lock him in a dark room each night to elude security guards.

“I said yes to being the Guest Artistic Director of AFI FEST 2010 because I love the AFI,” said Lynch in a press release announcing his selection.  “AFI can do for others what it did for me.  AFI gave me an opportunity and money to make a short film, 'The Grandmother,' and my first feature film, 'Eraserhead.' AFI put me on the map.”

“David Lynch is AFI,” said Bob Gazzale, President and CEO of the American Film Institute, in the release.  “He’s an artist who embodies the institute’s national mandate to both educate the next generation and to honor the masters.  As a master himself, his leadership will catalyze a global conversation to bring attention to him and others who deserve a proper bow.”

Lynch's other work includes the films "Inland Empire" and "Wild at Heart," and the television series "Twin Peaks."

Lynch's film selections will be announced in October.

Ticket information will be available in the coming weeks at AFI.com and AFI.com/AFIFEST.