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Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘Tick, Tick … Boom’ to Kick Off AFI Fest 2021

35th edition of the festival will take place Nov 10–14

The world premiere of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s directorial debut “Tick, Tick … Boom” will kick off the 35th edition of the AFI Fest, the festival announced on Wednesday.

The festival will take place on Nov. 10-14.

The film is the autobiographical musical of the late “Rent” playwright Jonathan Larson and stars Andrew Garfield. Miranda, who starred in the Off-Broadway production of this musical, produced with Imagine Chairmen Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, along with Julie Oh. Larson’s sister, Julie Larson, is the executive producer while “Dear Evan Hansen” playwright Steven Levenson adapted the screenplay.

Taking place in 1990, “Tick, Tick…Boom!” follows Jon (Garfield), a waiter and aspiring composer who hopes that his next theatrical project, “Superbia,” will bring him his Broadway dreams. But as his roommate prepares to move out and take a high-paying advertising job and his girlfriend pressures him to give up on his play, Jon begins to wonder if his dreams are worth it.

Garfield is joined by a cast of stage stars and Tony nominees, including Alexandra Shipp, Robin de Jesús, Joshua Henry, MJ Rodriguez, Bradley Whitford and Tariq Trotter of The Roots, with Judith Light and Vanessa Hudgens.

The opening night screening will take place at the TCL Chinese Theatre. The film will be in select theaters this fall on Nov. 12, and on Netflix on Nov. 19.

This year’s hybrid festival will feature both in-person screenings and events in Los Angeles, as well as virtual screenings, showcasing transformative stories from groundbreaking artists, and a gala event celebrating AFI Life Achievement Honoree Julie Andrews.

With health and safety being a top priority, AFI Fest 2021 will require all festival-goers who attend in-person events and/or screenings to be fully vaccinated.

“AFI Fest will remind the world the power of this art form to lift our spirits at a time we need it most,” Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO, said in a statement. “Opening with the imperative voice of Lin-Manuel Miranda and celebrating the joy that Julie Andrews has provided generations will set our sights on a brighter day – just like in the movies.”

The 48th AFI Life Achievement Award Tribute to Julie Andrews will take place on Thursday, November 11, 2021, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, CA.