Hitchcock (movie)

AFI Fest keeps festival circuit's awards-season buzz going

If you're a studio hoping your film has a shot during awards season, chances are you've already premiered the movie to an elite audience by now. With Sundance, Telluride, Toronto and other festivals, there are plenty of opportunities to unveil an Oscar hopeful well in advance of its actual release date.

While most distributors try to create buzz well before the holiday season, a few opt for a different tack: opening a movie at AFI Fest. The event, which kicks off Thursday evening in Hollywood and runs through Nov. 14, has garnered a reputation for showing the cream of the year's festival-circuit crop. Because of where it falls on the calendar, AFI Fest typically doesn't host many...