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‘Leave The World Behind’ To Open AFI Fest; Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali & Ethan Hawke Lead Sam Esmail Pic

Sam Esmail’s Leave the World Behind will open the 37th AFI Fest next month. The apocalyptic thriller starring Academy Award winners Julia Roberts and Mahershala Ali, four-time Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke and Industry‘s Myha’la will make its world premiere October 25 with a red carpet gala at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

The pic from Mr. Robot and Metropolis series creator Esmail stars Roberts and Hawke as spouses Amanda and Clay, who rent a luxurious home for the weekend with their kids, Archie (Charlie Evans) and Rose (Farrah Mackenzie). Their vacation soon is upended when two strangers — G.H. (Ali) and his daughter Ruth (Myha’la) — arrive in the night, bearing news of a mysterious cyberattack and seeking refuge in the house they claim is theirs. The two families reckon with a terrifying looming disaster that forces everyone to come to terms with their places in a collapsing world.

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Kevin Bacon co-stars in the pic from Esmail Corp, Red Om Films, Higher Ground Productions and Netflix Studios.

“Sam Esmail is a commanding voice in the new generation of cinematic storytellers, and we are proud to present the world premiere of his new film at AFI Fest,” AFI President and CEO Bob Gazzale said. “That he is a graduate of the AFI Conservatory only adds to the pride we feel in celebrating this accomplishment – which is both powerful and profound.”

The 37th AFI Fest runs October 25-29, and the Oscar-qualifying, five-day event will feature an assortment of red carpet galas, special screenings, world cinema, documentaries and short films.

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