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AFI Fest: Best films to see at the 2013 film festival

Heading to AFI Fest? We picked the best of the film festival 2013, from a new Coen brothers classic to a Swedish graphic novel come to life.

 (Photograph: Courtesy AFI)
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Photograph: Courtesy AFI

AFI Fest, the American Film Institute's annual (and free!) celebration of international cinema, kicks off November 7 with more than 120 movies, including multiple world premieres and works from both modern masters and emerging auteurs. It's a cinema lover's dream, except for that fact that many screenings overlap or are only playing during 9-to-5 hours. Even so, there are still too many films to choose from—unless you plan on spending the next 168 hours at the movies, which, um, we might. For the rest of you,  we've narrowed it down to the eight films that are true must-sees. Whether you're a romantic, edge-of-your-seat thrill-seeker or downright cinematography geek, click through our slideshow for the best of this year's fest. Enjoy the show!

View the full festival guide here.

 (Photograph: Courtesy AFI)
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Photograph: Courtesy AFI

NEBRASKA

Director: Alexander Payne
Country: USA
Running Time: 115

Bruce Dern stars as a stubborn elderly man who travels to Nebraska with his son (Will Forte) to collect sweepstakes money in this elegant, black-and-white bittersweet journey.

TCL Chinese, Nov. 11, 7:00pm


Watch the trailer:

 (Photograph: Courtesy AFI)
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Photograph: Courtesy AFI

GLORIA

Director: Sebastián Lelio
Countries: Chile, Spain
Running Time: 110

Gloria is an independent, 50-something woman who dominates Santiago's nightclub scene until she meets a naval officer and launches a challenging relationship.

Chinese 1, Nov. 9, 6:40pm; Chinese 1, Nov. 10, 2:30pm


Watch the trailer:

 (Photograph: Courtesy AFI)
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Photograph: Courtesy AFI

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Country: USA
Running Time: 105

This epic on an intimate scale by the Coen brothers portrays a week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961.

TCL Chinese, Nov. 14, 7:30pm


Watch the trailer:

 (Photograph: Courtesy AFI)
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Photograph: Courtesy AFI

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON (SOSHITE CHICHI NI NARU)

Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Country: Japan
Running Time: 120

Hirokazu Kore-eda's touching drama tells the story of two families who learn that their six-year-old sons were switched at birth.

Egyptian, Nov. 9, 6:30pm; Chinese 6,Nov. 10, 12:30pm


Watch the trailer:

 (Photograph: Courtesy AFI)
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Photograph: Courtesy AFI

WE ARE THE BEST! (VI ÄR BÄST)

Director: Lukas Moodysson
Country: Sweden
Running Time: 102

Rebellious middle school girls form a punk band in 1982 Stockholm in this refreshing drama from Lukas Moodysson, based on his wife's graphic novel.

Chinese 5,Nov. 9, 7:15pm; Chinese 5, Nov. 12, 2:30pm


Watch the trailer:

 (Photograph: Courtesy AFI)
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Photograph: Courtesy AFI

MANAKAMANA

Directors: Stephanie Spray, Pacho Velez
Countries: Nepal, USA
Running Time: 118

High above a jungle in Nepal, pilgrims make an ancient journey by cable car to worship at the legendary Manakamana temple.

Chinese 2,Nov. 11, 7:00pm; Chinese 4, Nov. 12, 4:30pm


Watch the trailer:

 (Photograph: Courtesy AFI)
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Photograph: Courtesy AFI

THE ROCKET

Director: Kim Mordaunt
Country: Australia
Running Time: 96

In this charming family drama, a 10-year-old Laotian boy leads his family on a difficult journey and competes in a community rocket festival.

Chinese 3,Nov. 8, 6:15pm; Chinese 5, Nov. 11, 2:30pm


Watch the trailer:

 (Photograph: Courtesy AFI)
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Photograph: Courtesy AFI

HER

Director: Spike Jonze
Country: USA
Running Time: 125

This romantic comedy from Spike Jonze presents a lonely writer who develops an unlikely relationship with his newly purchased operating system.

Egyptian, Nov. 13, 7:30pm; Chinese 1, Nov. 14, 1:00pm


Watch the trailer:

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