Sophia Loren Gala


With her face prominently featured on the poster, the legendary Italian actress Sophia Loren was undoubtedly the star of AFI Fest, even eclipsing the Hollywood A-name actors and filmmakers who were attending the festival.

This AFI Fest centerpiece gala was taking place at the Dolby Theater, known as the home of the Academy Awards, which made the event even more glamorous. Following a Hollywood-style arrival on the red carpet, the actress sat down with director Rob Marshall (Chicago, Nine) for a candid conversion, which was the piece de resistance.

Ms. Loren talked about her origins, her craft but also about her famous onscreen partners from Cary Grant to Marcello Mastronianni, Charlie Chaplin and Marlon Brando, even drawing some laughs about the later. She also mentioned that famous picture with Jane Mansfield (see below), explaining what she was looking at.

The conversion was intertwined with scenes from her most iconic movies, with an emphasis on Two Women, as well as short speeches by her son Eduardo Ponti and TV starlet Sophia Vergara (??).

The Human Voice, a short film directed by her son was then shown, followed by the screening of one of her classics, Marriage, Italian Style.

The event was for me the highlight of the festival and my only issue had to deal with the guests: while I’m still not sure why Sophia Vergara had to come on stage (don’t worry, I still put a picture of her below for you), I was even more surprised by the choice of Rob Marshall as an interviewer. Sure, he worked with her on Nine, but somebody less self-serving and with stronger artistic credential would have been a more fitting choice to sit across such a film icon. As to The Human Voice, it was a bit too dramatic for my taste.


Sophia Loren


 Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield


 Sophia Vergara

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Fred Thom

Fred Thom

Editor-in-Chief/Founder/Film Critic at Plume Noire
The founder and editor-in-chief of Plume Noire, Fred Thom covers film festivals and writes movie reviews. He was born in Marseilles, France and is now living in Los Angeles, California.