2011 Los Angeles Film Festival announces next round of films, including GREEN LANTERN and DRIVE

by: Kate Erbland
May 11th, 2011

Sorry, Cannes! There's another film festival on my radar, and it's easing my pain (slightly) of not being on the Croisette right now. Los Angeles' own Los Angeles Film Festival has just announced a second round of programming and there are some really interesting things here - the announcement of Guest Director Guillermo del Toro, the world premiere of DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK, GREEN LANTERN serving as Closing Night film, special galas for A BETTER LIFE and DRIVE, and oh yeah - a conversation with James Franco. I will be front row for that one.

The LAFF returns to downtown this year, with L.A. LIVE again serving as its hub. The Festival will run from Thursday, June 16 to Sunday, June 26. Check out the full press release after the break with all the details on these new announcements.

FILM INDEPENDENT ANNOUNCES GUEST DIRECTOR GUILLERMO DEL TORO
& ADDITIONAL FILM SELECTIONS FOR 2011 LOS ANGELES FILM FESTIVAL,
PRESENTED BY THE LOS ANGELES TIMES

- World Premiere of FilmDistrict’s Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark Selected for Closing Night -

- Special Screening of Warner Bros. Green Lantern -

- Galas include A Better Life & Drive -

- Conversations with James Franco & Julie Taymor Added -

LOS ANGELES (May 11, 2011) – Today the Los Angeles Film Festival, presented by the Los Angeles Times and supported by L.A. LIVE, announced Guillermo del Toro as Guest Director, as well as film selections for closing night, a special screening, galas, conversations and more. As previously announced, the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival will screen a diverse slate of over 200 feature films, shorts, and music videos, representing more than 30 countries. The Festival – produced by Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that also produces the Spirit Awards – will announce opening night, additional galas, special guests and programming for the Festival Talks later this month.

In his role as Guest Director, del Toro will select a film to present at the Festival that has been an influence to him, followed by a conversation.

“Guillermo del Toro is one of the most visionary directors of our time. It’s an honor to welcome Guillermo back to our Festival as this year’s Guest Director and to unite our audiences with this extraordinary, consummate artist,” said Festival Director Rebecca Yeldham. “Building on a tradition of providing our audiences with access to world-class artists and their work, we’re thrilled to announce this round of Festival additions.”

FilmDistrict’s world premiere of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark will close the Festival on June 26 at Regal Cinemas Stadium 14 L.A. LIVE. Presented by Guillermo del Toro, the horror film is directed by Troy Nixey, written by Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins and stars Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce and Bailee Madison. Based on the 1973 telefilm that del Toro believes is the scariest TV production ever made, the story follows Sally (Madison), a young girl who moves to Rhode Island to live with her father (Pearce) and his new girlfriend (Holmes) in the 19th-century mansion they are restoring. While exploring the house, Sally starts to hear voices coming from creatures in the basement whose hidden agenda is to claim her as one of their own. FilmDistrict will release the film on August 26, 2011.

The Festival will hold a Special Screening on June 16 at 10:30 p.m. of Warner Bros. Green Lantern. Bringing the enduringly popular superhero to the big screen for the first time, Green Lantern is directed by Martin Campbell, written by Greg Berlanti & Michael Green & Marc Guggenheim and Michael Goldenberg, and stars Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Angela Bassett and Tim Robbins. In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, an elite, powerful force has existed for centuries–protectors of peace and justice, they are called the Green Lantern Corps. When a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the balance of power in the universe, their fate and the fate of the Earth lie in the hands of their newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan. Warner Bros. will release the film wide on June 17, 2011.

Once again, the Festival will feature a number of high-profile Gala Screenings, with additional films to be announced later this month. Summit Entertainment’s world premiere of A Better Life is directed by Chris Weitz, written by Eric Eason, adapted from a story by Roger L. Simon, and starring Demián Bichir, José Julián, Dolores Heredia, Joaquín Cosío and Carlos Linares. A Better Life is the poignant, suspenseful tale of an illegal immigrant in LA struggling to build a better life for his beloved son. Summit Entertainment will have a limited release of the film on June 24, 2011.

FilmDistrict’s North American premiere of Drive will also be presented as a Gala. The film is directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, written by Hossein Amini, adapted from a book by James Sallis, and stars Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Oscar Isaac, Ron Perlman and Christina Hendricks. In the precision-crafted crime caper Drive, Ryan Gosling stars as a Los Angeles wheelman for hire, stunt driving for movie productions by day and steering getaway vehicles for criminal operations by night. FilmDistrict will release the film wide on September 16, 2011.

The omnivorously talented James Franco will be sitting down for a freewheeling discussion of film, poetry and pushing the creative envelope. As part of this special evening, Franco will present the world premiere of The Broken Tower, which he wrote, directed and stars in, about the brief, burning life of the gay, visionary American poet Hart Crane.

Film and stage director Julie Taymor has a unique talent for adapting established works in fresh, exciting ways. From her 1999 debut feature film Titus, Academy Award-winning Frida, Across the Universe and last year’s The Tempest, Taymor demonstrates a level of creativity and skill for adapting stories that is rare. Join us as this award-winning director shares behind-the-scenes clips in a conversation about taking material from different sources and translating them to the stage and the screen.

“Something very special happens when you have great talents sharing their experience with an audience. We’re honored and excited to have such artists as Guillermo del Toro, Julie Taymor, James Franco, Chris Weitz, Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan and Nicolas Winding Refn joining us this year. It should make for some magical nights!” said Festival Artistic Director David Ansen.

Returning to downtown Los Angeles, with its central hub at L.A. LIVE, the Festival will run from Thursday, June 16 to Sunday, June 26. Now in its seventeenth year, the Festival is recognized as a world-class event, showcasing the best in new American and international cinema and providing the movie-loving public with access to critically acclaimed filmmakers, film industry professionals, and emerging talent from around the world.

ADDITIONAL FILMS & PROGRAMMING

Closing Night Film:
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Troy Nixey (FilmDistrict) – WORLD PREMIERE

Special Screening:
Green Lantern, Martin Campbell (Warner Bros.)

Gala Screenings (2):
A Better Life, Chris Weitz (Summit Entertainment) – WORLD PREMIERE
Drive, Nicolas Winding Refn (FilmDistrict) – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE

Conversations (2):
An Evening with James Franco – includes world premiere screening of The Broken Tower and conversation with James Franco.
The Art of Translation: A Conversation with Julie Taymor

You can check out more about each selection, thanks to the LAFF Program Line-up Addendum, available here.

Source Press Release

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  • http://gordonandthewhale.com allisonloring

    GATW readers rest assured – Kate and I will be giving you FIRST HAND coverage of this James Franco “conversation” which *fingers crossed* will end up more random musings and performance art than a real d
    ialogue.

  • http://gordonandthewhale.com allisonloring

    GATW readers rest assured – Kate and I will be giving you FIRST HAND coverage of this James Franco “conversation” which *fingers crossed* will end up more random musings and performance art than a real d
    ialogue.

  • http://gordonandthewhale.com allisonloring

    GATW readers rest assured – Kate and I will be giving you FIRST HAND coverage of this James Franco “conversation” which *fingers crossed* will end up more random musings and performance art than a real d
    ialogue.

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