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New York Film Festival Opens

FSLC Unreels 17-day New York Film Festival 53 with Premieres, Galas, and Big Events – Some Free

                  By: Ellis Nassour

Four world premieres will highlight Film Society of Lincoln Center’s 53rd New York Film Festival, September 25 – October 11, which unreels Friday but gets off to its official start on Saturday.

FSLC Unreels 17-day New York Film Festival 53 with Premieres, Galas, and Big Events – Some Free

                  By: Ellis Nassour

Four world premieres will highlight Film Society of Lincoln Center’s 53rd New York Film Festival, September 25 – October 11, which unreels Friday but gets off to its official start on Saturday.

On Friday, there’ll be free screenings at FSLC’s Elinor Bunin Film Center. These include six restored classics in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the founding of 20th Century Fox. Among the six restored classics featured at the Walter Reade are Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz (1979), John Ford’s Drums along the Mohawk (1939), John Stahl’s daring, way-ahead-of-its-time Leave Her to Heaven (1945), and Stanley Dolen’s Two for the Road (1957). Admission is on a first come/first served basis.Because of street closures due to the Papal motorcade in Central Park, it would be ideally best to approach Lincoln Center by subway [IRT #1 to 66th Street].

Saturday evening things shift into high gear with the official Opening Night attraction, Oscar-winner Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk (Tri-Star Pictures) in RealD 3D, the dizzying portrait of daredevil high walker Philippe Petit, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, with four screenings: two each in Alice Tully Hall and the Walter Reade.

October 3, the Festival Centerpiece selection Oscar-winner Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs (Universal/Legendary) [ four screenings, as above], written by Oscar-winner Aaron Sorkin, and headlined by Michael Fassbender, as the pioneering founder of Apple, and NYFF honoree Kate Winslet [see below].

Closing Night, with four screenings, is Oscar-nominee Don Cheadle’s Miles Ahead (Sony Pictures Classics), a portrait of musician Miles Davis, played by Cheadle and co-starring Ewan McGregor, set in late-70s NY.

NYFF53 will have films from Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Romania, South Korea, Switzerland, the U.K., and the U.S. These include numerous documentaries and the loaded Convergence series.

Throughout the Festival, there’ll be big events, including free panels and screenings at the Film Center venues.

Immediately following Opening Night, September 27 at 9 P.M., there’s the sneak preview of Ridley Scott’s sci-fi thriller The Martian (20th Century Fox), based on Andy Weir’s bestseller, in RealD 3D. The film, "a gripping drama of survival infused with warmth and humor," stars Oscar winner Matt Damon in a harrowing and hilarious tour-de-force that covers the broad spectrum of acting and is another stellar step in the actor’s career. It opens in limited release a few days later and goes into general release October 2.

Though Damon, as an astronaut presumed dead after a fierce storm on Mars and left behind by his crew, is the film’s focus, he has star-studded support: Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Pena, Jeff Daniels, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. The director and cast members will participate in a Q&A.

On October 6 is the An Evening with Kate Winslet gala, featuring dinner and an intimate conversation between the Oscar-winner and NYFF director Kent Jones in Lincoln Center’s Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse. For information on attending this coveted annual event, contact Alison Goldberg at (212) 875-5831 or Winslet will attend the Centerpiece selection.

October 4, with two screenings, Festival goers can look forward to Oscar-winner Steven Spielberg’s Cold War thriller Bridge of Spies (Fox2000DreamworksSKG), which focuses on the intrigue surrounding the 1962 exchange of a Soviet agent for U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers [downed in 1957]. Starring are Oscar-winner and Tony and Drama Desk-nominee Tom Hanks, six-time Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Alan Alda, Tony and DD-winner Mark Rylance.

Cannes award-winners making NY premieres include Todd Haynes’s Carol, starring Best Actress Rooney Mara; Best Director Hou Hsiao-hsien’s The Assassin; Yorgos Lanthimos’ Jury Prize winner The Lobster; Stéphane Brizé’s The Measure of a Man, starring Best Actor Vincent Lindon; the Un Certain Regard Best Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Journey to the Shore; and Corneliu Porumboiu’s The Treasure, which captured the Un Certain Talent Prize.

Other notable attractions will be Revivals highlighted by Brian De Palma’s slasher thriller Blow Out, a restored print of Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece Ran, and Ernst Lubitsch’s sophisticated comedy jewel, which gets away with a lot that’s said and unsaid for its time, the stunningly-restored Technicolor feast Heaven Can Wait (20th Century Fox;1943), which stars Don Amache and Gene Tierney,”

Also on the roster are Yorgos Lanthimos‘ comedy satire The Lobster, starring Colin Farrell, Leá Seydoux, Rachel Weisz, and John C. Reilly; John Crowley’s Brooklyn, from Colm Tóibin’s novel, starring Saoirese Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, and Emory Cohen; Rebecca Miller’s Maggie’s Plan, a NY-set romcom starring Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke, Julianne Moore, Bill Hader, and Maya Rudolph; France’s César Award-winning screenwriter Thomas Bidegain’s Les Cowboys, in which a father searches for his daughter across two-decades; Nanni Moretti’s Mia Madre starring John Turturro; France’s Arnaud Desplechin with a story of young love, My Golden Days (Trois Souvenirs de ma jeunesse), co-starring Mathieu Amalric (A Christmas Tale); and Michael Moore with the documentary Where to Invade Next, a hard, surprising look at the state of the U.S.

FSLC receives support from American Airlines, The New York Times, Stella Artois, HBO, Kobal Collection, Variety, Row NYC Hotel, the National Endowment for the Arts, and NY State Council on the Arts. NYFF support is provided by Jaeger-LeCoultre, FIJI Water, KIND Bars, Portage World Wide, WABC-7, and WNET.

For information on schedules, venues, film synopses, VIP passes, subscription packages, and to download the free Film Society app for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices, visit