Guillermo del Toro Tapped as Guest Director of Los Angeles Film Festival

Guillermo del Toro has been named the guest director of the Los Angeles Film Festival, and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, the horror thriller he produced, will premiere at the fest as the closing-night film.

The festival on Wednesday also unveiled much of its lineup, which includes a special screening of Green Lantern and gala screenings of Chris Weitz’s latest film, A Better Life, as well as the Ryan Gosling crime-caper Drive.

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.

Afraid of the Dark will premiere June 26 at Regal Cinemas Stadium 14 L.A. Live. (Film District releases the film, directed by Troy NIxey and starring Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce and Bailee Madison, on Aug. 26.)

Lantern will screen June 16, one day before its wide release. The dates for Drive and Better Life have yet to be set.

In its conversations sidebar, LAFF will present an evening with James Franco (“for a freewheeling discussion of film, poetry and pushing the creative envelope,” according to the organization) and Julie Taymor. Franco’s evening will include the premiere of The Broken Tower, which he wrote, directed and stars in, about the brief, burning life of gay visionary American poet Hart Crane.

The 17th edition of LAFF runs Thursday, June 16, to Sunday, June 26, in downtown Los Angeles.

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