'Bernie,' Dark Comedy With Jack Black, to Open Los Angeles Film Festival

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Jack Black

Director Richard Linklater’s newest movie will have its world premiere at the fest.

Richard Linklater’s Bernie, starring Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine and Matthew McConaughey, has been selected to serve as the opening night film of the Los Angeles Film Festival.

In the movie, which will kick off the fest on June 16 at the Regal Cinema Stadium 14 L.A. Live, Black plays a mortician in a small Texas town and MacLaine appears as the town’s richest and meanest widow.

Produced and financed by Mandalay Vision and Wind Dancer Films, the film, which will be a world premiere, is being offered for domestic distribution by WME’s Graham Taylor and attorney John Sloss, while Hyde Park International handles international sales.

Festival director Rebecca Yeldham described it as “a delicious black comedy – a treat from one of the most original and exciting voices in independent film.” The fest also announced Monday that Quincy Jones and Frank Pierson will appear together for a conversation about the late director Sidney Lumet.  The line-up also includes conversations with James Franco and Julie Taymor.

Guillermo del Toro, who is serving as this year’s guest director, has chosen to screen the 1996 Italian film The Arcane Enchanter, written and directed by Pupi Avati, as an example of  film that has influenced him.

The festival, which is produced by Film Independent, runs through June 26 at various locations throughout Los Angeles.