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The 48th Chicago International Film Festival kicks off Oct. 11 with the world premiere of the action-comedy Stand Up Guys. The film’s stars — Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin, Juliana Margulies, Fisher Stevens – will attend the red-carpet gala to be held in the Windy City.
Producer and Chicago native Tom Rosenberg also will attend, along with co-stars Vanessa Ferlito and Addison Timlin.
The festival will close with Chicagoan Robert Zemeckis’ mystery thriller Flight, starring Denzel Washington as a pilot who miraculously crash-lands his plane after a midair catastrophe. A longtime supporter of the festival, Zemeckis world-premiered his The Polar Express as the closing-night film at the 2004 festival.
The oldest competitive film festival in the United States, the Chicago International Film Festival features an international slate of films, highlighted by its Competition series. Each year the fest presents its highest honor, the Gold Hugo, to the winners of the Dramatic and Documentary series.
“This year is particularly special for us in that two tremendously talented Chicago natives, Tom Rosenberg and Robert Zemeckis, have honored us with their latest films,” festival founder and artistic director Michael Kutza said. “Chicago has been home to some of cinema’s best talents. This year we will celebrate their achievements with a special section called The Chicagoans.”
The Chicagoan honorees include Joan Allen, a founding member of the city’s celebrated Steppenwolf Theatre Company; Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Steve James (Hoop Dreams); writer-director Philip Kaufman (The Unbearable Lightness of Being); and voice-over pro Ken Nordine, whose 57-minute film Agenbite of Inwit will screen.
Other special presentations include a screening of David Robinson: Silent Surprises, a program of rediscovered filmic rarities.
Cloud Atlas has been selected as the festival’s Centerpiece gala screening. The epic story stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant and Jim Broadbent. An exploration on how individual actions impact one another throughout the past, present and future, Cloud Atlas will screen Oct. 17. The film’s directors — Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski — will attend.
Viola Davis will receive the Career Achievement Award in the Black Perspectives section of the festival. The honor places her alongside such former recipients as Berry, Morgan Freeman and Sidney Poitier.
This year’s Main Competition Dramatic entrants include After Lucia (Mexico, France), directed by Michel Franco; Bad Seeds (Luxembourg, Belgium), Safy Nebbou; Beyond the Hills (Romania), Cristian Mungiu; Boys Are Us (Switzerland), Peter Luisi; Gimme the Loot (USA), Adam Leon; Holy Motors (France, Germany), Leos Carax; The Last Sentence (Sweden), Jan Troell; Like Someone in Love (France, Japan), Abbas Kiarostami; Marie Kroyer (Denmark), Bille Auguest; Modest Reception (Iran), Mani Haghighi; Paradise Love (Austria, Germany), Ulrich Seidl; The Patience Stone (Afghanistan, France), Atiq Rahimi; The Repentant (Algeria, France), Merzak Allouache; Rhino Season (Turkey), Bahman Ghobadi; The Sapphires (Australia), Wayne Blair; The Scapegoat (U.K.), Charles Sturridge; Something in the Air (France), Olivier Assayas; Tey (Senegal), Alain Gomis; The Weekend (Germany), Nina Grosse; and The World is Funny (Israel), Shemi Zarhin.
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