Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Birdman” to Close the New York Film Festival

Alejandro González Iñárritu is bringing his bird to the Big Apple…

Birdman, a dramedy co-written and directed by the 50-year-old Mexican filmmaker, has been selected as the closing night film at this year’s New York Film Festival on October 12, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Alejandro González Iñárritu

The film, which is being distributed by Fox Searchlight and will be released in theaters on October 17, will have its world premiere on the opening night of the Venice Film Festival on Aug. 27.

Birdman stars Michael Keaton as a washed-up movie star trying to revive his career on Broadway. The cast also includes Emma Stone, Andrea Riseborough, Zach Galifianakis, Merritt Wever, Edward Norton, Amy Ryan and Naomi Watts.

Birdman

The film was lensed by Oscar-winning cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity), reportedly in a way that gives the appearance that the entire film is one continuous shot.

A González Iñárritu film closed the NYFF once before: 21 Grams screened in that slot in 2003. (The director’s first trip to the fest, though, was in 2000, with Amores Perros.)

Isaac’s “Inside Llewyn Davis” to be Screened at the AFI Fest

Oscar Isaac will be the closing act at the AFI Fest

The 33-year-old Guatemalan and Cuban American actor’s latest film, the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, will be the screened during the AFI Fest’s Closing Night Gala on Thursday, November 14.

Oscar Isaac

Isaac’s film, which co-stars Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund and Justin Timberlake, won the Grand Prix when it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival back in May.

The film follows a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961.

Inside Llewyn Davis will also be screened at the New York Film Festival and be the center of a concert benefit later this year.

CBS Films will release the film in theaters starting December 6.

The Provincetown Film Festival to Premiere the Rapace-Starrer “Passion”

Noomi Rapace is bringing a little passion to Provincetown this weekend…

The 15th Provincetown Film Festival has added Brian De Palma’s Passion to its line-up.

Noomi Rapace in Passion

The erotic thriller, which stars the 33-year-old half-Spanish actress and Rachel McAdams, will be making its American premiere at the festival.

The film is described as a cat-and-mouse game of murderous personal and professional intrigue between a ruthless Berlin ad agency executive and her brilliant female assistant.

It bowed in competition at the Venice Film Festival last fall and segued directly to Toronto.

Its U.S. premiere was scheduled to take place at the New York Film Festival in October, but a glitch with the digital projection caused those screenings to be canceled.

Provincetown organizers confirmed Thursday that De Palma will fly in for Saturday’s showing of Passion. He is scheduled to participate in an audience Q&A after the film, which is a remake of French director Alain Corneau‘s 2010 noir, Love Crime.

Entertainment One will release Passion in the U.S. on August 30.

Rapace to Star in “Animal Rescue”

Noomi Rapace may be coming to the rescue

Fox Searchlight is reportedly offering the 32-year-old half-Spanish actress the female lead role in Animal Rescue, and is in final talks with Tom Hardy to co-star.

Noomi Rapace

Scripted by Gone Baby Gone author Dennis Lehane from a short story first published in the collection Boston Noir, the drama focuses on a man who wants to shed his criminal past but managed to get mixed up in a bad heist and a killing resulting from a lost and contested pit bull.

Animal Rescue will be directed by Michael R. Roskam, whose breakout film Bullhead was an Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language film last year.

Rapace – the original Girl With a Dragon Tattoo in the original Swedish version – most recently starred in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, and she’ll return for the sequel to the sci-fi film.

She also starred in the Brian DePalma-directed Passion, which made its debut at the New York Film Festival.

Peña to Receive Gala Tribute at New York Film Festival

He’s been one of the masterminds behind retrospectives on artists like Michelangelo Antonioni and Sacha Guitry… And now Richard Peña is getting his own special tribute at the New York Film Festival.

The 59-year-old program director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, who has served as the director of the New York Film Festival since 1988, will be the subject of a gala tribute to be presented for the first time during the festival’s historic 50th edition.

Richard Peña

At the Film Society, Peña has organized retrospectives of Robert Aldrich, Carlos Saura and Amitabh Bachchan, as well as major film series devoted to African, Israeli, Cuban, Polish, Hungarian, Arab, Korean, Swedish, Taiwanese and Argentine cinema.

In his tenure as the FSLC’s program director and selection committee chair of the New York Film Festival, Peña has upheld the organization’s gold standard for showcasing the best in world cinema, while dramatically expanding its horizons. From his encyclopedic surveys of Italian Neorealism and pre-revolutionary Iranian cinema, Peña’s knowledge and appetite for undiscovered cinematic territory have been an ongoing gift to New York moviegoers for the better part of three decades.

During that same time, he has overseen the Film Society’s expansion from an annual festival to a year-round film exhibitor with three screens and a rapidly expanding online presence.

In addition, he’s a Professor of Film Studies at Columbia University, where he specializes in film theory and international cinema, and from 2006-2009 was a visiting professor in Spanish at Princeton University. He’s also currently serving as the co-host of WNET/Channel 13’s weekly Reel 13.

“It is very fitting that we celebrate the 50th birthday of the New York Film Festival by honoring the man who has guided the festival’s artistic vision for the last 25 years. Richard Pena helped us discover directors like Pedro Almodovar, Abbas Kiarostami, Olivier Assayas, Lars Von Trier and Hou Hsiao-hsien, making an indelible contribution to film culture in New York City and around the world,” said FSLC’s Executive Director Rose Kuo. “We hope that his friends and colleagues will join us for a special evening to celebrate his achievements.”

Peña’s gala tribute will take place on Wednesday, October 10.

The 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring top films from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent.