"Jersey Boys," Clint Eastwood's big-screen adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical about the 1960s rock group the Four Seasons, will premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival next month, where it will serve as the closing-night film.
The festival, which runs June 11-19 at L.A. Live's Regal Cinemas downtown, also features three gala screenings: Ira Sachs' romantic drama "Love Is Strange," starring John Lithgow and Alfred Molina as a longtime gay couple who finally get married; Justin Simien's "Dear White People," a satirical comedy about racial politics that centers on four black students at an Ivy League college; and Hossein Amini's directorial debut, "The Two Faces of January," a thriller set in Greece and Turkey in 1962.
"It seemed like a no-brainer — Clint Eastwood directing a musical," said David Ansen, the festival's artistic director. "We like eclectic — movies that appeal to all of Los Angeles, from art-house fare to horror films."
Film Independent, which presents the festival, previously announced Bong Joon-ho's post-apocalyptic sci-fi film "Snowpiercer" as the opening film. The fest, which is sponsored by the Los Angeles Times, will screen more than 200 feature films, shorts and music videos from more than 30 countries over its nine-day run.
In honor of the festival's 20th anniversary, a new section, L.A. Muse, will highlight movies set in, shot in and inspired by Los Angeles.
Stephanie Allain, the festival's director, said she believes the city is the backdrop for so many films not just because it is home to the entertainment industry.
"I think L.A. has always been the place where people come to reinvent themselves," Allain said. Even if you've never been here, you've heard of it, so it lends itself to creativity."
Nine films will screen in the festival's narrative competition, including the world premieres of Sam Esmail's "Comet," Mike Ott's "Lake Los Angeles," Dave Boyle's "Man From Reno," Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia's "Recommended by Enrique," Kimberly Levin's "Runoff," Nathan Silver's "Uncertain Terms" and Kerem Sanga's "The Young Kieslowski." Lee Yong-seung's "10 Minutes" and Pernille Fischer Christensen's "Someone You Love" will have their North American premieres.
Eight films will screen in the documentary competition: William J. Saunders' "Billy Mize and the Bakersfield Sound," Gabriel London's "The Life and Mind of Mark DeFriest," Geeta V. Patel and Ravi V. Patel's "Meet the Patels," Farida Pacha's "My Name Is Salt," Blair Dorosh-Walther's "Out in the Night," N.C. Heikin's "Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story," Debra Granik's "Stray Dog," and Eliza Kubarska's "Walking Under Water."
Additional programming includes a an international showcase and a summer showcase, which will preview upcoming independent films.
The fest will also offer free community screenings of Luis Valdez's biopic of Ritchie Valens, "La Bamba," Thomas G. Miller's same-sex-marriage documentary "Limited Partnership," Dave LaMattina and Chad Walker's puppeteer portrait "I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story," and Buster Keaton's silent comedies "Sherlock Jr." and "Cops."
For more information, go to lafilmfest.com.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times