"Only God Forgives," Nicolas Winding Refn's follow-up to "Drive", will have its North American premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival next month. Starring Ryan Gosling as an American expat living in Bangkok, Thailand, the film joins the critically acclaimed "Fruitvale Station" as one of two Gala screenings for the festival, which runs June 13-23 at L.A. Live's Regal Cinemas downtown.
"The Way, Way Back," a comedy starring Steve Carell, Toni Collette and Sam Rockwell, will close the festival. The film, which Fox Searchlight acquired out of the Sundance Film Festival, opens theatrically on July 5.
Film Independent, which presents the festival, previously announced Pedro Almodovar's comedy "I'm So Excited" as the opening night movie. Sponsored by the Los Angeles Times, the fest will screen close to 200 features during its 10-day run.
"We've put together a program that will appeal to every kind of movie lover, from exciting new American indies to the best international art house fare and eye-opening documentaries to family films, thrillers and horror flicks," said David Ansen, artistic director of the festival. "We have 20 world premieres and have discovered some amazing new filmmaking voices to introduce alongside such masters as Pedro Almodovar, Marco Bellocchio, Costa-Gavras and Johnnie To. I'm excited to turn Los Angeles on to these incredible movies."
The film festival will screen Italian director Bellocchio's "Dormant Beauty," starring Isabelle Huppert, as part of the International Showcase. Costa-Gavras, 80, will attend the festival, participate in a Q&A and screen his latest, "Capital," a thriller set in the world of international banking.
Hong Kong action director To's "Drug War" will also screen as part of the international showcase.
Twelve films will be featured in the Narrative Competition category, including several world premieres:
"All Together Now," from director Alexander Mirecki, stars Lou Taylor Pucci as one of a group of twentysomethings who attend a noise-rock concert in the woods.
"Forev," from directors Molly Green and James Leffler, centers on a couple who get engaged on their first date.
"Forty Years From Yesterday," from directors Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck, focuses on a man's grief following the unexpected death of his wife.
"Four Dogs," by director Joe Burke, is a comedic slice-of-life drama about the world of an aspiring actor living in the San Fernando Valley with his aunt's yappy dogs.
"Goodbye World," from director Denis Henry Hennelly, features Adrian Grenier and Gaby Hoffmann as part of a group of friends who retreat to a mountain cabin after a cyber attack has wreaked havoc on civilization.
[For the record, 1:51 p.m. May 1: An earlier version of this post misspelled Steve Carell's name as Carrell, and Gabby Hoffmann's name as Hoffman. ]
"The House That Jack Built," from director Henry Barrial, stars E.J. Bonilla as a street-smart guy intent on moving his extended family into a single Bronx apartment complex.
"Pollywogs" is writer/director/star Karl Jacob's story of a thirtysomething who returns home to a family reunion after a nasty breakup.
"Winter in the Blood," from directors Andrew Smith and Alex Smith, centers on a young Native American's alcohol-fueled search for his rifle, his wife and his identity.
Ten films will screen in the documentary competition. The world premieres include:
"All of Me," from director Alexandra Lescaze, centers on the BBW club (Big Beautiful Women) and what happens when they decide to undergo weight-loss surgery.
"American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs," from director Grace Lee, showcases the life and career of African American activist Grace Lee Boggs.
"Code Black," by director Ryan McGarry, focuses on emergency room doctors at an L.A. County hospital.
"The Island of Saint Matthews," from director Kevin Jerome Everson, centers on the community of Westport, Miss., which is annually affected by floods.
"Llyn Foulkes: One Man Band," by directors Christopher Quilty and Tamar Halpern, centers on iconoclastic artist Llyn Foulkes.
"The New Black," by director Yoruba Richen, questions the assumptions of homophobia in the African American community.
"Tapia," from director Eddie Alcazar, centers on former world champion boxer Johnny Tapia.
The festival will also feature free community screenings celebrating the 20th anniversary screening of "Dazed and Confused" from director Richard Linklater and a dance-a-long screening of John Waters' "Hairspray" in honor of its 25th anniversary. For a full schedule, visit the festival website.