"Seeking a Friend for the End of the World," with Steve Carell and Keira Knightley, will be among the gala screenings at the L.A. Film Festival, organizers announced Monday. The Sundance award-winning "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and "Middle of Nowhere" will also have gala presentations at the June festival in downtown Los Angeles.
"Seeking a Friend" will be having its world premiere at the fest. Written and directed by Lorene Scafaria (who adapted "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist"), the movie follows two neighbors (Carell and Knightley) who strike up an unlikely friendship as the Earth is faced with extinction because a giant asteroid is hurtling toward the planet. The movie, being released by Focus Features, will be released nationwide June 22.
"Beasts" is a magical realism tale of a defiant bayou community cut off from the rest of the world by a sprawling levee. It focuses on a 6-year-old girl on the brink of orphanhood whose world is upended by a violent storm. The movie, directed by Benh Zeitlin, won this year’s Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and was recently selected to play in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Fox Searchlight will release the film June 27.
"Middle of Nowhere," written and directed by Ava DuVernay, follows a woman struggling to hold together her marriage when her husband goes to prison. The film garnered DuVernay the Best Director Award at this year’s Sundance; AFFRM and Participant will release the film Oct. 12.
As announced earlier, Woody Allen’s "To Rome With Love" will kick off the festival June 14. Additional galas and the rest of the major lineup of the June 14-24 festival will be announced May 1. Passes are on sale at lafilmfest.com.
— Julie Makinen