Downtown Los Angeles better get ready to roll out the red carpet.
After announcing the bulk of its lineup last week, the Los Angeles Film Festival on Wednesday revealed its slate of more glamorous screenings and events. The annual festival, which is sponsored by the Los Angeles Times, will welcome Guillermo del Toro as its guest director, and his film "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" will close the festival. That means star Katie Holmes and maybe even husband Tom Cruise should be on hand to lend some star power to the movie gathering, which runs from June 16 to 26 at L.A. Live. It's taken a long time for the movie to get a premiere date: The horror film was produced by Disney's Miramax film unit, but its release was held up when the parent company was shuttering and selling off the specialty film division. Although Del Toro is credited as the film's producer and co-writer, he was a very active participant in the film's making.
The festival's special screening will be "Green Lantern," the highly anticipated film based on the popular DC comic and starring Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively. That likely means the crowd will be comprised of more fanboys than last year, when "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" played in that slot and hundreds of teen girls camped out in the hopes of catching a glimpse of Robert Pattinson.
Meanwhile, two smaller but also buzzworthy films will be shown in the gala screenings program. One is "Drive," which stars Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan and is about to have its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. The other, Chris Weitz's "A Better Life," is about an illegal immigrant's quest to start over in Los Angeles. It will have its world debut at the festival.
Continuing his quest to make an appearance at every significant cultural event, James Franco will sit down for a conversation about "film, poetry and pushing the creative envelope," according to the festival's release. He will also present a film he wrote, directed and stars in, "The Broken Tower," about gay poet Hart Crane.
LAFF will also welcome Julie Taymor, who recently came under creative fire for her involvement in the highly criticized and troubled "Spider-Man" musical on Broadway. She will be discussing how one takes source material and makes it work in theater or film.
2011 Los Angeles Film Festival lineup unveiled
Photo: Katie Holmes stars in "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark." Credit: FilmDistrict.