Did you get yours in the mail? Last year the complete line-up for the New York Film Festival was announced in August, but this year the early invites have already leaked out, courtesy of Scott Foundas. He's the lead critic and film editor for the LA Weekly, his reviews appear throughout the Village Voice alt-weekly chain, and he contributes reviews to Variety. Oh, and he's one of the two new members of the selection committee for the festival -- the other is J. Hoberman, longtime Voice critic. In a videotaped discussion with fellow writers David Poland (Movie City News and The Hot Blog), Anne Thompson (Variety) and Jeremy Smith (Chud), Foundas mentions that the Coen Brothers' No Country For Old Men, Korean director Lee Chang-dong's Secret Sunshine and Romanian drama 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, along with two other unidentified films, have been invited. Foundas "thinks" that all five are confirmed to play at the festival this fall.

None of the choices are surprising. All three were highly-praised when they premiered at Cannes last month, with awards presented to South Korean actress Jeon Do-yeon, the female lead of Secret Sunshine, and 4 Months (the Palme D'Or). In an interesting side note, Foundas also claims that 4 Months was pulled from the Los Angeles Film Festival, where it was scheduled to have its North American Premiere later this month, because the Telluride Film Festival, held over the Labor Day weekend, wanted the premiere.

Because of the New York Film Festival's prestige and press coverage, each spot in the line-up is highly coveted, especially by arthouse distributors who feel that having one of their films selected gives them an advantage in a ferociously tight market. The festival describes itself as "highly competitive with an average of 28 feature films" selected each year. Evidently only 23 invitations remain to be sent.
categories Cinematical