The 37th Mill Valley Film Festival, taking place October 2-October 12, 2014, has announced its full lineup. From the official press release:

Returning for its 37th year, the Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF), presented annually by the California Film Institute (CFI), will be held Thursday, October 2 – Sunday, October 12, 2014. Internationally recognized for showcasing the best in independent and world cinema, every fall thousands of festival attendees flock to Marin County for 11 days of films, panel discussions, and musical performances. The Mill Valley Film Festival provides attendees with a chance to catch an early glimpse at the Academy Award® contenders and discover some of the best films from around the world. Five out of the last six Academy Award winners for Best Picture (Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech, The Artist, Argo and 12 Years A Slave) were screened at the Festival with filmmakers and cast members in attendance.

The California Film Institute is pleased to announce the following confirmed films to screen at the 37th Mill Valley Film Festival. The complete schedule will be announced and available online at www.MVFF.com Tuesday, September 9, 2014.

Opening Night Films and Gala: THE HOMESMAN and MEN, WOMEN, & CHILDREN

Writer-director Tommy Lee Jones brings classic scope and modern sensitivity to The Homesman, an anti-western about a woman (Hilary Swank) and a claim jumper (Jones) escorting three women through a dangerous and desolate frontier landscape. Hilary Swank will be in attendance. Thursday, October 2 at 6:45PM & 7PM at the CinéArts@Sequoia

Director Jason Reitman (Juno, Up In The Air) will premiere his latest film Men, Women & Children, the story of a group of teenagers and their parents as they attempt to navigate the many ways the internet has changed their relationships, their communication, their self-images and their love lives. Jason Reitman and Ansel Elgort will be in attendance for a Q&A following the screening. Thursday, October 2 at 7PM at Century Cinema Corte Madera 

Following both films, festival attendees will gather at the Corte Madera Town Center for the Opening Night Gala. Guests will enjoy delicious food from Balboa Café, Big Jim’s BBQ, Caribbean Spices, Equator Coffees, Il Fornaio, Johnny Doughnuts, Judy’s Breadsticks, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Pig in a Pickle, and Pizza Antica. Luscious libations from our friends at Lagunitas Brewing Company along with local wineries, are a perfect compliment to the scrumptious spread. Dance the night away with live music from The Brothers Comatose, hot off their performance at Outside Lands and US Tour, and tunes spun by The Crackerjack DJs. Thursday, October 2 from 9PM – Midnight at Town Center Corte Madera

Spotlight on Elle Fanning: LOW DOWN

Elle Fanning launched her career at the age of three, and now, at the age of 16, has built an accomplished body of work. The Mill Valley Film Festival is thrilled to present actress Elle Fanning with a Spotlight. The evening will feature a screening of her latest film Low Down and will be followed by a live on-stage conversation. In Low Down, Elle Fanning stars as Amy-Jo, the teenage daughter to the gifted but troubled jazz-pianist Joe Albany (John Hawkes). Saturday, October 4 at 7PM at Smith Rafael Film Center

Special Screening of SOUL OF A BANQUET with Wayne Wang and Cecilia Chiang

The Mill Valley Film Festival is proud to honor the contributions of renowned local filmmaker Wayne Wang and the subject of his new film, legendary culinary artist Cecilia Chiang, with a special screening of Soul Of A Banquet. The film, a moving tribute to Cecilia Chiang, the celebrity chef who changed the face of Chinese food and culture in the Bay Area, will be followed by an on-stage conversation with Wayne Wang and Cecilia Chiang. Sunday, October 5 at 5PM at Smith Rafael Film Center

Centerpiece Film: BLACK AND WHITE

Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer star in Mike Binder’s latest film Black And White. The film follows an attorney (Costner) who becomes entangled in a custody battle with his bi-racial granddaughters paternal grandmother (Spencer) following the death of his wife and daughter. Mike Binder will be in attendance for the screening. Wednesday, October 8 at 7:30PM at Smith Rafael Film Center

Spotlight on Eddie Redmayne: THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING

Having already won an Olivier and Tony Award for his work on John Logan’s acclaimed Red, and garnered recognition for his roles in Les Miserables, and My Week With Marilyn, actor Eddie Redmayne has established himself as one of the most promising actors of his generation. The festival is pleased to present Redmayne with a Spotlight program, which will feature a screening of his latest film The Theory Of Everything in which he plays a young Stephen Hawking. A discussion with Redmayne will follow the screening. Thursday, October 9 at 7PM at Smith Rafael Film Center

Tribute to Chuck Workman: MAGICIAN

In addition to creating short films and openings for 20 Academy Award presentations, Chuck Workman has directed the Oscar-winning short Precious Images, produced several documentaries, and edited main titles and sequences for countless film and television series. With his latest film Magician, Workman pays homage to Orson Welles and the Mill Valley Film Festival is thrilled to recognize his work with a special Tribute. Workman will be in-person for the screening and a post-screening conversation. Friday, October 10 at 7PM at Smith Rafael Film Center

Closing Night Film: WILD with a Tribute To Laura Dern

Academy Award Nominated actress Laura Dern will be presented with a special Tribute from the Mill Valley Film Festival. Born into the movie business as the daughter of actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd, Laura Dern has starred in numerous acclaimed films including Wild At Heart, Rambling Rose, Inland Empire and Blue Velvet. This event will feature an onstage conversation with Dern and a clip reel highlighting her past work including previews of her latest film Wild. In Wild, Reese Witherspoon stars in Jean-Marc Vallée’s (DALLAS BUYERS CLUB) adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s best selling memoir, a striking account of the 1,100-mile Pacific Crest Trail trek she undertook to grieve the death of her mother (Laura Dern) and give closure to her troubled past. Sunday, October 12 at 5PM at CinéArts@Sequoia and Smith Rafael Film Center

The festival will wrap following the screenings at the Elks Lodge where film goers will enjoy live music performed by Danny Click and the Hell Yeas and tunes spun by DJ Richard Habib. Food from Sol Food, Teresa & Johnny’s Comfort Food, Big Jim’s BBQ, and West End Café among others. Sunday, October 12 at 7:30PM at Maple Lawn Estate at the Elks Lodge

Focus – ¡VIVA EL CINE!

The Festival’s exploration of current Latin American and Spanish-language cinema includes inspiring documentaries, genre-defying narratives, and exuberant animation. This section also features a focus on music, which includes female musicians offering a fresh take on traditional mariachi music in Que Caramba Es La Vida, to modern rock stars with a Flamenco twist Rodrigo y Gabriela in For Those About to Rock, to Spain’s most devoted Beatles fan in 1960s-set Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed. Celebrating universal stories through Latino and Hispanic cultures from around the world, este es el cine moderno. ¡VIVA EL CINE! is presented with special support by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Art Works and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Metallica: MVFF Artists in Residence

MVFF37 is delighted to welcome Metallica, locals and longtime friends of the festival, as Artists in Residence.
Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, and Robert Trujillo have each selected a film to host at the festival and will be present to introduce and discuss their chosen films.

Kirk Hammett, a noted horror movie aficionado presents an unadulterated, schlock-filled, Z-movie euphoria, late night screening of the 1971 favorite Dracula Vs. Frankenstein. Friday, October 3 at 10PM at Smith Rafael Film Center

Robert Trujillo brings MVFF audiences a sneak peek at Jaco, the new documentary that brings the story of legendary bassist Jaco Pastorius to the screen; produced by Trujillo with John Battsek of Passion Pictures.  Monday, October 6 at 6PM at CinéArts@Sequoia

Lars Ulrich makes a cutting-edge selection with Whiplash. This indie feature about an aspiring drummer and his ruthless teacher won multiple awards at Sundance this year. Following the screening, director-screenwriter
Damien Chazelle will join Lars on stage for a conversation. Tuesday, October 7 at 7PM at Century Cinema Corte Madera

James Hetfield’s classic pick The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is in all its restored, big-screen glory. Wednesday, October 8 at 7PM at Century Cinema Corte Madera

Active Cinema – Question, Engage, Transform

MVFF’s Active Cinema films and panels look to bring attention to and explore the world and its issues while engaging audiences and transforming society. In addition to the films in this section, the festival will present an Active Cinema Panel which will look at new platforms and how filmmakers can use and understand them to engage with audiences and get issue driven films to be as effective and inspiring as possible. Additionally there will be an Active Cinema Nature Hike where filmmakers and festival guests can join MVFF staff in getting fresh air while exchanging ideas on the Tennessee Valley hike. Panel takes place Saturday, October 11 at 2:30PM at Rafael; Hike takes place Saturday, October 4 at 10:15AM-12:30PM

Sharp Electronics Presents The 2nd Annual Art Of Amazing 4K Film Competition

Sharp’s 2nd annual Art of Amazing 4K Film Competition culminates with the Art of Amazing 4K Film Showcase on October 9th at 7 PM.  Sharp will screen the finalists and announce the winner the Sharp Art of Amazing 4K Film Competition, which asks filmmakers to highlight the benefits of ultra high resolution entertainment through compelling, short 4K films.  Working with picture quality experts at THX and RED, the second annual competition will award more than $65,000 in prizes for filmmakers and fans including a festival audience winner chosen by the festival audience on the night of the Showcase.  The festival audience winner will be eligible to receive a 60” THX Certified Sharp AQUOS 4K Ultra HD LED TV ($3,500 value).  Sharp has been leading the evolution of 4K Ultra HD picture technology, introducing industry’s first THX 4K Certified TV in 2013 and recently announcing an update the Sharp AQUOS® 4K series with two beautifully redesigned, THX Certified, 4K Ultra HD TVs in both 60” and 70” (69.5” diag.) class screen sizes, coming to stores in October.
Thursday, October 9 at 7PM at the CinéArts@Sequoia

Children’s Film Fest

Music dominates this year’s family films. Whether it’s the hip-shaking beat of Brazil or the lilting of 1940s swing, most of our programs will have you dancing your way out of the theater after the credits roll. Music speaks its own language, so even our foreign films have no dialogue. The Boy And The World starts with simple washes of color and samba and ends with neon cityscapes, hip-hop, and scarcely a word spoken. In France’s 3D animation Minuscule: Valley Of The Lost Ants, there are no frantic melodies but instead a lovely, upbeat score that complements the action as our ant friends move sugar cubes across perilous landscapes. The MVFF free screening is the 1941 animation by the Fleischer Brothers, Hoppity Goes To Town, a takeoff on Jimmy Stewart films that will have everyone swinging to jazz and crooning love songs. Shorts programs let musical notes tell the stories too, including the wonderful 3D Slideshow, compiled by 3D enthusiast and scholar Robert Bloomberg. The slideshow features music videos and fascinating films, old and new, that let the third dimension sing.

Live Events

A Musical Celebration of Jaco will honor the pioneering jazz musician Jaco Pastorius and feature a work-in-progress screening of Jaco, a documentary from Stephen Kijak, which captures the story of Jaco Pastorius. The evening will be hosted by Robert Trujillo and will feature MAERIC with Mary Pastorius, David Pastorius and Eric Young, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo of Metallica, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Stephen Perkins of Jane’s Addiction, L. Shankar and other special guests. The event is a benefit for the California Film Institute. Monday, October 6 at 9PM at Sweetwater Music Hall

Professional comedians and award-winning filmmakers weave together film and live stand-up comedy for a unique storytelling experience in 3 STILL STANDING – On Stage!. The evening will be part film, and part stand up with the world premiere of 3 Still Standing, a documentary about local comedians Will Durst, Larry “Bubbles” Brown, and Johnny Steele. Following the film, the 3 comedians will take the stage for a live stand-up act. Saturday, October 4 at 8PM at 142 Throckmorton Theater

The Mill Valley Film Festival will host an informal celebration of the life of one of the most beloved and brilliant members of the Bay Area film community: Robin Williams. Robin Williams: A Celebration will feature footage form his appearances at the Mill Valley Film Festival, including a spontaneous routine with his mentor Jonathan Winters, as well as his 1988 MVFF trailer, in which, playing campy film critic Lex Leed, he interviewed himself as five different filmmakers. More details and guests TBA. This is a free event, but will be ticketed. Sunday, October 5 at 1PM at 142 Throckmorton Theater

Local Bay Area Filmmakers and Films

Every year the Mill Valley Film Festival is home to numerous World Premieres of acclaimed filmmakers from the Bay Area. The 37th edition of the festival is no different and includes: Capturing Grace from director David Iverson (former KQED Forum host), which looks inside a unique dance program for adults with Parkinson’s, led by a former company member of the Mark Morris Dance Group. Capturing Grace challenges our expectations about illness and art; Bay Area filmmaker Karina Epperlein follows six African American college freshmen, alumni of the unique Ohio mentoring program Alchemy, Inc., and well-equipped with self-confidence and critical-thinking skills, as they leave home for the first time in Finding The Gold Within; Suzanne LaFetra and David Collier’s feature length documentary F R E E follows five teens through a year in an Oakland dance program. Their journey in the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company reveals how collaborative art can be a foundation for personal discovery, turning the courage, determination, and stamina demanded of their lives into a contagious joy; director Erica Jordan follows humanitarian photographer Lisa Kristine as she travels to the largest red-light district in Kolkata, India, to shoot portraits of enslaved women in In Plain Sight; director William Farley tells the story of local bail bondsman and artist Jerry Ross Barrish in Plastic Man: The Artful Life Of Jerry Ross Barrish; in Racing To Zero, In Pursuit Of Zero Waste, director Christopher Beaver chronicles the two decades that the San Francisco Department of the Environment has been working toward the goal of zero waste; a revered HIV/AIDS doctor miraculously survives a head-on crash on the Golden Gate Bridge and struggles to recreate a meaningful life despite her severe physical disabilities in Helen Cohen and Mark Lipman’s States Of Grace; East Bay video maker John Sanborn returns to MVFF with his latest project ALLoT (A Long List of Things), a film he developed with musician David Meyer, which is based on their 40th high school reunion and investigates the lives of 17 of their classmates; and finally, environmental heroes put themselves in harm’s way building strong grassroots support in the face of intimidating adversaries in The New Environmentalists: From Ithaca To The Amazon. Narrated by Robert Redford, and directed by John Antonelli, Tom Dusenbery and Will Parrinello.

Additional Highlights Include:

Additionally the Mill Valley Film Festival is pleased to present the following critically acclaimed films from around the world. They include:

Director Bennett Miller won the Best Director Award at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival for his latest film Foxcatcher, a dark drama starring Steve Carrel, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo; director Morten Tyldum directs Benedict Cumberbatch as the British mathematician Alan Turning in The Imitation Game; the German drama Beloved Sisters about two aristocratic sisters who find themselves in a love triangle with poet Fredrich Schiller; Olivier Assayas’ Cannes Film Festival selection Clouds Of Sils Maria starring Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart and Chloë Grace Moretz; the Israeli drama Gett: The Trial Of Viviane Amsalem which will make its US Premiere at the festival; David Dobkin’s drama The Judge starring Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall; Lynn Shelton’s latest film Laggies starring Keira Knightley, Sam Rockwell and Chloë Grace Moretz; Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong will be in attendance for the US Premiere of Like Sunday, Like Rain in which he makes his acting debut alongside Leighton Meester and Debra Messing. Meester will be in attendance with Armstrong and director Frank Whaley; Xavier Dolan’s Cannes Jury Prize Winning film MOMMY; Timothy Spall won Best Actor honors at the Cannes Film Festival for his role in Mr. Turner; the Dardenne Brothers’ (Jean-Pierre and Luc) latest film Two Days, One Night starring Marion Cotillard; and a special screening of Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back with Skywalker Sound veterans Matthew Wood and David Acord on hand to discuss the sounds of the STAR WARS universe.

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