By Ben Travers | Indiewire March 26, 2014 at 5:34PM
The San Francisco International Film Festival has announced its opening and closing night films with the Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst-starring "The Two Faces of January" kicking things off April 24th. "Alex of Venice," from director Chris Messina, will close the fest on May 8th.
"We are delighted to offer these exceptional films by first-time directors who are best known for their work in other areas of the film world,” said San Francisco Film Society Executive Director Noah Cowan. "Championing talented artists who aren't afraid of taking risks is at the heart of the Film Society's mission and our ongoing support of filmmakers around the world. I can't think of a better pair of films to kick off and wrap up what is going to be an amazing festival."
"The Two Faces of January" is the directorial debut of Hossein Amini, perhaps best known for writing "Drive." The film stars Mortensen and Dunst as tourists who get to know a tour guide in Athens played by Oscar Isaac. All three are put in danger after an incident at the hotel, and the suspense builds from there.
"Alex of Venice" also marks a directorial first, this time from actor Chris Messina of current TV shows "The Mindy Project" and "The Newsroom" as well as Ben Affleck's "Argo." Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Messina, the film focuses on a working mother and wife (Winstead) who's forced to make tough choices when her stay-at-home husband (Messina) doesn't want to stay at home anymore. The film also features Don Johnson as Winstead's father.