Laurent Cantet’s “The Class” (Entre les murs), winner of the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, will open the 2008 New York Film Festival on September 26th. NYFF 2008 will unspool this year at the Zeigfeld Theater in Manhattan due to ongoing renovations at its traditional opening venue, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. The event will continue through October 12th.
The Film Society of Lincoln Center organizers also announced that this year’s NYFF will include a pair of showcases are on tap, including “In the Realm of Oshima,” looking at the work and influence of Japanese filmmaker Nagisa Oshima. Meanwhile, the annual “Views from the Avant-Garde” featuring a 30th anniversary presentation of Guy Debord‘s “In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.”
“Laurent Cantet has pioneered a new kind of social cinema,” said NYFF selection committee chair Richard Pena in a statement, “one that explores the key issues of our day, from contemporary labor struggles to First World/Third World relations and now to education, with a startling boldness and freshness in approach. ‘The Class’ is the finest example yet of this filmmaker’s important work, and we’re delighted to have it open this year’s New York Film Festival.”
On the selection committee for this year’s New York Film Festival, are Kent Jones, associate director of programming at the Film Society; Scott Foundas, film editor and chief film critic for L.A. Weekly; J. Hoberman, senior film critic at The Village Voice; and Lisa Schwarzbaum, film critic at Entertainment Weekly along with Pena. Oranizers expect to select approximately 25 features and several shorts to make up the 2008 slate.