The Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced Robert Zemeckis’ “The Walk” will have its world premiere screening as the Opening Night selection of the 53rd New York Film Festival. The event kicks off September 25 at Alice Tully Hall.
Based on Philippe Petit’s memoir, “To Reach the Clouds,” the drama follows the French high-wire artist as he prepares to walk between the Twin Towers in 1974. The achievement was previously the subject of James Marsh’s Oscar-winning documentary, “Man on Wire.”
“The Walk” will be the second 3D feature to open the New York Film Festival, following Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi” in 2012. The selection also marks Zemeckis’ return to the festival after “Flight,” which was the 2012 Closing Night Gala selection. The film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt opposite Ben Kingsley, James Badge Dale, Ben Schwartz, Steve Valentine, Charlotte Le Bon, Clement Sibony, Caesar Domboy and Benedict Samuel.
“‘The Walk’ is surprising in so many ways. First of all, it plays like a classic heist movie in the tradition of ‘The Asphalt Jungle’ or ‘Bob le flambeur’—the planning, the rehearsing, the execution, the last-minute problems—but here it’s not money that’s stolen but access to the world’s tallest buildings,” said New York Film Festival Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones in a statement. “It’s also an astonishing re-creation of Lower Manhattan in the ’70s. And then, it becomes something quite rare, rich, mysterious… and throughout it all, you’re on the edge of your seat.”
“I am extremely honored and grateful that our film has been selected to open the 53rd New York Film Festival,” added Zemeckis. “‘The Walk’ is a New York story, so I am delighted to be presenting the film to New York audiences first. My hope is that Festival audiences will be immersed in the spectacle, but also to be enraptured by the celebration of a passionate artist who helped give the wonderful towers a soul.”
The 53rd New York Film Festival runs September 25 – October 11.