The 51st New York Film Festival, running September 30th – October 13th, is underway and news that Ben Stiller’s ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ will make its world premiere as the festival’s Centerpiece Gala was just released. Ben Stiller has this to say about the premiere, “I am incredibly honored and excited to have THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY premiere in the New York Film Festival. When I first heard, I wanted to make sure it was the one at Lincoln Center and not one in Utica or somewhere. Making this film has been a wonderful collaboration with a really special screenwriter, Steve Conrad, and all the extremely talented cast and crew who worked on this movie. Having grown up a few blocks away on Riverside Drive, I couldn’t be happier to have it premiere here.”
THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY stars and is directed by Stiller who plays “An office worker who lives inside fantasy worlds where he gets to live an adventurous life while romancing his co-worker sets off a global journey to fix things when both of their jobs are threatened.” The film also stars Kristen Wiig and Adam Scott. Below is NYFF’s official press release regarding the Centerpiece Gala:
NYFF PRESS RELEASE
The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today that Ben Stiller’s highly anticipated adaptation of James Thurber’s classic short story THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY which also stars Stiller alongside Kristen Wiig, will make its World Premiere on Saturday, October 5 as the Centerpiece Gala presentation for the upcoming 51st New York Film Festival (September 27 – October 13).
NYFF’s Director of Programming and Selection Committee Chair, Kent Jones said, “Ben Stiller has expanded on James Thurber’s beloved short story and crafted a beautifully lyrical comic epic, grounded in present day realities and concerns. He is wonderful in the lead, Kristen Wiig is nothing short of magical as the woman of his dreams, and it’s great to see Shirley MacLaine in perfect form. THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY is one terrific ride, and I’m thrilled that we’re able to present it as our Centerpiece screening.”
Stiller directs and stars in the remake of James Thurber’s classic story (first published in The New Yorker in 1939) of a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker (Kristen Wiig) are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined. Shirley MacLaine, Adam Scott, Kathryn Hahn, Patton Oswalt and Sean Penn also star. The 20th Century Fox release is set to open wide on Christmas Day.
Ben Stiller said, “I am incredibly honored and excited to have THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY premiere in the New York Film Festival. When I first heard, I wanted to make sure it was the one at Lincoln Center and not one in Utica or somewhere. Making this film has been a wonderful collaboration with a really special screenwriter, Steve Conrad, and all the extremely talented cast and crew who worked on this movie. Having grown up a few blocks away on Riverside Drive, I couldn’t be happier to have it premiere here.”
Rose Kuo, the Executive Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, said “Ben Stiller has long demonstrated an ability to mesh comic imagination with an eye toward the cultural zeitgeist and THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY is his crowning achievement. We are very excited to welcome him for his debut at the New York Film Festival. We know he grew up in the neighborhood and we realized that he was too talented to keep out forever.”
FilmLinc Daily Managing Editor Brian Brooks spoke with Stiller about THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY, the film’s selection for NYFF’s Centerpiece Gala, looking ahead to the debut of the film and his “homecoming” to NYFF and Lincoln Center. That interview can be found at Filmlinc.com
The 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring top films from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The selection committee, chaired by Jones also includes: Dennis Lim, FSLC Director of Cinematheque Programming; Gavin Smith, Editor-in-Chief, Film Comment; Amy Taubin, Contributing Editor, Film Comment and Sight and Sound; and Marian Masone, FSLC Associate Director of Programming.
NYFF previously announced Paul Greengrass’s CAPTAIN PHILLIPS as its Opening Night Gala selection.
General Public tickets will be available September 8th. Subscription Packages and VIP Passes for the New York Film Festival are on sale now to Film Society Members. There also will be an opportunity for Members to purchase single screening tickets in advance of the General Public. For more information about becoming a Film Society Member visit Filmlinc.com/support/home. More ticket information for the New York Film Festival will be available mid-August on Filmlinc.com/NYFF.