NEW YORK, August 21, 2012 —The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today that Nicole Kidman and Richard Peña will be the subject of gala tributes to be presented by the festival for the first time during the historic 50th edition of NYFF. FSLC also announced the addition of Kidman’s upcoming film, Lee Daniels’s adaptation of Pete Dexter’s popular novel, THE PAPERBOY to NYFF’s main slate schedule. The Gala Tribute to Nicole Kidman will take place on Wednesday, October 3, and the Gala Tribute to Richard Peña will take place on Wednesday, October 10.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of NYFF, the Film Society of Lincoln Center has added two gala tributes to its programming schedule of films and events. These tributes celebrate the work of individuals working in film who have made significant artistic contributions to film culture in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
Richard Peña, Selection Committee Chair & Program Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center. said, “Nicole Kidman is one of film’s finest contemporary actresses. Since her breakthrough performance in TO DIE FOR and her bold and provocative appearances in Lars Von Trier’s DOGVILLE, Stanley Kubrick’s EYES WIDE SHUT, as well as her awarding-winning portrayal of Virginia Woolf in Stephen Daldry’s THE HOURS, Kidman has insisted on finding roles that are complex, bold and demanding. We are excited to honor her with a tribute at the New York Film Festival.”
An Academy Award-winner for Stephen Daldry’s THE HOURS (2002), Kidman was encouraged to begin what would become a prolific and prestigious career in front of the camera by director Jane Campion. Following both film and television work in Australia, her performance in Philip Noyce’s DEAD CALM (1989) proved to be a breakthrough for US audiences, leading to starring roles in such major films as Tony Scott’s DAYS OF THUNDER (1990), Robert Benton’s BILLY BATHGATE (1991) and Ron Howard’s FAR AND AWAY (1993). Kidman received much critical acclaim and her first Golden Globe Award for her role in Gus Van Sant’s TO DIE FOR (1995) and continued to star in both big screen blockbusters like BATMAN FOREVER (1995) and THE PEACEMAKER (1997) and work with the best filmmakers, including Jane Campion’s THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY (1997) and Stanley Kubrick’s final film, EYES WIDE SHUT (1999).
Kidman’s received her first Academy Award nomination for her performance in fellow Australian Baz Lurhman’s MOULIN ROUGE in 2001. From that point, Kidman developed a solid reputation as an actress fearlessly willing to tackle challenging and provocative projects like Lars von Trier’s DOGVILLE (2003) and, Jonathan Glazer’s BIRTH (2004), and work with notable filmmakers like Anthony Minghella’s COLD MOUNTAIN (2003) and Noah Baumbach’s MARGOT AT THE WEDDING (2006). Recently, Kidman’s performance in John Cameron-Mitchell’s RABBIT HOLE (2010) earned the actress her third Academy Award nomination and eighth Golden Globe nomination and her role in the HBO drama “Hemingway & Gellhorn” brought Kidman her first Emmy nomination. Her performance in Lee Daniels’s upcoming drama THE PAPERBOY has already been singled out by critics following the film’s debut at Cannes.
Richard Peña has been the Program Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Director of the New York Film Festival since 1988. At the Film Society, he has organized retrospectives of Michelangelo Antonioni, Sacha Guitry, Abbas Kiarostami, Robert Aldrich, Roberto Gavaldon, Ritwik Ghatak, Kira Muratova, Youssef Chahine, Yasujiro Ozu, Carlos Saura and Amitabh Bachchan, as well as major film series devoted to African, Israeli, Cuban, Polish, Hungarian, Arab, Korean, Swedish, Taiwanese and Argentine cinema.
In his unprecedented tenure as the FSLC’s Program Director and Selection Committee Chair of the New York Film Festival, Peña has upheld the organization’s gold standard for showcasing the best in world cinema, while dramatically expanding its—and, in turn, the audience’s—horizons. From his encyclopedic surveys of Italian Neorealism and pre-revolutionary Iranian cinema, Peña’s inexhaustible knowledge and insatiable appetite for undiscovered cinematic territory have been an ongoing gift to New York moviegoers for the better part of three decades. During that same time, he has overseen the Film Society’s expansion from an annual festival to a year-round film exhibitor with three screens and a rapidly expanding online presence. In addition, he is a Professor of Film Studies at Columbia University, where he specializes in film theory and international cinema, and from 2006-2009 was a Visiting Professor in Spanish at Princeton University. He is also currently the co-host of WNET/Channel 13’s weekly Reel 13.
FSLC’s Executive Director, Rose Kuo said, “It is very fitting that we celebrate the 50th birthday of the New York Film Festival by honoring the man who has guided the festival’s artistic vision for the last 25 years. Richard Pena helped us discover directors like Pedro Almodovar, Abbas Kiarostami, Olivier Assayas, Lars Von Trier and Hou Hsiao-hsien, making an indelible contribution to film culture in New York CIty and around the world. We hope that his friends and colleagues will join us for a special evening to celebrate his achievements.”
Added to NYFF’s main slate is Lee Daniels’s THE PAPERBOY. Based on Pete Dexter’s well-received novel and adapted to the screen by Dexter and Academy Award-nominated director Lee Daniels (PRECIOUS), the drama follows Jack Jansen (Zack Efron) as he moves home after getting kicked out of college to the rural backwater of Moat County, Florida. Jack earns money and passes time delivering newspapers until his idolized journalist brother Ward (Matthew McConaughey) returns from Miami to investigate a miscarriage of justice that has landed a local man (John Cusack) on death row. Ward’s investigation is soon joined by Charlotte (Nicole Kidman), the condemned man’s sultry fiancée, and the obviously smitten Jack resolves to get increasingly involved in the case. A Millennium Entertainment release.
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 Peña also includes: Melissa Anderson, Contributor, Village Voice; Scott Foundas, Associate Program Director, The Film Society of Lincoln Center; Todd McCarthy, Chief Film Critic, The Hollywood Reporter; and Amy Taubin, Contributing Editor, Film Comment and Sight and Sound.