The American Film Institute has added Lionsgate’s musical La La Land as a Centerpiece Gala for AFI Fest, where it will screen November 15. The pic, Damien Chazelle’s follow-up to his Oscar Best Picture nominee Whiplash, stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone and has been making the fest rounds since its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival. Lionsgate will open it in theaters December 9.
The Summit Entertainment pic is set in Los Angeles and revolved around Mia, an aspiring actress, and Sebastian, a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. In a sense it’s a movie about Hollywood, so it’s fitting it lands an AFI spot and will screen at the TCL Chinese Theatre.
The festival, which runs November 10–17, has been building its slate with world premieres, including Warren Beatty’s Rules Don’t Apply as the opening-night film and the Robert De Niro-starrer The Comedian as a special screening. Other Galas include Mike Mills’ 20th Century Women, along with a tribute to star Annette Bening; and Elle, with its star Isabelle Huppert also getting the tribute treatment.