Robert Zemeckis’ Flight To Close 50th New York Film Festival

ComingSoon.net has been covering the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s New York Film Festival for roughly ten of its fifty years and we’ve been waiting patiently for them to announce the line-up for their anticipated 50th Anniversary film festival.

Earlier today, they announced that Robert Zemeckis’ drama Flight, starring Denzel Washington, will be this year’s Closing Night Gala on October 14, two weeks before its theatrical debut. Tickets will go on sale for this year’s festival to non-members on September 9.

“Flight” tells the redemption story of “Whip” (Washington), a commercial airline pilot who pulls off a heroic feat of flying in a damaged plane, saving 98 lives on a flight carrying 106 people. While the world begs to embrace him as a true American Hero, the everyman struggles with this label as he is forced to hold up to the scrutiny of an investigation that brings into question his behavior the night before the doomed flight.

Flight opens on Friday, November 2.

You can read the full press release below:

THE FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER announces
the World Premiere of Robert Zemeckis’s FLIGHT
as Closing Night Gala selection
for the 2012 NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL

New York, NY, August 8, 2012 – The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today that Robert Zemeckis’s FLIGHT will make its World Premiere as the Closing Night film for the upcoming 50th New York Film Festival (September 28 – October 14).

“We’re delighted to welcome Robert Zemeckis to the New York Film Festival for the first time. A director equally known for delighting audiences as well as for pushing the technological limits of filmmaking, Zemeckis has created with FLIGHT a remarkable film about one man’s journey to some of the darkest parts of his soul,” says Richard Peña, Selection Committee Chair & Program Director, The Film Society of Lincoln Center.

An action-packed mystery thriller, Academy Award winner, Denzel Washington stars in Robert Zemeckis’s FLIGHT as Whip Whitaker, a seasoned airline pilot, who miraculously crash lands his plane after a mid-air catastrophe, saving nearly every passenger on board. Although he is immediately acclaimed as a hero, the legal, moral and ethical aspects of Whip’s behavior before and after the accident are much more ambiguous than initially meet the public eye. FLIGHT is a compelling drama anchored by a great performance from one of our most distinguished actors. The stellar supporting cast includes John Goodman, Don Cheadle, Melissa Leo, Bruce Greenwood and Kelly Reilly. The Paramount Pictures release is due in theaters on November 2.

Rose Kuo, Executive Director, The Film Society of Lincoln Center, said, “Robert Zemeckis has shown his diversity as a storyteller in comedies, dramas and has skillfully translated narratives into special effect environments. It is a pleasure to see him bring to life this complicated, tragic-comic portrait of a man in crisis, with an exceptional and poignant performance by Denzel Washington.”

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.