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20th Century Women
20th Century Women

20th Century Women, written and directed by Mike Mills (Beginners), will be the Centerpiece of the 54th New York Film Festival taking place September 30 to October 16, 2016. The gala screening on Saturday, October 8, will be the film’s World Premiere.

Mills’s texturally and behaviorally rich new comedy keeps redefining itself as it goes along, creating a moving group portrait of particular people in a particular place (Santa Barbara) at a particular moment in the 20th century (1979), one lovingly attended detail at a time. The great Annette Bening, in one of her very best performances, is a single mother raising her teenage son (newcomer Lucas Jade Zumann) in a sprawling bohemian house, shared by an itinerant carpenter (Billy Crudup) and a punk artist with a Bowie haircut (Greta Gerwig), and frequented by her son’s rebellious friend (Elle Fanning). 20th Century Women is warm, funny, and a work of passionate artistry.

New York Film Festival Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones said, “I was taken aback by 20th Century Women. It’s made with an extraordinarily unusual level of craft and attention to detail, human and visual, which is now all but extinct. As someone who actually lived through 1979 in middle-class America, I will testify to the fact that Mike Mills and his remarkable cast approach the level of the uncanny. I felt like I was back there, with all the shared behaviors and worries, the divisions, the look and feel and smell of the world as it was.”

“Everyone who worked on this film is so honored we’re a part of NYFF,” said Mills. “It’s very exciting for me to premiere my film in the city where I discovered I wanted to be a writer and director, and at the film festival where I saw so many films that inspired me and truly showed me the way. My first film school was a combination of Kim’s Video on Avenue A, Theatre 80 St Marks, and all the innovations I saw at NYFF—so beginning this film’s public life here is especially meaningful to me.”

20th Century Women will be released by A24 in December. The film is produced by Megan Ellison of Annapurna Pictures, Anne Carey of Archer Gray, and Youree Henley.

Earlier this month, NYFF announced Ava DuVernay’s documentary The 13th as the Opening Night selection, the first-ever nonfiction work to open the festival.

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