Allen’s ‘Celebrity’ to lead N.Y. fest

Pic is helmer's first opener at Gotham event

NEW YORK — Woody Allen’s “Celebrity,” which focuses on the world of Gotham’s famous and infamous, will open the 36th New York Film Festival on Sept. 25.

Organized by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the NYFF will run through Oct. 11 at Lincoln Center.

“Celebrity,” a Miramax Films release, is the first Allen film to be selected as the opening night film of the NYFF, which is sponsored by Grand Marnier. Allen’s “Bullets Over Broadway” inaugurated the Festival Centerpiece slot in 1994.

“We’re very honored to be able to open this year’s NYFF with Woody Allen’s ‘Celebrity,’ ” said Richard Pena, chairman of the festival selection committee. “His extraordinary body of work is perhaps the greatest American example of the kind of cinema the festival has long championed.”

Pena said that with “Celebrity,” Allen “has created a hilarious and timely look at how we know ourselves and how we come to be known by others.”

Produced by Allen’s longtime friend Jean Doumanian, “Celebrity” features an ensemble cast that includes Kenneth Branagh, Judy Davis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Melanie Griffith, Joe Mantegna, Winona Ryder, Charlize Theron, Famke Janssen and Gretchen Mol.

“Celebrity” makes its world premiere out of competition at the Venice Intl. Film Festival, which runs from Sept. 3-13.

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