Summit to premiere 'Eclipse' at invitation-only screening

The Los Angeles Film Festival has tapped Focus’ drama “The Kids Are All Right” as its opening night film for June 17 and the world premiere of Universal’s animated comedy “Despicable Me” as its closing night selection on June 27.

The festival — which announced its official selections Tuesday — will also screen the invitation-only world premiere of Summit’s “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” on June 24. The festival, produced by the Film Independent, will be centered at the downtown L.A. Live complex, following several years of being based in Westwood.

The lineup will include over than 200 films from more than 40 countries, culled from more than 4,700 submissions. Former Newsweek film critic David Ansen, who became artistic director of the festival last fall, is overseeing the event.

“We’ve received tremendous support from the community for our move to downtown and can’t wait to present this rich, diverse program to audiences,” said Los Angeles Film Festival Director Rebecca Yeldham. “We’ve created a series of highly entertaining, memorable experiences for our filmmakers and audiences.”

Other notable pics in the lineup at Sony Pictures Classics’ “Animal Kingdom,” Fox Searchlight’s “Cyrus,” the world premiere of “Mahler on the Couch,” the North American premiere of “Revolución,” and Paramount Vantage’s “Waiting for Superman,” directed by Davis Guggenheim.

Since L.A. Live opened in 2009, the complex has managed to convince several studios to hold premieres downtown though traffic worries have kept most preems in Hollywood and Westwood. However, Film Independent held this year’s Spirit Awards atop the Nokia Theater in March.

“We’re hoping that in five years, we will be drawing 200,000,” Yeldham said. “We think that with the hotel space that’s available, we can make this into a destination festival.”

Yedham also said that the film community’s responded well to the appointment of Ansen and noted that the number of premieres at the fest has more than doubled to 29 this year.

“We’ve been able to get the best from Berlin and Sundance,” Ansen said. “The idea has been to go after what’s great.”

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