Helmer named guest director of fest

Film Independent has tapped Guillermo del Toro as the guest director of the Los Angeles Film Festival.

The LAFF also announced select films including its closing night pic, ‘Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.” The FilmDistrict horror pic will make its world preem June 26. Pic is directed by Troy Nixey, written by del Toro and Matthew Robbins and stars Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce and Bailee Madison. It’s based on the 1973 telepic that del Toro believes is the scariest TV production ever made.

FilmDistrict will release the film on Aug. 26.

Warner Bros.’ “Green Lantern” gets a special screening June16, a day ahead of its worldwide release.

Gala screenings include the North American preem of FilmDistrict’s Nicolas Winding Refn pic “Drive,” which is unspooling in competition at Cannes, and the world premiere of Chris Weitz’s “A Better Life,” from Summit.

Other programs include an evening with James Franco, who will be presenting world premiere of “The Broken Tower,” which he wrote, directed and stars in, about the brief, burning life of the gay, visionary American poet Hart Crane.

Julile Taymor is also scheduled for an evening of conversation and film clips.

The 17th LAFF runs June 16 to June 26.

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