Zemeckis’ ‘Flight’ to close NYFF

Denzel Washington-starrer first confirmed pic for Oct. festival

Robert Zemeckis’ “Flight” will close the 50th edition of the New York Film Festival in a special gala screening that reps the world premiere of the Denzel Washington topliner.

It’ll be the first time for a Zemeckis film at the fest, which is known for its small, rigorously curated slate of about 25 films.

Storyline of “Flight” centers on a pilot, played by Washington, whose heroic handling of a mid-air disaster is called into question when legal and ethical questions arise regarding the incident. With a cast that includes John Goodman, Don Cheadle, Melissa Leo, Bruce Greenwood and Kelly Reilly, the Paramount release is set for Nov. 2.

“Flight” is the only film in NYFF’s 2012 lineup to be announced so far. Just prior the screening of last year’s closing night offering, “The Descendants,” the longtime program director of the festival, Richard Pena, announced he would step down from his post after the 2012 incarnation of the fest. No replacement has yet been announced.

“Flight” will screen at NYFF Oct. 14, the last night of a 17-day fest that begins Sept. 28.

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