‘Mamma Mia!’ opens Deauville

Musical to kick off festival on Sept. 5

“Mamma Mia!” will open the 34th Deauville American Film Festival on Sept. 5. Helen Hunt’s “Then She Found Me” closes the fest on Sept. 14.

The Gallic seaside celebration of American filmmaking features some of the year’s higher-profile films in its eclectic Premieres sidebar. These include Clint Eastwood’s “Changeling,” Guillermo del Toro’s “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” and, among specialty releases, Jonathan Levine’s “The Wackness.”

This year’s Deauville features tributes to Spike Lee, who will attend to present the French preem of “Miracle at St. Anna”; actress Parker Posey and actor Ed Harris; and a retrospective of the work of “Wagon Train” director Mitchell Leisen, who died in 1972.

Deauville’s 11-title competition will focus on newer directorial talent, showcasing five first films, including Antonio Campos’ Cannes player “Afterschool,” Lance Hammer’s “Ballast” and Alan Ball’s “Towelhead.”

Also competing are Tom McCarthy’s “The Visitor,” David Gordon Green’s “Snow Angels” and Damian Harris’ “Garden of the Night.”

After last year’s experiment, Deauville will once more screen a 10-day, round-the-clock uninterrupted marathon of classics under its American Nights banner.

The Michel D’Ornano prize, awarded to the best French first film, will go to “Johnny Mad Dog,” Jean-Stephane Sauvaire’s drama about an African boy soldier.

As already announced, Carole Bouquet will head Deauville’s jury, which also includes Cannes Palme d’Or-winning director Cristian Mungiu, Gallic director Cedric Kahn, Belgian helmer Bouli Lanners and U.S. production designer Dean Tavoularis.

34th DEAUVILLE AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL
Opener: “Mamma Mia!” Phyllida Lloyd
Closer: “Then She Found Me,” Helen Hunt

COMPETITION
“Afterschool,” Antonio Campos
“All God’s Children Can Dance,” Robert Logevall
“American Son,” Neil Abramson
“Ballast,” Lance Hammer
“Gardens of the Night,” Damian Harris
“Momma’s Man,” Azazel Jacobs
“Smart People,” Noam Murro
“Snow Angels,” David Gordon Green
“Sunshine Cleaning,” Christine Jeffs
“Towelhead,” Alan Ball
“The Visitor,” Tom McCarthy

PREMIERES
“Appaloosa,” Ed Harris
“Changeling,” Clint Eastwood
“Dan in Real Life,” Peter Hedges
“Get Smart,” Peter Segal
“Hellboy II: The Golden Army,” Guillermo del Toro
“Idiots and Angels,” Bill Plympton
“Lakeview Terrace,” Neil LaBute
“Lars and the Real Girl,” Craig Gillespie
“Married Life,” Ira Sachs
“Miracle at St. Anna,” Spike Lee
“Recount,” Jay Roach
“The Girl Next Door,” Gregory Wilson
“The Life Before Her Eyes,” Vadin Perelman
“The Wackness,” Jonathan Levine

UNCLE SAM’S DOCS
“American Teen,” Nanette Burstein
“American Swing,” Matty Kaufman and Jon Hart
“Lake of Fire,” Tony Kaye
“Made in America,” Stacy Peralta
“Standard Operating Procedure,” Errol Morris
“Tyson,” James Toback
“War Child,” Christian Karim Chrobog

COMPETITION JURY
Carole Bouquet, president, French actress
Edouard Baer, French actor-director
Ronit Elkabetz, Israeli actress-director
Pierre Jolivet, French director-actor
Cedric Kahn, French director
Bouli Lanners, Belgian actor-director
Cristian Mungiu, Romanian director
Leonor Silvera, Portuguese actress
DeanTavoularis, U.S. production designer

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