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Inaugural North Carolina-Staged Film Fest 919 to Open With Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Roma’

The first-annual Film Fest 919 (FF919) will open with Alfonso Cuarón’s award-winning film “Roma,” organizers revealed Friday. The festival, which was announced last year at a Chapel Hill, North Carolina event and screening of Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project,” is scheduled to run Oct. 3-7 at Silverspot Cinema at University Place in Chapel Hill.

Boasting the slogan: “Catch the films before they catch on,” FF919 — named for the North Carolina Research Triangle area code — aims to bring rich offerings from the festival circuit to the area’s film-loving audience. “Roma,” which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, will bookend with closer “Wildlife,” Paul Dano’s directorial debut and Sundance entry.

Other screenings will include Toronto People’s Choice Award winner “Green Book,” Yorgos Lanthimos’ Venice prize-winner “The Favourite,” Cannes Palme d’Or champ “Shoplifters,” David Lowry’s “The Old Man & the Gun” with Robert Redford and Sissy Spacek, Karyn Kusama’s “Destroyer” with Nicole Kidman and Joel Edgerton’s “Boy Erased” with Kidman, Lucas Hedges and Russell Crowe.

The five-day event will feature 36 films representing 17 countries. More than 25% of the films on the lineup were directed by women. In addition to screenings and Q&As with filmmakers, the festival will offer film industry panels and feature celebrity guests. In addition, it will raise funds for the University of North Carolina’s Department of Communications screen and stage production programs.

FF919 was founded by Randi Emerman, vice president of programming for Silverspot Cinemas and co-founder/former CEO of the Palm Beach International Film Festival; Carol Marshall, veteran publicist for a wide variety of entertainment clients including film festivals in Santa Barbara, Sonoma and Bermuda; and Claudia Puig, president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. and current critic for NPR’s Film Week.

“Film festivals occupy a unique place in our popular culture, elevating the most creative, thought-provoking and illuminating cinema from around the world,” Puig said. “For this inaugural festival we have curated films that not only entertain, but are works of art to savor, embrace and champion over the years to come.”

Tickets and passes are available at www.FilmFest919.com.

The inaugural FF919 lineup:

“All About Nina” (Eva Vives, USA)
“An Evening with Beverly Luff Lin” (Jim Hosking, USA)
“Bel Canto” (Paul Weitz, USA)
“Birds of Passage” (Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra, Colombia/Denmark/Mexico)
“Boy Erased” (Joel Edgerton, USA)
“A Bread Factory, Pt. One and Two” (Patrick Wang, USA) — U.S. Premiere
“Capernaum” (Nadine Labaki, Lebanon)
“Change in the Air” (Dianne Dreyer, USA)
“Destroyer” (Karyn Kusama, USA)
“Dogman” (Matteo Garrone, Italy)
“El Angel (The Angel)” (Luis Ortega, Argentina)
“Everybody Knows” (Asghar Farhadi, Spain/France/Italy)
“The Favourite” (Yorgos Lanthimos, Ireland/UK)
“Girl” (Lukas Dhont, Belgium/Netherlands)
“Green Book” (Peter Farrelly, USA)
“The Grief of Others” (Patrick Wang, USA)
“The Guilty” (Gustav Moller, Denmark)
“A Happening of Monumental Proportions” (Judy Greer, USA)
“High Voltage” (Alex Keledjian, USA)
“Human Affairs” (Charlie Birns, USA)
“Life and Nothing More” (Antonio Mendez Esparza, Spain/USA)
“MDMA” (Angie Wang, USA)
“The Old Man & the Gun” (David Lowery, USA)
“Private Life” (Tamara Jenkins, USA)
“A Private War” (Matthew Heineman, USA/UK)
“Quest” (Santiago Rizzo, USA)
“Roma” (Alfonso Cuaron, Mexico)
“Shoplifters” (Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan)
“The Sisters Brothers” (Jacques Audiard, USA)
“They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead” (Morgan Neville, USA)
“22 July” (Paul Greengrass, Norway/Iceland)
“What They Had” (Elizabeth Chomko, USA)
Wildlife (Paul Dano, USA)

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