Roman Polanski's 'Carnage' Set as New York Film Festival Opener

Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Christoph Waltz, Kate Winslet

Despite controversies surrounding the 'Oliver Twist' helmer, Film Society of Lincoln Center believe they've picked 'something that is especially significant' to open the festival.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center have announced that Roman Polanski-directed drama "Carnage" will kick off the 2011 edition of New York Film Festival. Explaining the reason why they chose Polanski's film for the opening night, program director of the society Richard Pena said, "We see thousand of films. For our opening night, we pick something that is especially significant."

Back in 1963, Polanski's "Knife in the Water" was also set as the opener. However, the 77-year-old controversial director will likely not attend this year's event. He has never returned to the U.S. since 1978 after pleading guilty to having sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl. In 2010, the U.S. officials attempted to get him extradited from Switzerland, but the Swiss government rejected the request.

"Inevitably, there will be some people who use it a reason to continue discussing the case," Pena added. "But what's never been in doubts is that he is a great filmmaker."

This is not the first time NYFF is going to be held without the director of their opening-night movie. Back in 1995, filmmaker Yimou Zhang was prohibited by the Chinese government to enter the U.S. for the premiere of his flick "Shanghai Triad". "The Chinese government was angry about that," Pena explained. "Their way of punishing us was that they fordable him to travel."

"Carnage" tells the story of two pair of parents who decide to have a cordial meeting after their sons are involved in a schoolyard brawl. The confrontation goes disastrously wrong after each couple attacks the others' parenting skills, which leads to the husbands and wives turning on each other about problems in their own marriages.

Based on Yasmina Reza's Broadway play "God of Carnage", the movie is starring Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly. It is scheduled for November 18 release in limited U.S. theaters.

Meanwhile, the 49th New York Film Festival will run from September 30 until October 16. Tickets will be available starting on September 12.



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