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50th New York Film Festival To Honor Nicole Kidman And FSLC Program Director Richard Peña; NYFF Adds Kidman’s The Paperboy; Night Owl Screenings; Bargain Memberships Available

by Ellis Nassour on September 9, 2012

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In new honors created for this milestone 50th New York Film Festival, Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman and Festival sponsor Film Society of Lincoln Center (FSLC)’s longtime program director Richard Peña will be saluted at a galas during the Festival,  September 28 – October 14, in Alice Tully Hall. The honors were announced Wednesday by Film Society executive director Rose Kuo.

Kidman will take part in an onstage conversation at the screening of director Lee Daniels’s much-acclaimed film The Paperby, which has been added to the Festival’s Main Slate. The film co-stars Zac Efron, John Cusack, and Matthew McConaughey.

Daniels was a producer on Monster’s Ball and producer and director of the acclaimed Precious…, which was nominated for Best Picture, 2009. Of it’s six nominations, it won for Adapted Screenplay and Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Mo’Nique..

Peña, who’s served the Festival for 25 years, is leaving his role as FSLC program director to head the Festival’s Selection Committee.

The tributes were created “to celebrate the work of those in film who’ve made significant artistic contributions to film culture in the past and will continue to do so in the future.”

In The Paperboy (Millenium Entertainment), Kidman plays the sultry fiancée of a death row inmate (Cusack). Working with a local journalist (McConaughey), she gets to know the writer’s younger brother (Efron), and the rest, as they say, is history.  The film became one of the most talked about entries at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

“Nicole Kidman is one of our finest contemporary actresses,” says Peña, “Since her breakthrough performance in To Die For and her bold and provocative appearances in Lars Von Trier’s Dogville, Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, as well as her awarding-winning portrayal of Virginia Woolf in Stephen Daldry’s The Hours [for which she received the Oscar], Nicole has insisted on finding roles that are complex, bold and demanding.”

Peña, who possesses a vast knowledge of film history as they who watch THIRTEEN’S Saturday night triple film series and who’s always accessible to media and film buffs, joined FSLC. Before long, his name became synonymous worldwide with that of the NYFF. Over the years, he’s gained immense respect across the board throughout the film industry.

Ms. Kuo noted that Peña “has guided the festival’s artistic vision. He also helped the Festival to discover such visionary directors as Pedro Almodovar, Abbas Kiarostami, Olivier Assayas, Lars Von Trier and Hou Hsiao-hsien. His contribution has been indelible.”

At the golden age of 50, the NYFF is keeping things fresh with a new Midnight Movies series with screenings of films “best experienced at the witching hour, and which will have you cringing, cheering, and shrieking.”

 General tickets for the 50th New York Film Festival go on sale September 9. For more information, visit the NYFF Tickets section of

Bargain Film Society Memberships

Join one of New York’s best movie-going programs. In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the New York Film Festival, FSLC is offering $50 memberships for a limited time. Benefits include a subscription to Film Comment magazine, bi-weekly e-newsletter, discounts from Film Society partners, merchandise discounts, concession freebies, annual cocktail party, advance ticket purchase, invites to special events, and complimentary tickets to screenings. To join, visit or call (212) 875-5620.

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