The Lone Star Film Festival has released the first eight films for its 2014 edition, taking place at Fort Worth's Sundance Square on November 6-9, with movies featuring actor Benedict Cumberbatch and director Mike Leigh leading the way.
The Imitation Game, starring Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, the genius British scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win World War II, is the most high-profile film of the eight. It recently won the People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, and Cumberbatch is among the early leaders to secure an Oscar nomination for his work.
Leigh, known for films like Secrets & Lies, Vera Drake and Happy-Go-Lucky, will bring his latest, Mr. Turner, to the festival. It chronicles the last 25 years of artist J.M.W. Turner's life, during which his famously eccentric personality only grew. Leigh's last film, Another Year, showed at the 2010 Lone Star Film Festival.
The festival had previously announced that artist-director Julian Schnabel will receive the Achievement in Film Directing Award. Three of his films — Basquiat, Before Night Falls, and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly — will be shown as part of the festivities.
Texas Monthly film critic Christopher Kelly will present his annual Modern Cinema event as part of the festival. Seven films, including some of the ones just announced, will be part of the series running at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
Other films in this initial batch include Winter Sleep, the Palme d'Or winner at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival; X/Y, a character drama directed by Ryan Piers Williams and starring Williams, America Ferrera, Melonie Diaz, Common and Jon Paul Phillips; The Great Invisible, a documentary about the fallout from the Deepwater Horizon oil leak; The Roughnecks, a documentary about a Fort Worth Pee-Wee football team's quest for a championship; and a retrospective screening of George Lucas' classic 1973 film, American Graffiti, featuring an appearance by Candy Clark, who earned an Oscar nomination for her role in the film.
The full Lone Star Film Festival lineup will be released in early October. Discounted early bird passes are now on sale through lonestarfilmfestival.com, with the prices increasing when individual tickets are released along with the full lineup.