The new comedy Grandma, starring Lily Tomlin, will serve as the opening night title for the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 10, 2015. The festival, produced annually by Film Independent, is celebrating its 21st year and is returning to Regal’s L.A. Live complex in downtown Los Angeles. Grandma, which was written and directed by Paul Weitz (About a Boy) had its world premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, where Tomlin’s performance garnered rave reviews and sparked possible awards consideration. Sony Pictures Classics purchased the film in Park City and is planning a theatrical release sometime later this year.
Grandma revolves around a self-described misanthrope named Elle Reid (Tomlin) who is thrown for a loop when her granddaughter (Julia Garner, The Perks of Being a Wallflower) unexpectedly shows up needing quick cash in order to deal with an unwanted pregnancy. What follows is a day-in-the-life road trip that forces the grandmother and granddaughter to confront their respective pasts. Oscar-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden (Mystic River), Judy Greer (Carrie), Nat Wolff (The Fault in Our Stars), Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black), Sam Elliot (Up in the Air), and the late Elizabeth Peña (Lone Star) co-star.
The opening night festivities for the festival will also include a tribute to the legendary actress/writer/comedian Tomlin (who received an Oscar nomination for the 1975 Robert Altman classic Nashville), who will be honored with the Spirit of Independence Award. Grandma‘s opening night bid at the Los Angeles Film Festival is likely an effort to raise awareness of the title, especially if Sony Classics is planning an awards run for Tomlin at the end of the year. Grandma is also slated to screen at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Last year, Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer served as the opening night title for the Los Angeles Film Festival.
While the full selection of films at this years’ festival isn’t set to be unveiled until May 5, it has been announced that writer/director Rodrigo García (Nine Lives) will serve as the festival’s guest director. Garcia’s latest film Last Days in the Desert, starring Ewan McGregor (Moulin Rouge!), recently premiered at Sundance and may screen at the festival as a result. Also, writer/producer Gale Anne Hurd (The Terminator) will be on hand to receive the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award.
The Los Angeles Film Festival runs from June 10-18.