Director Mike Mills’ “20th Century Women,” starring Annette Bening as a single mother raising a teenage son in Southern California in 1979, will make its world premiere as the centerpiece gala of the 54th New York Film Festival, the Film Society of Lincoln Center announced on Wednesday.
The comedy will screen on Saturday, Oct. 8 at the NYFF, which kicks off on Sept. 30 with Ava DuVernay‘s documentary “The 13th” and ends on Oct. 16.
Mills, whose last film was the Oscar-winning “Beginners,” wrote and directed “20th Century Women,” which also stars Billy Crudup, Greta Gerwig, Elle Fanning and newcomer Lucas Jade Zumann as the Bening character’s son. It takes place in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1979, with Bening already picking up Oscar buzz as a woman presiding over what NYFF refers to as “a sprawling bohemian house.”
“I was taken aback by ’20th Century Women,'” NYFF Festival Director Kent Jones said in a statement announcing the film’s selection. “It’s made with an extraordinarily unusual level of craft and attention to detail, human and visual, which is now all but extinct. As someone who actually lived through 1979 in middle-class America, I will testify to the fact that Mike Mills and his remarkable cast approach the level of the uncanny.”
The film will be released in December by A24, which last year released the Oscar-winning “Room.” It was produced by Megan Ellison, Anne Carey and Youree Henley.
Tickets for the festival go on sale on Sept. 11.