Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman’ to Open New York Film Festival

The film will have its world premiere on Sept. 27 at Alice Tully Hall

The Irishman
Niko Tavernise/Netflix

Martin Scorsese’s crime saga “The Irishman,” one of the most eagerly awaited films of 2019, will be the opening-night attraction at the 57th New York Film Festival, Film at Lincoln Center announced on Monday morning.

The film will have its world premiere on Friday, Sept. 27 at Alice Tully Hall in New York’s Lincoln Center, and will be released theatrically by Netflix later in the year before going to the streaming service.

While the film is a no-brainer booking for Scorsese’s hometown film festival, its world premiere is also a significant get for the festival, which last year had to settle for the opening-night presentation of “The Favourite,” which had already screened at the Venice and Telluride Film Festivals.

“The Irishman,” based on the non-fiction book “I Heard You Paint Houses” by Charles Brandt, stars Joe Pesci as mob boss Russell Bufalino, Al Pacino as Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa and Robert De Niro as their right-hand man, Frank Sheeran.

“The Irishman is so many things: rich, funny, troubling, entertaining and, like all great movies, absolutely singular,” New York Film Festival Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones said. “It’s the work of masters, made with a command of the art of cinema that I’ve seen very rarely in my lifetime, and it plays out at a level of subtlety and human intimacy that truly stunned me. All I can say is that the minute it was over my immediate reaction was that I wanted to watch it all over again.”

Past NYFF opening-night films include Ava DuVernay’s “13th,” Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi,” David Fincher’s “The Social Network” and “Gone Girl” and Roman Polanski’s “Carnage.”

Additional programming for this year’s festival, including its closing-night and centerpiece gala films, will be announced in the coming weeks.

The 2019 New York Film Festival will run for 17 days in late September and early October, ending on October 13. Festival passes are on sale now, with tickets going on sale to the general public on September 8.