Main Festival Entrance: Kaye Playhouse, 68th St. at Lexington Ave.
This year, the Avignon/New York Film Festival honors triple threat, actor/writer/director, John Turturro with a tribute and Gala Dinner at Manhattan’s own little France, the restaurant Daniel, on November 12th. They’re also giving him the first Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cinema Award for Independent Cinema, which includes a case of Provençal vintage wine every year for the next ten years…who says the French aren’t gracious? The festival includes screenings of some of Turturro’s films like MAC, Illuminata and his newest, Romance and Cigarettes — a musical starring James Ganolfini, Susan Sarandon and Kate Winslet in a modern day, working class Greek-style drama of animal urges, guilt and singing! There will be a screening of Bob Rafelson’s 1970 indie-favorite, Five Easy Pieces, in which Jack Nicholson works in the fields and “rides the fast lane to nowhere”— Rafelson will speak on his work. Dayna Goldfine and Dan Gellar will speak about their award-winning 2005 documentary, Ballets Russes, after a screening. The festival will also premiere 20 new features, documentaries and shorts from the U.S. and Europe and host roundtable discussions, filmmaker interviews and plenty of cocktail receptions. Vive le cinema! For complete listings see: avignonfilmfest.com.