Organizers of the 39th Mill Valley Film Festival – set for Oct. 6-16 in Mill Valley and venues around Marin – have already announced a roster chock full of likely nominees for the 89th Academy Awards, and this week they revealed that their Opening Night films are two of the most star-studded, hotly anticipated films of the year: La La Land and Arrival. Both films are fresh from their Telluride and Venice Film Festival premieres and will make their Bay Area premieres at the MVFF39.

La La Land
In 2014, filmmaker Damien Chazelle screened his soon-to-be breakout film Whiplash at the 37th Mill Valley Film Festival, with Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich serving as host of a post-screening Q&A session that lauded the then relative newcomer’s achievement. Now Chazelle is back, this time with a musical that even musical haters will love. Starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, the film tells the story of a struggling jazz musician and his actress girlfriend singing, dancing and wise-cracking their way through a love letter to dreamers, artists, Hollywood and filmmaking itself.

Stone and Chapelle are expected to attend the Oct. 6 screenings (7pm and 7:15pm) at the CineArts Sequoia Theatre in downtown Mill Valley, as well as the Opening Night Party at Marin Country Mart in Larkspur afterwards. 

In award-winning director Denis Villeneuve’s (SicarioIncendies) riveting and deeply thoughtful drama, five-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams is a brilliant linguistics professor on a journey that leads her across time and space, to discover the force that unites all sentient beings on our planet and any others that may exist: the power of communication.

Adams is expected to attend the Oct. 6th screening at 7pm at the Century Cinema in Corte Madera. 


Following the two films, MVFF39 kicks off this year’s festivities with an Opening Night Gala (9-12pm) at the Marin Country Mart with food Belcampo, Big Jim’s BBQ, El Huarache Loco, FarmShop, Fiorello’s, Gerard’s Paella, Johnny Donuts, Pizza Antica and Sol Food, beverages from Coppola Wines, Bartenders Unlimited, Lagunitas Brewing Company and Equator Coffee, and music from the Ethan Tucker Band and the Crackerjack DJs. 


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