‘Joker’ Sneak Preview, ‘The Cotton Club Encore’ Confirmed For New York Film Festival

Dade Hayes

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A sneak preview screening of Joker, the Todd Phillips-directed Batman villain story starring Joaquin Phoenix, will be held at this fall’s New York Film Festival.

Organizers also announced Friday that Frances Ford Coppola’s The Cotton Club Encore will screen. Coppola recovered lost negatives to render the film, initially released in 1984, at its intended length, with restored sound and images. The filmmaker will appear in person for a Q&A, in a bookend of sorts to his appearance a few blocks uptown in the spring for the Tribeca world premiere of a newly enhanced version of Apocalypse Now.

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Joker is having its world premiere in Venice this month and will also screen in Toronto in early September. Warner Bros. will release the film wide on October 4. In New York, Phoenix, Phillips and other members of the film’s creative team will take part in what the festival is calling an “extended Q&A.”

Another special event announced Friday is a free, world-premiere screening of Roee Messinger’s American Trial: The Eric Garner Story. The film depicts the the “fictional but unscripted” trial of recently fired New York police officer Daniel Pantaleo. He was found by police officials to have violated policy for applying a chokehold to Eric Garner in Staten Island. Garner’s last words — “I can’t breathe” — galvanized the Black Lives Matter movement. The film features the testimony of real-life witnesses and friends of Garner, and the participation of two legal teams.

Special events also include a screenwriting master class with Olivier Assayas, who will discuss the process of adapting real events into creative work. An example is his newest film, Wasp Network, which is screening in this year’s main slate.

Martin Scorsese, director of opening-night film The Irishman, and Pedro Almodóvar, director of Main Slate entry Pain and Glory, will each take part in featured conversations, as will Bong Joon-ho and Atlantics director Mati Diop.

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