'Blade Runner' Sequel to Open Haifa International Film Festival in October

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Ryan Gosling in "Blade Runner 2049."
Ryan Gosling in "Blade Runner 2049."Credit: Stephen Vaughan

“Blade Runner 2049,” the sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi classic, will be the opening film at the 33rd Haifa International Film Festival on October 5.

Harrison Ford will reprise the role of Rick Deckard in the belated sequel, which is directed by Denis Villeneuve. The French-Canadian filmmaker’s previous films include another sci-fi movie, “Arrival” (2016), the drug-smuggling thriller “Sicario” (2015) and crime drama “Prisoners” (2013).

The plot of the new film, which was made for a reported budget of $185 million, follows Officer K. (Ryan Gosling) of the Los Angeles Police Department, who exposes an old secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of humanity into chaos.

The festival in the northern city will run for 10 days until October 14. Other notable local premieres include films by acclaimed international filmmakers such as Yorgos Lanthimos (“The Killing of a Sacred Deer”), Andrei Zvyagintsev (“Loveless”), Agnes Varda (“Faces Places”), the Taviani brothers (“Rainbow – A Private Affair”) and Claire Denis (“Let the Sunshine In”).

Other premieres include Darren Aronofsky’s latest, “mother!,” starring Jennifer Lawrence; Tomas Alfredson’s serial killer thriller “The Snowman,” starring Michael Fassbender and based on the best-selling novel by Norwegian novelist Jo Nesbø; Stephen Frears’ historical drama “Victoria & Abdul,” starring Judi Dench as Queen Victoria; Jonathan Teplitzky’s “Churchill,” with Brian Cox in the title role; “Maudie,” starring Sally Hawkins as Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis; and Israeli director Oren Moverman’s caustic comedy-drama “The Dinner,” starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney and Steve Coogan.

There will also be two restored classics, both celebrating their 50th anniversaries this year: Luis Buñuel’s “Belle de Jour,” starring Catherine Deneuve; and Mike Nichols’ “The Graduate,” with Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft and some of the most celebrated scenes of modern American cinema.

There are also some special events. One is a tribute to U.S. filmmaker David Lynch, another a farewell to French legend Jeanne Moreau, who died at age 89 in July.

There are four events in the Lynch celebration, including two “Twin Peaks” movies (the 1992 prequel “Fire Walk With Me” and “The Missing Pieces,” featuring scenes that were cut from the prequel), plus screenings of “Eraserhead” and “Lost Highway.”

Tickets go on sale to the general public on September 20.

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