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Bruce Dern Comes Home to Chicago for the Centerpiece Presentation of Alexander Payne's "Nebraska"

CHICAGO, IL (August 27, 2013) - The 49th Chicago International Film Festival (October 10 - 24, 2013) announces the selection of Nebraska, directed by Academy Award®-winner Alexander Payne, written by Bob Nelson and starring Bruce Dern, Will Forte and Stacy Keach, as the Festival’s Centerpiece Film. Nebraska will screen on October 16 at 7 p.m. at the AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois St.). The Festival will present Bruce Dern, winner of the Award for Best Actor at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, a Career Achievement Award in recognition of his outstanding and diverse work during this gala presentation.

“I’ve been a fan of Bruce Dern’s work since I first saw him in Sydney Pollack’s They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” said Founder and Artistic Director of the Chicago International Film Festival Michael Kutza. In fact, you could say I grew up on his films! He has worked with some of the world’s finest filmmakers: Hal Ashby, Walter Hill, John Frankenheimer, Francis Ford Coppola, Elia Kazan, Alfred Hitchcock and now Alexander Payne. Dern delivers, without a doubt, a knockout performance in Payne’s heartwarming and charming new film. We are proud to honor this fellow Chicagoan with one of the Festival’s top awards.”

After receiving a sweepstakes letter in the mail, a cantankerous father (Bruce Dern) thinks he’s struck it rich, and wrangles his son (Will Forte) into taking a road trip to claim the fortune. Shot in black and white across four states, Nebraska tells the stories of family life in the heartland of America.

Bruce Dern’s tremendous career is made up of playing both modern day heroes and legendary villains. Through decades of critically acclaimed performances, Dern has acquired the reputation of being one of the most talented and prolific actors of his generation. A celebrated stage actor, he was trained by famed director Elia Kazan at The Actor’s Studio and made his film debut in Kazan’s Wild River (1960). In the 1960s, Dern also found success as a distinguished television actor. He appeared regularly in contemporary Western TV-series as well as Alfred Hitchcock’s television series, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Hitchcock was such a fan of Dern, he cast him in both Marnie and, Family Plot (Hitchcock’s final film). During the 1960s, Dern went on to work with director Roger Corman and appeared in several of his classic and decade defining films including Wild Angels. He received critical success for films such as They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? and Drive, He Said and went down in history for his role as Long Hair in The Cowboys in which he became the first man ever to kill John Wayne.

Bruce went on to star in such classic films like The King Of Marvin Gardens with Jack Nicholson and Ellen Burstyn as well as playing Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby (for which he received a Golden Globe nomination). It was his brilliant and powerful performance in Hal Ashby’s Coming Home that earned him both an Academy Award® and Golden Globe nomination. Bruce co-starred with Charlize Theron in Monster, one of the most critically acclaimed independent films of all time, and he can also be seen on the HBO series Big Love. Most recently Bruce has worked with iconic directors Francis Ford Coppola in Twixt, Quentin Tarantino in Django Unchained.

Other credits include: Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte with Bette Davis, Douglas Trumbull’s Silent Running, Michael Ritchie’s Smile, Middle Age Crazy with Anne Margret, Jason Miller’s That Championship Season, Tattoo with Maude Adams, The ‘Burbs with Tom Hanks, The Haunting with Catherine Zeta Jones, Billy Bob Thornton’s All the Pretty Horses, Bob Dylan’s Masked and Anonymous, Down in the Valley with Edward Norton, Astronaut Farmer with Billy Bob Thornton, The Cake Eaters with Kristin Stewart. His other outstanding films include the much heralded After Dark My Sweet, Harry Tracy, On the Edge, Laughing Policeman, Posse, the great John Frankenheimer's Black Sunday, and Walter Hill's The Driver.

The grandson of Greek immigrants, Alexander Payne grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, where he was educated by Jesuits. He later studied History and Spanish Literature at Stanford University before earning an MFA in Film Directing at UCLA. His first two feature films were the comedies Citizen Ruth (1996) and Election (1999). About Schmidt premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002. Both Sideways (2004) and The Descendants (2011) won Oscars® for Best Adapted Screenplay and were nominated for four others, including Best Picture and Best Director. Four of his six feature films were filmed in Nebraska.

Festival Passes and Theater Information

Festival Passes are on sale now. Pass options include:

Moviegoer (10 regular admissions): $95 for Cinema/Chicago members, $125 for non-members.

Passport (20 regular admissions): $180 for Cinema/Chicago members, $240 for non-members

Purchase your pass by August 30th and get a $10 discount by using promo code 49Fest10. Passes can be purchased online at Individual tickets will be available to Cinema/Chicago members on September 18-20. General public tickets will be on sale starting September 21.

Festival screenings will be held at the AMC River East 21 Theater (322 E. Illinois St.). The full schedule will be announced on September 17.

Festival Sponsors

Led by Presenting Partner Columbia College Chicago, the 49th Chicago International Film Festival's sponsors include: Official Airline - American Airlines; Headquarters Hotel - JW Marriott Chicago; Producing Partners: AMC Theaters, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; Major Partner: Intersites; Supporting Partners: DePaul University School of Cinema and Interactive Media, Stella Artois, Effen Vodka, WBBM Newsradio 105.9, Cultivate Studios; Participating Partners: State Farm, AARP, Tres Generaciones®, Second City Computers, Shutterbox Entertainment, Gibson’s Restaurant Group, Creative Technology.

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 About Cinema/Chicago

Cinema/Chicago is a not-for-profit cultural and educational organization dedicated to encouraging better understanding between cultures and to making a positive contribution to the art form of the moving image. The Chicago International Film Festival is part of the year-round programs presented by Cinema/Chicago, which also include the International Screenings Program (May-September), the Chicago International Television Competition (April), CineYouth Festival (May), Intercom Competition (October) and year-round Education Outreach and Member Screenings Program.