James Gandolfini and John Magaro

The 50th New York Film Festival is shaping up to be an event full of firsts, with World Premieres in the Opening and Closing Night slots, the first time a 3D film will open NYFF and, of course, the first East Coast festival to reach its golden anniversary. In the case of our newly-announced Centerpiece film, David Chase’s Not Fade Away (another World Premiere!), it is also the writer-director's first foray into feature filmmaking.

Not that Chase is a new name by any stretch of the imagination. As the creator of one of the most lauded television series in history, HBO’s The Sopranos, he helped usher in a new wave of intelligent TV that put cable programming on the map and convinced more than a few detractors that the small screen was an artistic medium to be reckoned with. On the way he picked up a whopping five Emmy Awards and was nominated for 10 more. Add that to two more Emmys wins and six nods for his work on shows like Northern Exposure and The Rockford Files, as well as Directors Guild and Writers Guild Awards for The Sopranos, and the result is one of the most decorated television auteurs of all time.

For his Silver Screen debut, Chase has crafted a rich and tender portrait of a group of kids in 1960s New Jersey trying to capture the rock and roll dream by starting their own band. All the while, they must navigate the shifting social mores of the decade and the timeless pitfalls of suburban adolescence. Top of the list is James Gandolfini—reuniting with Chase for the first time since winning three Emmys and a Golden Globe for his work in the role of Tony Soprano—as the disapproving father of the band’s gifted front man, played by newcomer-to-watch John Magaro.

John Magaro, Jack Huston, Will Brill, and Brahm Vaccarella

Not Fade Away is a personal film with a backdrop very important to me, a period in American music that was one of the best. To have the film debut at the NYFF exceeds my wildest dreams and the dreams of everyone associated with the movie. So many of my favorite films have been revealed to the public at the NYFF. I'm honored and thrilled,” said Chase in a statement.

Film Society Executive Director Rose Kuo summed up our excitement about the film in a statement, saying: “It's a privilege to welcome David Chase to the New York Film Festival with his feature film debut. Not Fade Away's fun, music-infused world created by Chase offers an endearing and complex portrait of a young man's coming-of-age in the 60s and features terrific work by an ensemble cast of exciting new talent.”

Oh, and the soundtrack? 100% pure rock goodness produced by the legendary Steven Van Zandt of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. Not Fade Away is poised to become an American coming-of-age classic and may just carve out a place for itself on the roster of greatest rock movies of all time.

There will be a priority period for Film Society Patrons and Members before NYFF tickets go on sale to the General Public on September 9. Join the Film Society now to take advantage of the NYFF Member Priority PeriodMore information on festival ticketing can be found here. Be sure to follow Film Society and NYFF for the latest updates as we count down to this landmark event!