Big news from the New York Film Festival today with just over five weeks to go until opening night. Twenty-five special programs and screenings round out the lineup for the 2011 Festival.

A selection of ten new documentaries highlight the list of Special Events set for the 49th NYFF, running September 30 – October 16 at Lincoln Center. Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky’s Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, the anticipated new film about the West Memphis Three will be unveiled at the festival. The U.S. premiere of the HBO documentary will include the first screening of the film with its new ending, including footage shot last week by Berlinger (pictured, left) and Sinofsky (pictured, right) in Arkansas on the day Jason Baldwin (pictured, center), Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelly were released from prison. Other documentaries on tap include Frederick Wiseman’s Crazy Horse, about the legendary Parisian erotic cabaret, Jeffrey Schwarz’ Vito, about the acclaimed queer cinema activist, and Nelson Pereira dos Santos’ Music According to Tom Jobim about the legendary Brazilian musician.

Another key highlight is The 99 – Unbound, the first animated feature film based on the DC Comics series of Islamic comic heroes by Naif A. Al-Mutawa and directed by Dave Osbourne. After the screening, Dr. Al-Mutawa will discuss the ideas behind the project and some of his plans for introducing The 99 to America.

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Restored film screenings, showing in the Festival’s Masterworks section, will include a new restoration of the original 1925 silent version of Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush. The screening will feature a new score restoration conducted by Timothy Brock, his 9th film commissioned by the Chaplin Estate, as well as a live orchestral accompaniment featuring members of the New York Philharmonic. Sara Driver’s You Are Not I, a film that was shot by Jim Jarmusch, was long considered destroyed by a warehouse fire. It has been rediscovered and restored for this special event.  Also on tap is Hugo Santiago’s Invasión and screenings of Karl Heinz Martin's From Morning Till Midnight with The Alloy Orchestra in person, as well as a rare showing of George Meliés' A Trip To The Moon, recently reconstructed and featuring a new original soundtrack by Air.

Numerous other special one-time only events are on tap for this year’s New York Film Festival. Among them are three episodes from Oliver Stone’s new Showtime series The Untold History of the United States (with a panel discussion), the special three part Dreileben with films directed by Christian Petzold, Dominik Graf and Christoph Hochhäusle, a salute to Roger Corman, a presentation about Rin Tin Tin with author Susan Orlean, and a panel discussion about famed film critic Pauline Kael. Also set is a tribute to the 20th Anniversary of Sony Pictures Classics.

Anniversary screenings on tap include a ten year celebration of Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums (with members of the cast in attendance), a tenth birthday celebration for Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away and a screening of The Exterminating Angel, Luis Buñuel’s film that opened the first New York Film Festival in 1962. The screening will kick-off a year-long retrospective of highlights from the past 49 editions of the NYFF leading up to the 50th in the fall of 2012.

The 2011 Views From the Avant Garde lineup, as well as a number of free forums at the 2011 New York Film Festival will be announced soon by the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

Special Events at the 2011 New York Film Festival

Masterworks Screenings:

The Gold Rush, directed by Charlie Chaplin (restored)
Invasión, directed by Hugo Santiago (restored)
You Are Not I, directed by Sara Driver (restored)

Special Presentations: Documentaries:

Andrew Bird: Fever Year, directed by Xan Aranda (USA)
The Ballad of Mott the Hoople, directed by Mike Kerry and Chris Hall (UK)
Corman's World: Exploits of A Hollywood Rebel, directed by Alex Stapleton and screening of The Intruder, directed by Roger Corman
Crazy Horse, directed by Frederick Wiseman (USA, France)
Don't Expect Too Much, directed by Susan Ray (USA)
Music According to Tom Jobim, directed by Nelson Pereira dos Santos (Brazil)
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, directed by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky (USA)
Patience (After Sebald), directed by Grant Gee (UK)
Tahrir, directed by Stefano Savona (France/Italy)
Vito, directed by Jeffrey Schwarz (USA)

Special Anniversary Screenings:

Castle in the Sky, directed by Hayao Miyazaki (Japan). 25th Anniversary Screening (Celebrating Animation Legend Hayao Miyazaki)
The Exterminating Angel, directed by Luis Buñuel (Mexico): 50 Years of the New York Film Festival
Howard's End, directed by James Ivory (20 Years of Art Cinema: A Tribute to Sony Pictures Classics)
The Royal Tenenbaums, directed by Wes Anderson (USA). 10th Anniversary Screening. Presented by New Wave
Spirited Away, directed by Hayao Miyazaki (Japan). 10th Anniversary Screening. (Celebrating Animation Legend Hayao Miyazaki)

Special Events:

The 99 – Unbound, directed by Dave Osborne with Naif A. Al-Mutawa

A Conversation with Susan Orlean, “Rin Tin Tin, the Life and the Legend” with Noel Smith's Clash of the Wolves screening.

Dreileben Parts 1 – 3: Beats Being Dead, directed by Christian Petzold; Don't Follow Me Around, directed by Dominik Graf; One Minute of Darkness, directed by Christoph Hochhäusler (Germany)

From Morning till Midnight (Von morgens bis Mitternacht), directed by Karl Heinz Martin (Germany) with The Alloy Orchestra. WIth A Trip To The Moon (La voyage dans la lune)

Oliver Stone’s The Untold History of the United States. Screening of the first 3 chapters of TV series with panel discussion featuring Oliver Stone, co-writer Peter Kuznick, historian Douglas Brinkley (Rice University) and journalist Jonathan Schell (The Nation).

Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark” with Fingers, directed by James Toback. Panel discussion with David Edelstein (Film Critic, New York magazine), Brian Kellow, Geoffrey O’Brien (Editor in Chief, Library of America), James Toback (film director), Camille Paglia (University Professor of Humanities and Media Studies, University of the Arts)

Sodankylä Forever Parts 1-4, directed by Peter Von Bagh (Finland)