With two months until the start of the 49th New York Film Festival, the Film Society has some big news this afternoon. The 2011 NYFF will open with the North American premiere of Carnage, Roman Polanski’s adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s Tony Award winning play, God of Carnage.

The festival will kick-off at Alice Tully Hall here at Lincoln Center on Friday, September 30th and continue at Lincoln Center through October 16th.

Polanski’s new film, set amidst a tumultuous encounter inside a Brooklyn apartment, stars Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly. It follows the events of an evening when two Brooklyn couples are brought together after their children are involved in a playground fight.

The Polish-French filmmaker is no stranger to the New York Film Festival. His first feature, Knife in the Water, played at the first New York Film Festival in 1963.

“From Knife in the Water to Repulsion to The Tenant, Roman Polanski has shown himself to be an absolute master at making the most restricted spaces come to dramatic life,” praised Film Society program director Richard Peña today, “In Carnage, aided by four remarkable performances, he has reached a new pinnacle in his already extraordinary career.”

Peña is chair of the selection committee for the New York Film Festival and this year he’s again joined by four committee members, including Village Voice critic Melissa Anderson, Film Society associate program director Scott Foundas, Moving Image Source editor Dennis Lim and chief film critic from The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy.

This year’s selection committee is still screening films for the upcoming New York Film Festival. The complete lineup for the event will be announced in mid-August.

General public tickets will go on sale September 12th. There will be an advance ticketing opportunity for Film Society of Lincoln Center Patrons and Members prior to that date. To join the Film Society as a member or patron, click here.

“We are delighted to kick off the festival with a quintessential New York story featuring superb performances from a quartet of the finest actors working today,” explained Film Society executive director Rose Kuo. “The film will certainly provoke the kind of discussions about contemporary issues that guarantee a memorable night.”



To get the latest on the New York Film Festival, sign up for exclusive email updates from the Film Society.