1 August 2013 10:40 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The New York Film Festival has tapped “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” directed by and starring Ben Stiller, to screen at the festival’s centerpiece gala this fall.

The world premiere of the pic, due to hit theaters Dec. 25 in a 20th Century Fox release, is the second title so far to be announced for the 51st annual Nyff — a slate that’s being closely watched as the first under the leadership of the new director of programming and selection committee chair Kent Jones.

It’s too soon, however, to get a sense of how Jones’ tenure will immediately distinguish itself from the titles chosen in prior years by his predecessor, Richard Pena, a 25-year veteran of the fest and of Film Society of Lincoln Center, the nonprofit that presents Nyff. Both “Mitty” and the recently announced opener, Tom Hanks topliner “Captain Phillips,” are the kind of prestige studio »

- Gordon Cox

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