CHICAGO, IL â€“ The 49th Chicago International Film Festival (October 10 – 24, 2013) announces the selection of â€œNebraska,â€ directed by Academy AwardÂ®-winner Alexander Payne, written by Bob Nelson and starring Bruce Dern, Will Forte and Stacy Keach, as the Festivalâ€™s Centerpiece Film. â€œNebraskaâ€ 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.
â€œIâ€™ve been a fan of Bruce Dernâ€™s work since I first saw him in Sydney Pollackâ€™s â€˜They Shoot Horses, Donâ€™t They?â€™ â€ said Founder and Artistic Director of the Chicago International Film Festival Michael Kutza. â€œIn fact, you could say I grew up on his films! He has worked with some of the worldâ€™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 Payneâ€™s heartwarming and charming new film. We are proud to honor this fellow Chicagoan with one of the Festivalâ€™s top awards.â€
After receiving a sweepstakes letter in the mail, a cantankerous father (Bruce Dern) thinks heâ€™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, â€œNebraskaâ€ tells the stories of family life in the heartland of America.
Bruce Dernâ€™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 Actorâ€™s Studio and made his film debut in Kazanâ€™s â€œWild Riverâ€ (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 Hitchcockâ€™s television series, â€œThe Alfred Hitchcock Hour.â€ Hitchcock was such a fan of Dern, he cast him in both â€œMarnieâ€ and, â€œFamily Plotâ€ (Hitchcockâ€™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 â€œWild Angels.â€ He received critical success for films such as â€œThey Shoot Horses, Donâ€™t They?â€ and â€œDrive, He Saidâ€ 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 â€œThe King Of Marvin Gardensâ€ with Jack Nicholson and Ellen Burstyn as well as playing Tom Buchanan in â€œThe Great Gatsbyâ€ (for which he received a Golden Globe nomination). It was his brilliant and powerful performance in Hal Ashbyâ€™s â€œComing Homeâ€ that earned him both an Academy AwardÂ® and Golden Globe nomination. Bruce co-starred with Charlize Theron in â€œMonster,â€ one of the most critically acclaimed independent films of all time, and he can also be seen on the HBO series â€œBig Love.â€ Most recently Bruce has worked with iconic directors Francis Ford Coppola in â€œTwixt,â€ Quentin Tarantino in â€œDjango Unchained.â€
Other credits include: â€œHush…Hush, Sweet Charlotteâ€ with Bette Davis, Douglas Trumbullâ€™s â€œSilent Running,â€ Michael Ritchieâ€™s â€œSmile, Middle Age Crazyâ€ with Anne Margret, Jason Millerâ€™s â€œThat Championship Season,â€ â€œTattooâ€ with Maude Adams, â€œThe â€˜Burbsâ€ with Tom Hanks, â€œThe Hauntingâ€ with Catherine Zeta Jones, Billy Bob Thorntonâ€™s â€œAll the Pretty Horses,â€ Bob Dylanâ€™s â€œMasked and Anonymous,â€ â€œDown in the Valleyâ€ with Edward Norton, â€œAstronaut Farmerâ€ with Billy Bob Thornton, â€œThe Cake Eatersâ€ with Kristin Stewart. His other outstanding films include the much heralded â€œAfter Dark My Sweet,â€ â€œHarry Tracy,â€ â€œOn the Edge,â€ â€œLaughing Policeman,â€ â€œPosse,â€ the great John Frankenheimer’s â€œBlack Sunday,â€ and Walter Hill’s â€œThe Driver.â€
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 â€œCitizen Ruthâ€ (1996) and â€œElectionâ€ (1999). â€œAbout Schmidtâ€ premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002. Both â€œSidewaysâ€ (2004) and â€œThe Descendantsâ€ (2011) won OscarsÂ® 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.