By Jeff Labrecque
Updated August 17, 2011 at 07:10 PM EDT
Credit: Merie Wallace

The New York Film Festival announced its main slate for this fall’s celebration, including news that Alexander Payne’s The Descendants will be featured on closing night. Payne’s first film since 2004’s Sideways, starring George Clooney as a Hawaiian who learns that his injured wife was having an affair behind his back, joins Roman Polanski’s Carnage (Opening Night), My Week With Marilyn (Centerpiece), David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method (Gala), and Pedro Almodóvar’s The Skin I Live In (Gala) as showcase screenings.

The festival features many international entries, including This is Not a Film (Iran), as well as several films that were feted at Cannes earlier this year, such as Lars von Trier’s Melancholia and Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist. One film not invited was Kenneth Lonergan’s long-awaited sophomore effort, Margaret, a film that’s been called a “a love story to a post-9/11 America and New York City.” Coincidentally, that film opens in theaters on Sept. 30, the first day of the festival.

A total of 27 films make up the main section of the 49th NYFF:

4:44: Last Day On Earth, directed by Abel Ferrara (USA)

A Separation, directed by Asghar Farhadi (Iran)

Corpo Celeste, directed by Alice Rohrwacher (Italy/Switzerland/France)

Footnote, directed by Joseph Cedar (Israel)

George Harrison: Living In The Material World, directed by Martin Scorsese (USA)

Goodbye First Love, directed by Mia Hansen-Løve (France/Germany)

Le Havre, directed by Aki Kaurismäki (Finland/France/Germany)

Martha Marcy May Marlene, directed by Sean Durkin (USA)

Melancholia, directed by Lars von Trier (Denmark/Sweden/France/Germany/Italy)

Miss Bala, directed by Gerardo Naranjo (Mexico)

Once Upon A Time In Anatolia, directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey)

Pina, directed by Wim Wenders (Germany/France/UK)

Play, directed by Ruben Östlund (Sweden/France/Denmark)

Policeman, directed by Nadav Lapid (Israel/France)

Shame, directed by Steve McQueen (UK)

Sleeping Sickness, directed by Ulrich Köhler (Germany/France/Netherlands)

The Artist, directed by Michel Hazanavicius (France)

The Loneliest Planet, directed by Julia Loktev (USA/Germany)

The Kid With A Bike, directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (Belgium/France)

The Student, directed by Santiago Mitre (Argentina)

The Turin Horse, directed by Béla Tarr and Agnes Hranitzky (Hungary/France/Germany/Switzerland/USA)

This Is Not A Film, directed by Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb (Iran)

Opening Night:
 Carnage, directed by Roman Polanski (France/Germany/Poland)

Closing Night:
 The Descendants, directed by Alexander Payne (USA)

My Week With Marilyn, directed by Simon Curtis (UK)

Gala Screenings:
 A Dangerous Method, directed by David Cronenberg (UK/Canada/Germany)

The Skin I Live In, directed by Pedro Almodóvar (Spain)

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