Oscar-winning actor Richard-Dreyfuss is to head up the list of star guests at this month’s Glasgow Film Festival, organisers have revealed.
The star of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jaws and Mr Holland’s Opus will be lured to the city for the premiere of his latest film, road trip comedy Cas & Dylan, as part of this year’s event.
Also appearing on the red carpet with the 66-year-old American actor will be the film’s director, Jason Priestley, the former star of Beverley Hills 90210, who has gone behind the camera for the first time on a feature film.
Monty Python star Terry Gilliam is also attending the festival, which is screening his new sci-fi film, The Zero Theorem, which he has billed as a follow-up to cult hits Brazil and 12 Monkeys.
His appearance has been confirmed just months after he and the surviving Monty Python comics revealed they would be reuniting for a series of live shows in London.
Dreyfuss was the youngest winner of the Academy Award for best actor for his role as a struggling thespian in The Goodbye Girl in 1977 - four years after shooting to fame with a starring role in the George Lucas film American Graffiti.
Steven Spielberg then cast him in both Close Encounters of the Third Kind, in which he had the real role as an electrician whose live changes after an encounter with a UFO, and Jaws, in which he famously battled the killer shark alongside Robert Shaw and Roy Scheider in the film’s extended gripping finale.
Dreyfuss, who moved to Hollywood with his family at the age of nine, first appeared on TV in the comedy series Bewitched in 1966 and landed his first film role the following year with a brief appearance in The Graduate, with Dustin Hoffman. His later films included Stand By Me, Down and Out in Beverley Hills and What About Bob?
The appearances of Dreyfuss and Gilliam in Glasgow will be a huge boost to the festival’s reputation for attracting high-profile talent.
The event will see actor John Sessions give a talk about his career working with the likes of Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Kenneth Branagh, Anthony Hopkins and Martin Scorsese, and appearing in films like Gangs of New York and The Iron Lady.
Glasgow’s 10-day event, which will open with a screening of Wes Anderson’s new film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, will boast its biggest ever programme, include more than 60 UK premieres, and a host of “pop-up” events at unique and quirky venues across the city, including Kelvingrove art gallery and deep below Central Station.
Sold-out events include a chance to see classic horror The Fog aboard Glasgow’s Tall Ship on the Clyde, a food-themed screening of gangster classic Goodfellas in an old fishmarket-turned-arts centre and a special event which will see a former glue factory turned into an amusement arcade for the night for a showing of Disney’s cult sci-fi favourite Tron.
Dreyfuss is the second Academy Award winner to be confirmed for the 10th GFF, after special effects guru Roger Christian, who won the statuette for his work on the original Star Wars film.
He will be in Glasgow for a special screening of his short fantasy film Black Angel, made in Scotland in the wake of Star Wars, and screened in the UK before the sequel, The Empire Strikes Back.
Allison Gardner said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to add another Oscar winner to our guest roster this year, and honoured that Richard Dreyfuss and Jason Priestley are coming to the festival.
“While he may be primarily known as an actor, Jason’s directorial work on Cas & Dylan contains a quiet, beautiful understanding of the human spirit that I think will surprise a lot of people.”
Cas & Dylan features Dreyfuss as a suicidal doctor who ends up going on the run with a 22-year-old woman, played by Tatiana Maslany.
Dreyfuss said: “I’m thrilled to be coming to Scotland and really looking forward to participating in the festival.’
Canada-born Priestly added: “The GFF is an eclectic, exciting festival with a great programme: our film will fit in perfectly. I decided to take on this film as my first feature for the oldest reason there is; the script.
“I really liked the story and characters and the relationship that the two characters of Cas and Dylan develop during the film.
“Having Richard in our movie immediately gave our film gravitas. He is such a talented, experienced performer, just his presence on the set made everyone raise their game.”
America-born Gilliam, 73, who is also expected to take part in a Q&A at the festival, also directed cult films Time Bandits, The Fisher King and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.
He said: “I’m delighted The Zero Theorem is helping the Glasgow Film Festival celebrate its 10th birthday. I look forward to being a part of the festivities and I’ll be wearing a candle.”
Allan Hunter, the film festival’s other co-director, added: “Terry Gilliam is one of the most visionary film-makers ever to be let loose on the world armed only with a camera and the boundless limits of his own imagination.
“I’m utterly thrilled that Terry will be coming to the festival and very much looking forward to any birthday-themed attire he wants to wear on the red carpet.”