This year more than 200 films from 30 countries will be screened at the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival. The festival has just announced that acclaimed director Richard Linklater’s latest film, Bernie, will open the festival on June 16th.

Bernie is the story of a small town mortician who remains beloved by the community even after he commits a terrible crime. The LAFF will mark the world premiere of this black comedy (based on a true story), starring Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine and Matthew McConaughey. Festival director Rebecca Yeldham says, “With its fabulous all-star cast, Bernie is a perfect stage setter for the incredible lineup of original entertainment we’ve assembled for this year’s festival.”

Film Independent has also announced a lineup of guest appearances including conversations with James Franco, Julie Taymor, this year’s Guest Director Guillermo del Toro and frequent collaborators of the late Sidney Lumet (Dog Day Afternoon, Network).

Additional festival programming will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information on the Los Angeles Film Festival visit: For information on how you can see Bernie and the other films at this year’s LAFF, visit