Del Toro, Franco, Taymor and 'Green Lantern' ready for LA Film Fest

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The Independent Culture

The 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival, which runs June 16-26, appointed Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro ( Pan's Labyrinth) as the Guest Director, a position held by David Lynch last year for its inaugural run.

In his role as guest director, del Toro will select a film to screen that has influenced him. His presentation will also follow a conversation.

"Guillermo del Toro is one of the most visionary directors of our time," said Festival director Rebecca Yeldham, in a statement. "Building on a tradition of providing our audiences with access to world-class artists and their work, we're thrilled to announce this round of Festival additions."

Produced by Film Independent, the fest screens over 200 feature films, shorts and music videos from more than 30 countries. The fest takes place in downtown Los Angeles and features some high-profile films in 2011.

The world premiere of Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, which Del Toro co-wrote, will close the Festival on June 26. The horror film stars Katie Holmes ( Batman Begins) and Guy Pearce ( The King's Speech).

Based on a 1973 tele-movie, the story follows a young girl who moves into a 19th century mansion with her father and his girlfriend, and starts hearing creatures in the cellar who intend to claim her.

Other announcements included a special screening of the superhero film starring Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern, starring Ryan Reynolds in the title role. Directed by Martin Campbell ( Casino Royale), it co-stars Blake Lively ( Gossip Girl) and Peter Sarsgaard ( An Education).

The tale follows pilot transform into a superhero, the first human chosen to join an intergalactic squadron who must protect the universe and maintain peace against a new enemy called Parallax.

The program includes 'conversations' with filmmakers including actor James Franco ( 127 Hours), who will world premiere his film Broken Tower, costarring Michael Shannon ( Revolutionary Road) about the brief life of the gay, American poet Hart Crane. Franco will conduct a conversation following the screening.

Besides the films in competition, a crime action film Drive, which debuts at Cannes, will be screened. It stars Ryan Gosling ( Blue Valentine), Carey Mulligan ( An Education), and Ron Perlman ( Hellboy). The story follows a cop for hire in LA  - stunt driver by night turned getaway driver.

Also, film and theater director Julie Taymor, who recently launched the troubled Spider-Man musical on Broadway, will participate in a conversation about integrating source material into another medium.