MOVIES: Robin Williams comedy to close 2009 CineVegas

  Robin Williams is a tough act to follow. Good thing the 11th annual CineVegas film festival doesn’t have to.
  That’s because Williams’ “World’s Greatest Dad,” directed by comedian (and previous CineVegas guest) Bobcat Goldthwait, will close this year’s six-day CineVegas, scheduled June 10-15 at the Palms and its Brenden Theatres multiplex.
  With more world premieres than ever in its decade-long history, this year’s festival “will rock anyone looking for exhilarating new films from uninhibited and adventurous filmmakers,” according to Trevor Groth, the festival’s artistic director.
  The dark comedy “World’s Greatest Dad” features Williams as a high school poetry teacher (sound familiar, “Dead Poets Society” fans?) trying to connect with his teenage son (Daryl Sabara) and an art teacher (Alexie Gilmore) — until a freak accident triggers both tragedy and opportunity.
  Williams’ role “is sure to shock some and entertain all,” Groth says, while the movie “represents the kind of bold storytelling that CineVegas is all about.”
  The previously announced "Saint John of Las Vegas," featuring Steve Buscemi in the title role, will open the festival.
  Inspired by the success of last year’s inaugural documentary competition, the festival will reprise its “Pioneer Documentaries” section, featuring “seven nonfiction films that are as engaging and enlightening as any fiction film,” Groth comments. Among them: the world premiere of the poker documentary “All In.”
  The festival’s “Diamond Discoveries” spotlight new independent films available for distribution, among them director Wim Wenders’ “Palermo Shooting,” starring CineVegas chair Dennis Hopper, and “Vegas: Based on a True Story,” about a compulsive gambler and his blue-collar family living on the outskirts of Glitter City.
  “Sure Bets,” featuring advance screenings of studio-backed independents, include “Moon” (with 2008 CineVegas honoree Sam Rockwell as an astronaut nearing the end of a three-year lunar stint) and “500 Days of Summer,” a love-me, love-me-not tale with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel.
  The festival’s “Area 52” — devoted to midnight, underground and cult films — range from the ’50s classic “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman” to world premieres of the vampire buddy movie “The Revenant” and “Modus Operandi,” about a desperate CIA agent.
A special Nevada filmmakers’ section will spotlight features and shorts produced in Nevada, or by Nevada filmmakers, including the world premiere of “Thor at the Bus Stop,” which follows a mythical creature on his final journey.
  More information is available online at All-access and ticket packages are now available at, along with local, senior, student and military discount packages.