Chicago film festival to sneak-peek films starring Will Smith, Kristen Stewart, Matt Damon

Titles at the Oct. 13-24 fest include ‘The French Dispatch,’ ‘King Richard,’ ‘The Last Duel’ and ‘Spencer’

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The cast of Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” one of the opening night films at the Chicago International Film Festival, includes Elisabeth Moss (from left), Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Fisher Stevens and Griffin Dunne.

Searchlight Pictures

At next month’s Chicago International Film Festival, audiences will get an early look at new films by Wes Anderson and Ridley Scott, the long-awaited “Dune” adaptation, Will Smith as the father of Venus and Serena Williams, and Kristen Stewart as Diana, Princess of Wales.

Organizers on Monday announced the full lineup for the Oct. 13-24 fest, which will present nearly 90 feature films and 70 shorts in multiple locations.

Two 7 p.m. screenings will kick off the festival: Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” about the death of a magazine editor, at the Music Box Theatre, and “The Velvet Underground,” a documentary about the influential 1960s band, at the ChiTown Movies drive-in in Pilsen. The doc’s director, Todd Haynes, is scheduled for a virtual Q&A during the program.

Smith’s movie, “King Richard,” will screen at the Music Box on closing night Oct. 24.

Scott’s “The Last Duel,” starring Matt Damon and Adam Driver, is set to unspool Oct. 14 at AMC River East, and the new “Dune,” directed by Denis Villeneuve and starring Timothee Chalamet, is scheduled for the Music Box on Oct. 18.

The date and time for the Kristen Stewart movie “Spencer,” have not been announced.

Two directors from the United Kingdom — one newbie, one veteran — are scheduled to be on hand to accept awards and present their new works. Rebecca Hall, an actress known for “The Town” and “Godzilla v. Kong,” will present her directorial debut “Passing” on Oct. 20 at AMC River East. And Kenneth Branagh, whose credits range from “Henry V” to “Thor,” will unveil his autobiographical film “Belfast” the next night at the Music Box.

After limiting the 2020 festival to virtual and drive-in screenings in deference to the pandemic, CIFF this year is offering more in-person events, with restrictions. Proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test result will be required for entry to indoor venues, and mask use will be required except when eating or drinking.

Many 2021 films will be available for virtual screening.

Multifilm passes are on sale now, and individual tickets go on sale Tuesday for CIFF members and Friday for the general public at

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