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Anton Yelchin to Receive Artist to Watch Award

 Yelchin and co-star Felicity Jones to be Featured Guests at Opening Night Screening of "Like Crazy" 

Aspen Film announces today that Anton Yelchin, one of Hollywood's hottest rising young stars, will receive the Aspen Filmfest's 2011 Artist to Watch Award on the festival's opening night, September 21.

The award presentation, at Aspen's historic Wheeler Opera House, will immediately follow the screening of Like Crazy, the beautifully acted Sundance Grand Jury prizewinner directed by Drake Doremus and featuring Yelchin and Felicity Jones. The two co-stars will introduce the film and participate in a post-screening on-stage conversation, followed by a special VIP reception at Aspen's Sky Hotel.

Like Crazy will be released by Paramount Vantage later this fall. "We're tremendously honored to celebrate such an exciting young talent as Anton Yelchin" said Aspen Film Artistic Director Laura Thielen. "His beautifully nuanced performance as Jacob in Like Crazy gives the film its affecting emotional center. It's an unusual role that he inhabits with authenticity and brilliance. It's exciting to have an artist such as Mr. Yelchin working in contemporary cinema, selecting eclectic roles."  With his highly acclaimed performances in Charlie Bartlett (opposite Robert Downey Jr.), Jodie Foster's The Beaver, J.J. Abrams' Star Trek, and a slew of starring roles in major films this year, Anton Yelchin is quickly becoming a household name. Other noteworthy projects have included Terminator: Salvation (with Christian Bale and Sam Worthington); Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac (with Emma Roberts); Alpha Dog (with Bruce Willis and Emile Hirsch); Middle of Nowhere (with Susan Sarandon); and Hearts in Atlantis (with Anthony Hopkins) among others. Yelchin has also appeared in some of television's most critically acclaimed dramas, including starring opposite Hank Azaria on the Showtime series "Huff" for two seasons. He was last seen on the big screen with Colin Farrell and Toni Collette in the Disney/Dreamworks thriller Fright Night. Alongside Willem Dafoe, Addison Timlin, and Patton Oswalt, Yelchin will star as the title character in Odd Thomas, set to be released in 2012.  Felicity Jones earned a Special Jury Award for acting when Like Crazy debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. Jones recently completed several projects, including Hysteria, with Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy, and Rupert Everett; This Beautiful Fantastic, directed by Joel Hopkins; and Cheerful Weather for the Wedding, with Mackenzie Crook, Elizabeth McGovern, and Luke Treadaway. Additional film credits include David Hare's Page 8, Julie Taymor's The Tempest, Chalet Girl, Cheri, and Brideshead Revisited. She also has appeared extensively on television, including in "Northanger Abbey" and "Doctor Who," as well as on the stage. She will reunite with Drake Doremus for his next feature, a currently untitled film shooting in New York with Guy Pearce and Amy Ryan. The 33rd annual edition of Aspen Filmfest will be held September 21 - 25, 2011.

With an emphasis on independent productions from around the world and a uniquely intimate scale, Aspen Filmfest champions filmmaking at its finest. Positioned at the start of the awards season, the festival will showcase previews of new releases, acclaimed documentaries, and feature hits from the international circuit, including titles that premiered at Cannes, Sundance, and Berlin, among others. The festival will also welcome filmmaker guests. Screenings will be held at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen and at the Crystal Theatre and the new PAC3 in Carbondale. A complete festival program is available online at  

 Tickets are on sale now. Those for Aspen shows only can be purchased through Aspen Show Tickets at the Wheeler Opera House box office and through Tickets for Carbondale shows only will be available at the Blend Coffee Company, 1150 Highway 133, in Carbondale and online at   Aspen Filmfest 2011, presented by Starz, is also sponsored by the City of Aspen, The Aspen Times, Stella Artois, Hotel Jerome, Sky Hotel, and Aspen Public Radio.


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