Edward Asner, the Kansas City, Kan., native who found fame playing lovable curmudgeons, will come home next month for the Midwest premiere of a documentary about his life on and off the camera.
Asner will attend the Kansas International Film Festival at the Glenwood Arts in Overland Park for “My Friend Ed,” along with filmmaker Sharon Baker and his daughter, Liza Ellen Asner.
The film covers the 86-year-old’s career, most famously as gruff journalist Lou Grant on TV’s “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and the more serious “Lou Grant,” as well as such diverse movies as “Elf,” “JFK” and the animated “Up” and stage roles, including Broadway’s “Grace” opposite fellow Kansas Citian Paul Rudd. The film also shows Asner’s real-life role as an activist and the president of the Screen Actors Guild for two terms.
Asner will attend the screening at 5 p.m. Nov. 6 at the theater at 95th Street and Mission Road.
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Another KIFF documentary with local ties is “The Rush Brothers,” looking at the off-court troubles that plagued basketball star JaRon Rush, and the bond he has with siblings Kareem and Brandon. Filmmaker Jordan Haro and Kareem Rush, a retired NBA star, are scheduled to attend.
The festival, running Nov. 4-10, will include 160 films from 32 countries and more visiting filmmakers and performers than ever before, according to KIFF president Brian Mossman. In addition to showcasing independent films, the festival offers an early peek at studio films that go on to major theatrical releases and Academy Award buzz. For example, the festival kicks off with “Jackie,” in which Natalie Portman plays Jacqueline Kennedy dealing with the aftermath of her husband’s assassination.
For more information and the full schedule, see KansasFilm.com.