‘Steve Jobs,’ ‘Black Mass’ and Sydney Pollack’s Swan Song Set for Telluride

Actress Rooney Mara, filmmakers Danny Boyle and Adam Curtis to receive tributes

The 42nd annual Telluride Film Festival promises yet another eclectic mix of fall Oscar hopefuls looking for a leg up on the season and international festival favorites hoping to make waves on these shores.

The four-day event kicks off Friday with a restored version of German filmmaker Fritz Lang’s 275-minute epic “Die Nibelungen” before diving headlong into a program that will feature the world premiere of Danny Boyle’s Michael Fassbender-led “Steve Jobs,” new documentaries from Oscar-winners Charles Ferguson and Davis Guggenheim and the final film from late director Sydney Pollack.

“We always say ‘all glory goes to the filmmakers,’ but we’re really lucky to have a bunch of beautiful, beautiful films,” Telluride executive director Julie Huntsinger said of the lineup, noting that passes sold out “stupefyingly fast” as the fest continues to be a popular mountain retreat for dedicated attendees.

In addition to “Jobs,” there will be a slew of other proper worldwide debuts at the fest, including Lenny Abrahamson’s bestseller adaptation “Room,” Sarah Gavron’s gender equality drama “Suffragette,” Guggenheim’s Malala Yousafzai doc “He Named Me Malala” and Ferguson’s climate change study “Time to Choose.”

A handful of Venice selections will screen in Telluride before heading to the Lido, including Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s stop-motion “Anomalisa,” performance artist and musician Laurie Anderson’s “Heart of a Dog” (a “dream-like essay poem” narrated by Anderson, according to the program) and Nicolas Saada’s “Taj Mahal,” focused on the November 2008 Islamic terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

In addition, films bowing in Venice set to hustle back across eight time zones for North American bows include Scott Cooper’s Whitey Bulger biopic “Black Mass” with Johnny Depp, Cary Fukunaga’s West African civil war pic “Beasts of No Nation” with Idris Elba and Tom McCarthy’s newsroom drama “Spotlight” with Michael Keaton.

Of particular note is a Sydney Pollack film that was never completed due to sound sync issues…until now. Documenting the 1972 recording session of Aretha Franklin’s biggest-selling album “Amazing Grace,” the film — which takes its title from the album — was “rescued” by former record producer Alan Elliott and will be “one of those movies that people say, ‘I remember where I was when I saw it. I saw it at Telluride and I can’t believe what a cool experience it was,'” Huntsinger said.

There are four Cannes titles on the lineup: Todd Haynes’ 1950s-set lesbian romance “Carol,” Lázló Nemes’ Hungarian Holocaust tale “Son of Saul,” Grímur Hákonarson’s humanist sheep farming drama “Rams” and Kent Jones’ “Hitchcock/Truffaut” documentary.

Meanwhile, Berlin premieres taking a Telluride pit stop on their globe-trotting festival tours include Andrew Haigh’s autumn marriage drama “45 Years,” Guatemala’s first-ever foreign Academy submission “Ixcanul” and Jafar Panahi’s playfully defiant latest “Taxi,” which won Berlin’s highest honor, the Golden Bear, in February.

Tributes have been set for “Jobs” director Danny Boyle, “Carol” star Rooney Mara and documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis (whose “Bitter Lake” will also play the fest). A Special Medallion will be given to Jeff Skoll’s production company Participant Media, with loving words from filmmaker Errol Morris in the program.

“Behind much of Participant’s innovation is the truism that ideas can be sold better in a non-didactic fashion,” the “Fog of War” Oscar winner said. “We are all lucky that Participant exists and remains committed to the public good.”

The company’s roll call of projects has included films such as “An Inconvenient Truth,” “Contagion” and “CitizenFour,” as well as 2015 Telluride selections “Beasts of No Nation” and “Spotlight.”

Telluride’s main program slate for 2015:

“Amazing Grace” (d. Sydney Pollack, U.S., 1972/2015)
“Anomalisa” (d. Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson, 2015)
“Beasts of No Nation” (d. Cary Fukunaga, U.S., 2015)
“Bitter Lake” (d. Adam Curtis, U.K., 2015)
Black Mass (d. Scott Cooper, U.S., 2015)
“Carol” (d. Todd Haynes, U.S., 2015)
“45 Years” (d. Andrew Haigh, England, 2015)
“He Named Me Malala” (d. Davis Guggenheim, U.S., 2015)
“Heart of a Dog” (d. Laurie Anderson, U.S., 2014)
“Hitchcock/Truffaut” (d. Kent Jones, U.S., 2015)
“Ixcanul” (d. Jayro Bustamante, Guatemala, 2015)
“Marguerite” (d. Xavier Giannoli, France, 2015)
“Mom and Me” (d. Ken Wardrop, Ireland, 2015)
“Only the Dead See the End of War” (d. Michael Ware, Bill Guttentag, U.S.-Australia, 2015)
“Rams” (d. Grímur Hákonarson, Iceland, 2015)
“Room” (d. Lenny Abrahamson, England, 2015)
“Siti” (d. Eddie Cahyono, Singapore, 2015)
“Son of Saul” (d. Lázló Nemes, Hungary, 2015)
“Spotlight” (d. Tom McCarthy, U.S., 2015)
Steve Jobs (d. Danny Boyle, U.S., 2015)
“Suffragette” (d. Sarah Gavron, U.K., 2015)
“Taj Mahal” (d. Nicolas Saada, France-India, 2015)
“Taxi” (d. Jafar Panahi, Iran, 2015)
“Tikkun” (d. Avishai Sivan, Israel, 2015)
“Time to Choose” (d. Charles Ferguson, U.S., 2015)
“Viva” (d. Paddy Breathnach, Ireland, 2015)
“Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom” (d. Evgeny Afineevsky, Russia-Ukraine, 2015)

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