Celebrating its 48th edition, the Telluride Film Festival announced its official programming selections, which include world premieres of Kenneth Branagh’s “Belfast,” Mike Mills’ “C’mon C’mon,” Joe Wright’s “Cyrano” and Reinaldo Marcus Green’s “King Richard.”
Also on the docket are Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog,” Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “The Lost Daughter,” Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Hand of God,” Céline Sciamma’s “Petite Maman” and Pablo Larraín’s “Spencer.” Larraín’s film is opening the Venice Film Festival, where several of the films are screening before debuting Stateside in Colorado.
From the documentary side, festivalgoers will get a smorgasbord of subjects from acclaimed filmmakers such Todd Haynes (“The Velvet Underground”), Lisa Hfurwitz (“The Automat”), Liz Garbus (“Becoming Cousteau”) and Sam Pollard and Rex Miller (“Citizen Ashe”).
From the international circuit, selections include the Sundance hit “Flee” from Jonas Poher Rasmussen, an international animated documentary that co-distributors Neon and Participant hope will make the cut in those races as well as for best picture. In addition, films that played at Cannes are angling for another boost to their visibility with titles like “Bergman Island” from Mia Hansen-Løve, “Cow” from Andrea Arnold, “A Hero” from Asghar Farhadi and “Red Rocket” from Sean Baker set to premiere Stateside.
Telluride co-director Julie Huntsinger says this year’s lineup shows “a lot of expressions of hopefulness and joy, which have many different, and new voices.”
After the pandemic forced Telluride to cancel its annual festivities last year, studios are eager to get their films in front of audiences, even with the delta variant surging in the United States. “I feel good about all of our measures,” Huntsinger says. “We’re batting about 800 right now, which is really good. There was a last-minute decline just this morning for somebody. We’ve turned to senators, lawyers and people to help us, but the situation in Afghanistan also complicates things because the State Department is overwhelmed.”
The only film without talent attending is Australian director Jennifer Peedom’s documentary “River.” Her 2015 film “Sherpa” famously replaced the Aretha Franklin documentary “Amazing Grace,” which was pulled from the Telluride lineup following a lawsuit.
Huntsinger adds, “What we show, we contend is the best,” which she highlights with examples including Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial and screenwriting debut with Olivia Colman and Green’s biographical drama with Will Smith. “There’s a freshness to so many of these movies.”
Women directed 18 of the 34 movies in the lineup, a solid representation that will hopefully result in another strong awards season for diverse voices after best director nominations last year for Emerald Fennell and Chloe Zhao.
On Thursday afternoon, media outlets and press will be treated to the patron screening, an annual tradition that delivers a “secret screening” not announced in the programming. Past screenings have included James Mangold’s “Ford v Ferrari” and the documentary “He Named Me Malala.” Huntsinger confirms to Variety that the patron screening will not be Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” which debuted at Cannes, or Paul Schrader’s “The Card Counter” with Oscar Isaac. But that doesn’t eliminate the possibility of either popping up as special screenings over the five-day fest.
As movie theaters struggle along on life support following a cataclysmic year, Huntsinger says, “I think the interesting experiment with Disney Plus and HBO Max is that we can see movies always, and we’ll watch them again, especially people like us who really love them. I’ll watch ‘Black Widow’ a bunch of different ways, and especially these docs that we have playing, that look glorious on the big screen.”
The 2021 Silver Medallion Awards, given to recognize an artist’s significant contribution to the world of cinema, will be presented along with screenings of their films to Oscar nominee Riz Ahmed (for “Encounter”), Oscar-winner Jane Campion (for “The Power of the Dog”) and Emmy-winner Peter Dinklage (for “Cyrano”).
The 48th Telluride Film Festival will run Sept. 2 through Sept. 6. The full lineup is below.
“The Velvet Underground”
- “The Automat” – (no U.S. distribution yet) – dir. Lisa Hurwitz, U.S., 2021)
In-person: Lisa Hurwitz
- “Becoming Cousteau” – (National Geographic) – dir. Liz Garbus, U.S., 2021)
In-person: Liz Garbus
- “Belfast” (Focus Features) – dir. Kenneth Branagh, U.K., 2021
In-person: Kenneth Branagh, Jamie Dornan
- “Bergman Island” (IFC Films) – dir. Mia Hansen-Løve, France/Germany/Sweden, 2021
In person: Mia Hansen-Løve
- “Bitterbrush” – (no U.S. distribution yet) – dir. Emelie Mahdavian, U.S., 2021
In-person: Emelie Mahdavian, Colie Moline
- “C’mon C’mon” (A24) – dir. Mike Mills, U.S. 2021
In-person: Mike Mills, Gaby Hoffman, Molly Webster
- “Citizen Ashe” (HBO Max) – dir. Sam Pollard, Rex Miller, U.S./U.K., 2021)
In-person: Sam Pollard, Rex Miller
- “Cow” (IFC Films) – dir. Andrea Arnold, U.K., 2021
In-person: Andrea Arnold
- “Cyrano” (United Artists Releasing/MGM) – dir. Joe Wright, U.K., 2021
In-person: Joe Wright, Peter Dinklage, Haley Bennett, Erica Schmidt, Bryce Dessner, Aaron Dessner
- “The Duke” (Sony Pictures Classics) – dir. Roger Michelle, U.K., 2021
In-person, Roger Michell, Helen Mirren
- “The Electrical Life of Louis Wain” (Amazon Studios) – dir. Will Sharpe, U.K., 2021
In-person: Will Sharpe, Benedict Cumberbatch
- “Encounter” (Amazon Studios) – dir. Michael Pearce, U.S., 2021
In-person: Michael Pearce
- “Fauci” – (National Geographic Documentary Films) – dir. John Hoffman, Janet Tobias, U.S., 2021)
In-person: John Hoffman, Janet Tobias, Steven Wakefield, Peter Staley
- “Flee” – (Neon, Participant) – dir. Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Denmark, 2021
In person: Jonas Poher Rasmussen
- “Hallelujah: Leonardo Cohen, A Journey, A Song” – (No U.S. distribution yet) – dir. Dayna Goldfine, Dan Geller, U.S., 2021)
In-person: Dan Geller, Dayna Goldfine, Sharon Robinson)
- “The Hand of God” (Netflix) – dir. Paolo Sorrentino, Italy, 2021
In person: Paolo Sorrentino, Teresa Saponangelo, Luisa Ranieri, Filippo Scotti
- “A Hero” – (Amazon Studios) – dir. Asghar Farhadi, Iran/France, 2021
In person: Asghar Farhadi
- “Julia” – (Sony Pictures Classics) – dir. Julie Cohen, Betsy West, U.S., 2021
In-person: Julie Cohen, Betsy West
- “King Richard” – (Warner Bros.) – dir. Reinaldo Marcus Green, U.S., 2021
In-person: Reinaldo Marcus Green
- “The Lost Daughter” – (Netflix) – dir. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Greece/U.S./U.K./Israel, 2021
In-person: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dakota Johnson, Peter Sarsgaard, Ed Harris
- “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” – (No U.S. distribution yet) – dir. Dean Fleischer-Camp, U.S, 2021
In-person: Dean Fleischer-Camp, Jenny Slate
- “Muhammad Ali” – (PBS) – dir. Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon, U.S., 2021
In-person: Sarah Burns, David McMahon, Rasheda Ali, Michael Bentt
- “Nuclear Family” – (HBO Documentary Films) – dir. Ry Russo-Young, U.S., 2021
In-person: Ry Russo-Young, Sandra Russo, Robin Young
- “Petite Maman” (Neon) – dir. Céline Sciamma, France, 2021
In-person: Céline Sciamma
- “The Power of the Dog” (Netflix) – dir. Jane Campion, Australia/New Zealand, 2021
In-person: Jane Campion, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons
- “Procession” (No U.S. distribution yet) – dir. Robert Greene, U.S., 2021
In-person: Robert Greene, Dan Laurine, Ed Gavagan, Mike Foreman, Michael Sandridge, Joe Eldred, Tom Viviano, Terrick Trobough
- “The Real Charlie Chaplin” (Showtime) – dir. James Spinney, Peter Middleton, U.S., 2021
In-person: James Spinney, Peter Middleton
- “Red Rocket” (A24) – dir. Sean Baker, U.S., 2021
In-person: Sean Baker, Simon Rex, Bree Elrod, Ethan Darbone, Brittney Rodriguez, Suzanna Son
- “The Rescue” (National Geographic Documentary Films) – dir. Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, U.S./U.K., 2021
In-person: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, Mitch Torrel, Thanet Natisri
- “River” (Dogwoof Global Sales) – dir. Jennifer Peedom, Australia, 2021
- “The Same Storm” (No U.S. distribution yet) – dir. Peter Hedges, U.S., 2021
In-person: Peter Hedges, Noma Dumezweni, Mary-Louise Parker
- “Speer Goes to Hollywood” (No U.S. distribution yet) – dir. Vanessa Lapa, Israel/Austria/Germany, 2021
In-person: Vanessa Lapa
- “Spencer” (Neon) – dir. Pablo Larraín, U.K./Germany/Chile, 2021
In-person: Pablo Larraín, Kristen Stewart
- “Torn” (No U.S. distribution yet) – dir. Max Lowe, U.S., 2021
In-person: Max Lowe, Conrad Anker, Jennifer Lowe-Anker, Isaac Lowe-Anker, Sam Lowe-Anker
- “Unclenching the Fists” (MUBI) – dir. Kira Kovalenko, Russia, 2021
In-person: Kira Kovalenko
- “The Velvet Underground” (Apple TV Plus) – dir. Todd Haynes, U.S., 2021
In-person: Todd Haynes, Ed Lachman
Academy Award-winner Barry Jenkins, who serves as this year’s guest director, also serves as a key collaborator in the festival’s programming decisions. He has curated the following retrospective selections:
- “West Indies” (1979) – dir. Med Hondo, France/Mauritania/Algeria
- “Chocolat” (1988) – dir. Claire Denis, France
- “Looking for Langston” (1989) – dir. Isaac Julien, U.K.
- “Garden” (2003) – dir. Ruthie Shatz, Adi Barash, Israel
In-person: Adi Barash, Ruthie Shatz
- “Kahlil Joseph: Selected Works”
In-person Kahlil Joseph
- “Russian Ark” (2003) – dir. Aleksandr Sokurov, Russia
Additional film revival programs include:
- “The Apaches of Athens” (1929) – dir. Dimítrios Gaziadis, Greece
- “Fragment of an Empire” (1929) – dir. Fridrikh Ermler, USSR
To be followed by the presentation of the Special Medallion award to film scholar Annette Insdorf
Telluride’s intimate screening room featuring behind-the-scenes movies and portraits of artists, musicians and filmmakers include:
- “Andrei Tarkovsky: A Cinema Prayer” (2019) – dir. Andrei Tarkovsky, Italy/Russia/Sweden
- “Bernsteins’ Wall” (2021) – dir. Douglas Tirola, U.S.
In-person: Douglas Tirola
- “Dark Frames” (2021) – dir. Tom Thurman, U.S.
In-person: Tom Thurman
- “Edna” (2021) – dir. Eryk Rocha, Brazil
In-person: Eryk Rocha
- “Joyce Carol Oates: A Body in the Service of Mind” (2021) – dir. Stig Björkman, Sweden
- “Land of Gold” (2021) – dir. Jon Else, U.S.
In-person: Jon Else, Peter Sellars
- “Songs for Drella” (1990) – dir. Ed Lachman, U.S.
In-person Ed Lachman
- “Stay Prayed Up” (2021) – dir. D.L. Anderson, Matt Durning, U.S.
In-person: D.L. Anderson, Matt Durning, Phil Cook, Lena Mae Perry
- “The Story of Looking” (2021) – dir. Mark Cousins, U.K.
- “Three Minutes – A Lengthening” (2021) – dir. Bianca Stigter, Netherlands, U.K.
- “The Village Detective: A Song Cycle” (2021) – dir. Bill Morrison, U.S.
In-person: Bill Morrison
Other special screenings that will play throughout the festival include:
- “Lead Me Home” (2021) – dir. Jon Shenk, Pedro Kos, U.S. – short film
In-person: Jon Shenk, Pedro Kos
- “The Outsiders The Complete Novel”(1993) – dir. Francis Ford Coppola, U.S. – a new cut presented by Francis Ford Coppola and Matt Dillon
- “The Rain People” (1969) – dir. Francis Ford Coppola
In-person: Francis Ford Coppola
- “El Gran Fellove” (2020) – dir. Matt Dillon
Presented by Matt Dillon
- “Mississippi Masala” (1991) – dir. Mira Nair, U.S.
In-person: Mira Nair
Additional festivities include Ingmar Bergman’s “The Touch” (1971), a gallery of Laurie Anderson’s COVID-19 Zoom lectures entitled “Spending the War Without You” and a poster signing with 2021 Telluride poster artist Luke Dorman of Meow Wolf.
Telluride’s shorts program, Filmmakers of Tomorrow, includes three sections: student prints, calling cards, and great expectations from 18 emerging filmmakers worldwide.