Hot on the heels of the opening last night of the Venice Film Festival, the Telluride Film Festival this morning announced the official lineup one day ahead of its opening Friday. Get those shuttles ready from Italy to the Rockies to Toronto, because there are going to be some very tired filmmakers making their way to all three. (Check out the full lineup below.)
In something that will surprise absolutely no one, Venice’s opening-night film La La Land is also one of the prime titles appearing at this year’s Telluride, which runs through Labor Day Monday. With across-the-board initial critical raves (including from me), director Damien Chazelle and star Emma Stone are expected to accompany the film direct from the Lido. Right on its footsteps, just as it is in Venice, is Denis Villenueve’s sci-fi drama Arrival. Villeneuve, who was in Telluride with Prisoners a few years ago, won’t be along for the ride this time due to shooting Blade Runner with La La Land‘s als0-Telluride-AWOL Gosling, but star Amy Adams will be and she gets a special tribute from the festival.
Apart from those two Venice films, Telluride has its usual mix of Oscar-buzz titles, arty fare and film-nerd favorites. Among the other awards hopefuls will be Clint Eastwood’s Sully starring Tom Hanks. Producer Frank Marshall has a couple of spreads in Telluride and is a regular festgoer, so it is no surprise he convinced Warner Bros to premiere his latest film there just days ahead of its September 9 theatrical release.
Open Road, which last year had its eventual Best Picture winner Spotlight grabbing a North American premiere slot at Telluride, will be world premiering its terrific and fascinating boxing film Bleed For This starring Miles Teller in the incredible comeback story of prizefighter Vinny Pazienza, who survived a near fatal car crash. Teller is superb in this role, a real contender himself. Aaron Eckhart as his trainer is also very fine. Director Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight brings A24 back to the fest where it premiered the Best Picture Oscar-nominated Room last year. Trevante Rhodes stars as an African American man involved with another in what some are already calling a black Brokeback Mountain. It could be the sleeper of the fest, just as Room was.
Although Telluride does not ordinarily take films that have already conquered Sundance, the festival is is making an exception this year with the critically acclaimed Manchester By The Sea, accompanied by a tribute for its star Casey Affleck who is receiving strong Oscar buzz for his role.
One other Sundance refugee I’m told is making the flight will be the remarkable documentary The Eagle Huntress, which Sony Pictures Classics releases in October. I hear the star Eagle from the film will be travelling to Telluride as well and may even make an appearance at the annual party the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences throws for their members here each year. Hopefully that eagle doesn’t bite any voters. (The festival always has a couple of unannounced Sneak Preview slots, so even if a couple of these titles are not on today’s official release, they are expected to be there over the weekend.)
Several other documentaries are expected to screen including the powerful Netflix movie The Ivory Game which deals with the tragic African epidemic of elephant poaching. There will also be docus from such Telluride regulars as Errol Morris (The B-Side), Bertrand Tavernier (Journey Through The French Cinema) and Gianfranco Rosi’s Fire At Sea. Werner Herzog, who has his own theater named after him at the fest due to his countless appearances there, is bringing Into The Inferno. HBO’s wonderfully entertaining and honest Bright Lights, about the relationship between Debbie Reynolds and daughter Carrie Fisher from husband-and-wife directors Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens, will also be there after first wowing Cannes in May. Among the other Cannes titles on display: Cristian Mungiu’s Graduation, Pablo Larrain’s Neruda and Maren Ade’s hilarious and human German comedy Toni Erdmann.
Making a stop in the rockies on their way to Toronto are some films yet to get a high profile, such as French filmmaker Francois Ozon’s German-set post-World War I drama Frantz coming straight from Venice. There also will be the Canada-Ireland pic Maudie starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke; Benedict Andrews’ UK drama Una starring Rooney Mara, recipient of a Telluride Tribute last year for Carol; Mia Hansen-Love’s Things To Come with Isabelle Huppert attending; and Wakefield from writer-director Robin Swicord in which Bryan Cranston stars as a man retreating from his family due to a nervous breakdown. Jennifer Garner co-stars in the intriguing-sounding drama.
Sony Pictures Classics has always been a strong supporter of Telluride and among its lineup this year will also be Joseph Cedar’s Norman: The Moderate Rise And Tragic Fall Of A New York Fixer starring Richard Gere in a film aimed at a 2017 release date.
With lots of films, panels, parties and tributes, it promises to be a full weekend. Netflix, Sony Classics, Open Road, Lionsgate and the Film Academy are among those throwing dinners or receptions this year — important for a festival that could give further clarity to the emerging Oscar race for which Telluride has become an important, if early , cog in the wheel. This after all is the place where many Best Picture winners have gotten their first American exposure including Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech, 12 Years A Slave, Argo and others including last year’s Spotlight. Will that trend continue in 2016? Stay tuned.
Here’s the full lineup:
· ARRIVAL (d. Denis Villeneuve, U.S., 2016)
· THE B-SIDE: ELSA DORFMAN’S PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY (d. Errol Morris, U.S., 2016)
· BLEED FOR THIS (d. Ben Younger, U.S., 2016)
· CALIFORNIA TYPEWRITER (d. Doug Nichol, U.S., 2016)
· CHASING TRANE (d. John Scheinfeld, U.S., 2016)
· THE END OF EDEN (d. Angus Macqueen, U.K., 2016)
· FINDING OSCAR (d. Ryan Suffern, U.S., 2016)
· FIRE AT SEA (d. Gianfranco Rosi, Italy/France, 2016)
· FRANTZ (d. François Ozon, France, 2016)
· GENTLEMAN RISSIENT (d. Benoît Jacquot, Pascal Mérigeau, Guy Seligmann, France, 2016)
· GRADUATION (d. Cristian Mungiu, Romania/France/Belgium, 2016)
· INTO THE INFERNO (d. Werner Herzog, U.K./Austria, 2016)
· THE IVORY GAME (d. Kief Davidson, Richard Ladkani, Austria/U.S., 2016)
· LA LA LAND (d. Damien Chazelle, U.S., 2016)
· LOST IN PARIS (d. Fiona Gordon, Dominique Abel, France/Belgium, 2016)
· MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (d. Kenneth Lonergan, U.S., 2016)
· MAUDIE (d. Aisling Walsh, Canada/Ireland, 2016)
· MEN: A LOVE STORY (d. Mimi Chakarova, U.S., 2016)
· MOONLIGHT (d. Barry Jenkins, U.S., 2016)
· MY JOURNEY THROUGH FRENCH CINEMA (d. Bertrand Tavernier, France, 2016)
· NERUDA (d. Pablo Larraín, Chile/Argentina/France/Spain, 2016)
· NORMAN: THE MODERATE RISE AND TRAGIC FALL OF A NEW YORK FIXER (d. Joseph Cedar, U.S./Israel, 2016)
· SNAPSHOTS: EYES ON THE WORLD – three nonfiction short films including EXTREMIS (d. Dan Krauss, U.S., 2016); REFUGEE (d. Joyce Chen, Emily Moore, U.S., 2016); THE WHITE HELMETS (d. Orlando von Einsiedel, U.K., 2016)
· SULLY (d. Clint Eastwood, U.S., 2016)
· THINGS TO COME (d. Mia Hansen-Løve, France/Germany, 2016)
· THROUGH THE WALL (d. Rama Burshtein, U.S./Israel, 2016)
· TONI ERDMANN (d. Maren Ade, Germany/Austria, 2016)
· UNA (d. Benedict Andrews, U.K./U.S./Canada, 2016)
· WAKEFIELD (d. Robin Swicord, U.S., 2016)