Deadline’s The Contenders Makes New York Debut December 1; Lin-Manuel Miranda, Spike Lee, Jonah Hill Join Lineup

The Contenders New York

Deadline’s The Contenders, which began in Los Angeles eight years ago, is expanding to New York for the first time December 1. The awards-season showcase, which had its second-ever London edition in October and another sold-out L.A. event on November 3, will feature more than 20 films from 13 studios in New York.

Clips and onstage conversations will feature actors, directors, producers, writers and other key figures behind the season’s contending films. Academy and guild voters in attendance will get to hear backstories about how the films got made from the people who made them. 

Here are the confirmed films and panel participants for the inaugural New York event, to be held at the Director’s Guild Theatre on 57th Street:

  • Mary Poppins Returns: Rob Marshall (Director/Producer/Writer), Emily Blunt (Actor), Lin-Manuel Miranda (Actor)
  • Incredibles 2: Brad Bird (Director/Writer/Actor)
  • Ben is Back: Peter Hedges (Director/Producer/Writer), Lucas Hedges (Actor)
  • First Man: Wyck Godfrey (Producer), Josh Singer (Screenwriter/Executive Producer), Ai-Ling Lee (Sound Designer/Supervising Sound Editor/Re-Recording Mixer)
  • Mid90s: Jonah Hill (Director/Producer/Writer)
  • Green Book: Peter Farrelly (Director/Writer/Producer), Nick Vallelonga (Writer/Producer), Brian Currie (Writer/Producer)
  • BlacKkKlansman: Spike Lee (Director/Producer/Writer), John David Washington (Actor), Barry Alexander Brown (Editor)
  • First Reformed: Paul Schrader (Director/Writer), Ethan Hawke (Actor)
  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs: Zoe Kazan (Actor), Bill Heck (Actor)
  • Private Life: Tamara Jenkins  (Director/Prod/Writer), Kathryn Hahn (Actor)
  • The Kindergarten Teacher: Maggie Gyllenhaal (Producer/Actor)
  • If Beale Street Could Talk: Barry Jenkins (Director), KiKi Layne (Actress), Stephan James (Actor)
  • Can You Ever Forgive Me?: Marielle Heller (Director) , Anne Carey (Producer) , Amy Nauiokas (Producer), Anne McCabe (Editor)
  • Disobedience: Alessandro Nivola (Actor)
  • Leave No Trace: Debra Granik (Director/Writer), Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie (Actor)
  • A Private War: Matthew Heineman (Director/Producer), Rosamund Pike (Actor)
  • Three Identical Strangers: Tim Wardle (Director), David Kellman (Subject), Robert Shafran (Subject)

Participants from several other films, including A Star Is BornBohemian RhapsodyCrazy Rich Asians and Vox Lux, will be announced shortly as the lineup continues to be solidified. Go to for daily updates.

Deadline’s Awards Columnist and Chief Film Critic Pete Hammond will moderate panels throughout the day along with colleagues Mike Fleming Jr. (Co‐Editor in Chief), Dade Hayes (Contributing Editor), Dawn Chmielewski (Technology Editor) and Joe Utichi (AwardsLine Editor).

Michter’s Whiskey and Final Draft are sponsors, along with Amazon, Netflix and 20th Century Fox for meals during the day.

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