The New York Film Festival, whose longer-than-usual 2020 edition will run from September 17 to October 11, has announced the lineup for its new Spotlight section.
On the Rocks, director Sofia Coppola’s re-teaming for Apple and A24 with Lost in Translation star Bill Murray, will have its world premiere in the Spotlight lineup. Other titles include Hopper/Welles, a cinephile’s delight featuring a 1970 conversation between Dennis Hopper and Orson Welles; American Utopia, Spike Lee’s filmed version of David Byrne’s Broadway musical; and Pedro Almodóvar’s The Human Voice. Tilda Swinton stars in Human Voice, which is Almodóvar’s first English-language film.
In addition to Hopper/Welles, documentaries include All In: The Fight for Democracy, a look at voter suppression directed by Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortés; and The Monopoly of Violence, from director David Dufresne, an examination of police brutality in France.
The Spotlight section is described by NYFF presenter Film at Lincoln Center as a “showcase of sneak previews, gala events, screenings with live elements and other special evenings.”
Before COVID-19 altered the planet, programming director Dennis Lim and festival director Eugene Hernandez “spent time talking with each other and the Film at Lincoln Center staff about how we might reshape and focus the New York Film Festival,” Hernandez recalled in a press release. “We agreed that among the annual highlights are those special, one-of-a-kind events that unveil an anticipated new film by a well-known filmmaker, dig deeper into a topic or theme with a substantive conversation, showcase something new or unexpected, and even have some fun!”
The festival, always a highlight of the New York and film industry calendar in the fall, will look substantially different in its 58th year. With theaters still closed across the state, screenings will be held at drive-in locations or online and there won’t be any public events. In a rare alliance formed due to the pandemic, festival organizers also have pledged to collaborate and not compete with counterparts in Toronto, Venice and Telluride.