The Telluride Film Festival takes place Thursday, September 2 – Monday, September 6, 2021
After confirmations, non-firmations, rumors and healthy guessing, the official lineup of the 48th Telluride Film Festival has been announced and Kenneth Branagh’s personal, black and white family drama Belfast will have its world premiere not at the Toronto International Film Festival, but high in the mountains of Colorado.
Belfast is a semi-autobiographical film which chronicles the life of a working class family and their young son’s childhood during the tumult of the late 1960s in the Northern Ireland capital. The cast stars Golden Globe nominee Caitriona Balfe, Academy Award winner Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds, and introduces 10 year old Jude Hill. Dornan and Balfe play a passionate working-class couple caught up in the mayhem, with Dench and Hinds as sharp-witted grandparents. The film, which Branagh also wrote, will hit Toronto next week and Focus Features will release it on November 12.
Silver Medallion tributes will go to Jane Campion, whose new film The Power of the Dog will screen at the fest at its new outdoor venue, Town Park Stage. “Jane is such an auteur,” TFF Executive Director Julie Huntsinger said in an interview today with Telluride Daily Plant. “She’s a towering master who deserves all the acclaim.”
Town Park Stage will serve as a new, albeit temporary, outdoor venue when Telluride MountainFilm and TFF co-present the opening night Thursday film “Torn.” In spite of its having been shuttered during COVID, the Nugget Theater will be back in operation for this year’s festival, given that TFF recently acquired the Nugget Building, which now serves as its local headquarters.
Peter Dinklage will receive a tribute and world premiere his new film, the feature adaptation of the musical version of Cyrano, which he originated on the stage. Riz Ahmed will also be feted, bringing the world premiere of Encounter as well as the LGBTQ animated documentary Flee, which he executive produced. “Peter Dinklage’s portrayal of Cyrano (Joe Wright) is in the most open-hearted, beautiful way,” Huntsinger said. “I honestly don’t think Riz is ever going to do a bad role. I don’t know if we’ve ever seen someone so thoroughly gifted at conveying authentic human emotion as he is portraying a character.”
A Special Medallion Award will also be awarded to film scholar Annette Insdorf, who has participated in TFF noon seminars for decades.
Academy Award-winning director Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) will serve as this year’s Guest Director, a key collaborator in the festival’s programming decisions.
“While it seems kind of effortless, I know Barry gave a great deal of thought to his movie selections, which are so perfect and interesting,” Huntsinger said. “Very cleverly, he’s got a Claire Denis film — he’s an avowed fan — and then he’s got some very cool, very modern art world stuff with Kahil Joseph and Isaac Julien. The print for ‘West Indies’ is a 35 mm print that we had to beg the Harvard Film Archive to let us borrow.”
Most of my predicted list showed up, including King Richard, The Hand of God, Spencer, The Rescue, Julia, A Hero, The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, C’mon C’mon and more. Here is the complete lineup.
• THE AUTOMAT (d. Lisa Hurwitz, U.S., 2021) In person: Lisa Hurwitz
• BECOMING COUSTEAU (d. Liz Garbus, U.S., 2021) In person: Liz Garbus
• BELFAST (d. Kenneth Branagh, U.K., 2021) In person: Kenneth Branagh, Jamie Dornan
• BERGMAN ISLAND (d. Mia Hansen-Løve, France/Germany/Sweden, 2021) In person: Mia Hansen-Løve
• BITTERBRUSH (d. Emelie Mahdavian, U.S., 2021) In person: Emelie Mahdavian, Colie Moline
• C’MON C’MON (d. Mike Mills, U.S., 2021) In person: Mike Mills, Gaby Hoffman, Molly Webster
• CITIZEN ASHE (d. Sam Pollard, Rex Miller, U.S./U.K., 2021) In person: Sam Pollard, Rex Miller
• COW (d. Andrea Arnold, U.K., 2021) In person: Andrea Arnold
• CYRANO (d. Joe Wright, U.K., 2021) In person: Joe Wright, Peter Dinklage, Haley Bennett, Erica Schmidt, Bryce Dessner, Aaron Dessner
• THE DUKE (d. Roger Michell, U.K., 2021) In person: Roger Michell, Helen Mirren
• THE ELECTRICAL LIFE OF LOUIS WAIN (d. Will Sharpe, U.K., 2021) In person: Will Sharpe, Benedict Cumberbatch
• ENCOUNTER (d. Michael Pearce, U.S., 2021) In person: Michael Pearce
• FAUCI (d. John Hoffman, Janet Tobias, U.S., 2021) In person: John Hoffman, Janet Tobias, Steven Wakefield, Peter Staley
• FLEE (d. Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Denmark, 2021) In person: Jonas Poher Rasmussen
• HALLELUJAH: LEONARD COHEN, A JOURNEY, A SONG (d. Dayna Goldfine, Dan Geller, U.S., 2021) In person: Dan Geller, Dayna Goldfine, Sharon Robinson,
• THE HAND OF GOD (d. Paolo Sorrentino, Italy, 2021) In person: Paolo Sorrentino, Teresa Saponangelo, Luisa Ranieri, Filippo Scotti
• A HERO (d. Asghar Farhadi, Iran/France, 2021) In person: Asghar Farhadi
• JULIA (d. Julie Cohen, Betsy West, U.S., 2021) In person: Julie Cohen, Betsy West
• KING RICHARD (d. Reinaldo Marcus Green, U.S., 2021) In person: Reinaldo Marcus Green
• THE LOST DAUGHTER (d. 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 (d. Dean Fleischer-Camp, Jenny Slate, U.S, 2021) In person: Dean Fleischer-Camp, Jenny Slate
• MUHAMMAD ALI (d. Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon, U.S., 2021) In person: Sarah Burns, David McMahon, Rasheda Ali, Michael Bentt
• NUCLEAR FAMILY (d. Ry Russo-Young, U.S., 2021) In person: Ry Russo-Young, Sandra Russo, Robin Young
• PETITE MAMAN (d. Céline Sciamma, France, 2021) In person: Céline Sciamma
• THE POWER OF THE DOG (d. Jane Campion, Australia/New Zealand, 2021) In person: Jane Campion, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons
• PROCESSION (d. 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 (d. James Spinney, Peter Middleton, U.S., 2021) In person: James Spinney, Peter Middleton
• RED ROCKET (d. Sean Baker, U.S., 2021) In person: Sean Baker, Simon Rex, Bree Elrod, Ethan Darbone, Brittney Rodriguez, Suzanna Son
• THE RESCUE (d. Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, U.S./U.K., 2021) In person: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, Mitch Torrel, Thanet Natisri
• RIVER (d. Jennifer Peedom, Australia, 2021)
• THE SAME STORM (d. Peter Hedges, U.S., 2021) In person: Peter Hedges, Noma Dumezweni, Mary-Louise Parker
• SPEER GOES TO HOLLYWOOD (d. Vanessa Lapa, Israel/Austria/Germany, 2021) In person: Vanessa Lapa
• SPENCER (d. Pablo Larraín, U.K./Germany/Chile, 2021) In person: Pablo Larraín, Kristen Stewart
• TORN (d. Max Lowe, U.S., 2021) In person: Max Lowe, Conrad Anker, Jennifer Lowe-Anker, Isaac Lowe-Anker, Sam Lowe-Anker
• UNCLENCHING THE FISTS (d. Kira Kovalenko, Russia, 2021) In person: Kira Kovalenko
• THE VELVET UNDERGROUND (d. Todd Haynes, U.S., 2021) In person: Todd Haynes, Ed Lachman
Barry Jenkins, this year’s Guest Director, serves as a key collaborator in the Festival’s programming decisions. He has curated the following special selections:
• WEST INDIES (d. Med Hondo, France/Mauritania/Algeria, 1979)
• CHOCOLAT (d. Claire Denis, France, 1988)
• LOOKING FOR LANGSTON (d. Isaac Julien, U.K., 1989)
• GARDEN (d. Ruthie Shatz, Adi Barash, Israel, 2003) In person: Adi Barash, Ruthie Shatz
• KAHLIL JOSEPH: SELECTED WORKS In person: Kahlil Joseph
• RUSSIAN ARK (d. Aleksandr Sokurov, Russia, 2003)
Additional film revival programs include THE APACHES OF ATHENS (d. Dimítrios Gaziadis, Greece, 1929), and FRAGMENT OF AN EMPIRE (d. Fridrikh Ermler, USSR, 1929), the latter of which will follow a presentation of the Special Medallion award to film scholar Annette Insdorf. The Special Medallion is given to celebrate a hero of cinema who preserves, honors and presents great movies.
Backlot, Telluride’s intimate screening room featuring behind-the-scenes movies and portraits of artists, musicians, and filmmakers will screen the following programs:
• ANDREI TARKOVSKY: A CINEMA PRAYER (d. Andrei Tarkovsky, Italy/Russia/Sweden, 2019)
• BERNSTEIN’S WALL (d. Douglas Tirola, U.S., 2021) In person: Douglas Tirola
• DARK FRAMES (d. Tom Thurman, U.S., 2021) In person: Tom Thurman
• EDNA (d. Eryk Rocha, Brazil, 2021) In person: Eryk Rocha
• JOYCE CAROL OATES: A BODY IN THE SERVICE OF MIND (d. Stig Björkman, Sweden, 2021)
• LAND OF GOLD (d. Peter Sellars, U.S., 2021) In person: Jon Else, Peter Sellars
• SONGS FOR DRELLA (d. Ed Lachman, U.S., 1990) In person: Ed Lachman
• STAY PRAYED UP (d. D.L. Anderson, Matt Durning, U.S., 2021) In person: D.L. Anderson, Matt Durning, Phil Cook, Lena Mae Perry
• THE STORY OF LOOKING (d. Mark Cousins, U.K., 2021)
• THREE MINUTES – A LENGTHENING (d. Bianca Stigter, Netherlands, U.K., 2021)
• THE VILLAGE DETECTIVE: A SONG CYCLE (d. Bill Morrison, U.S., 2021) In person: Bill Morrison
Special Screenings will play throughout the Festival including the short film LEAD ME HOME (d. Jon Shenk, Pedro Kos, U.S., 2021) with both filmmakers in person; a new cut of THE OUTSIDERS (d. Francis Ford Coppola, U.S., 1993) presented by Coppola and Matt Dillon; THE RAIN PEOPLE (d. Francis Ford Coppola, U.S., 1969) with Coppola in person; EL GRAN FELLOVE (d. Matt Dillon, U.S., 2020) presented by Dillon; and MISSISSIPPI MASALA (d. Mira Nair, U.S., 1991) with Nair in person.
Additional Festivities will take place throughout the Festival including THE TOUCH (d. Ingmar Bergman, Sweden, 1971); a gallery of Laurie Anderson’s Covid-19 Zoom lectures entitled: SPENDING THE WAR WITHOUT YOU; and a Poster Signing with previously announced 2021 poster artist Luke Dorman of Meow Wolf.