In Contention


Fall festivals ready for their close-up

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 12:03 pm · August 17th, 2010

In the last couple of weeks the major fall film festivals have unveiled aggressively competitive line-ups, and the amount of potential awards product landing at Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York is, as usual, vast.

There are plenty of overlapping exhibitions but as for firsties, Venice will get dibs on Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan,” Julie Taymor’s “The Tempest,” Julian Schnabel’s “Miral,” Ben Affleck’s “The Town,” and Richard J. Lewis’s “Barney’s Version” before the films make their way to other fests.  Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere” will be exclusive to the Lido.

New York, meanwhile, landed a real coup by boasting the world premiere of David Fincher’s “The Social Network,” which will not be at the other fests.

Toronto is again packed to the gills with product (too much, if you ask me, but it’s a media circus after all).  Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter” will see its first bow there before heading off to New York in October.  Tony Goldwyn’s “Conviction” will also debut, as well as John Madden’s “The Debt,” Rowan Joffe’s “Brighton Rock,” Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden’s “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” and Nigel Cole’s “Made in Dagenham.” World premieres searching for distributors at the fest include Robert Redford’s “The Conspirator,” John Cameron Mitchell’s “Rabbit Hole” and Dustin Lance Black’s “What’s Wrong with Virginia,” any of which could end up being awards season possibilities.

I know the Telluride line-up, but shouldn’t really divulge it here.  They like to keep it secret, so I’ll respect that, even if Jay Fernandez and The Hollywood Reporter does not.  If you’re not seeing a number of films in that last graph that you thought were seeing world premieres at Toronto, well…there’s your answer.  Their real premieres will be in the Colorado mountains a few days earlier.

The only films announced for London so far are the Fox Searchlight bookends: “127 Hours” and “Never Let Me Go,” both of which will have already played other fests.  But they’ve landed intriguing premieres across the pond before so we’ll keep an eye out.

And don’t forget about Fantastic Fest, which really made an awards season splash a few years ago when Paul Thomas Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood” premiered there.  Matt Reeves’s “Let Me In” was announced today as the opening night film, though it will have already played Toronto by that time.  I hear it’s going to be an exceptional line-up this year, so perhaps it’s wise to keep an eye on announcements coming out of Austin.

There will be plenty of Sundance and Cannes carry-overs as well, but we should know plenty about this year’s awards season a month from today.  For now, that’s my round-up of a few things to look for.  Guy will be covering Venice and London and I will be doing Telluride, but we won’t have a presence in Toronto or New York.

And as a reminder, I won’t be updating the predictions or writing a new Off the Carpet column until August 30.  This lull is vital to my sanity (and, trust me, yours).




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15 responses so far

  • 1 8-17-2010 at 12:15 pm

    Kid said...

    Any idea if London Boulevard or The Way Back will be showing anywhere? They both really need distribution and wouldn’t a film festival be a prime way to get some? Also do you think the Coen brothers are done with True Grit? Cause they haven’t missed the film festival circuit in a long time.

  • 2 8-17-2010 at 12:18 pm

    Kid said...

    Also do you have any idea on the production status of Restless, Grand Master or The Tree of Life.

  • 3 8-17-2010 at 12:23 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    The Coens are not finished with True Grit. Neither that film nor The Fighter will be doing the festival thing.

    Unsure of the others, though I imagine Malick is, as always, still tinkering with Tree.

  • 4 8-17-2010 at 12:36 pm

    marco70go said...

    Actually The Tempest will be the closing film at Venice Film Festival, out of competition.

  • 5 8-17-2010 at 12:39 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Yeah, noted. I only looked at the competition line-up for Venice and never looked at the other programs. Was juggling lots of tabs!

  • 6 8-17-2010 at 12:44 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    black swan and the social network are my most anticipated. also true grit but thatll be a long time before we know if its a big player

  • 7 8-17-2010 at 12:51 pm

    kid said...

    I think it’s also worth noting that Toronto is getting the King’s Speech as well.

    Why is there no Toronto coverage this year though?

  • 8 8-17-2010 at 12:56 pm

    Fitz said...

    I imagine True Grit will finish in time for it to be a contender.

    Really hoping that The Town gets some great feedback, as well as Black Swan.

  • 9 8-17-2010 at 12:57 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    kid: See Telluride note re: films not mentioned in the Toronto graph.

    As for why we won’t be there, John has since left the site and between Venice and Telluride, we’re generally covered. The only film that really needed to be seen last year that wasn’t at either fest was A Serious Man and Focus screened it here in LA the same day anyway. I didn’t try to get a correspondent this year and would personally rather not enter that crazed media vortex so we’re opting out for a change.

  • 10 8-17-2010 at 2:17 pm

    Mr. F said...

    “Rabbit Hole” is still looking for a distributor? I though Fox Searchlight was going to release it.

  • 11 8-17-2010 at 2:50 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    No, that’s been a misconception all year long. They had a first look deal with the production company but they are not distributing.

  • 12 8-17-2010 at 3:42 pm

    ninja said...

    Black Swan trailer is up and looks fantastic. If this or Inception won Best Picture, I`d be a happy camper. But I`m affraid that some generic Oscar wankjob that makes AMPAS feel good about themselves, like Crash, Driving Miss Daisy, Slumdog, will emerge from Toronto. Like Miral. The premise itself is a pukefest maximus – Palestinian girl caught between a terrorist boyfriend and elderly mentor who believes education is a road to peace. Who bets mentor dies so that our heroine can make the right choice and continue mentor`s work? Who cares? Hopefully nobody but that`s exactly kind of a Lifetime movie that AMPAS goes gaga for. Early word is meh. but when did that stop them from nominating something. The Reader, anyone?

    Anyway, rooting for genre movies as always but if they really don`t want to award sci fi or horror again, than Social Network would do. Looks the best of AMPAS-friendly movies and I love the cast.

  • 13 8-17-2010 at 8:04 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    Slumdog is much better than Crash, it is no “wankjob”.

    The Reader was an awful nomination to be sure but there is no WAY Miral is getting nominated. Not unless the awards season slate completely blows.

  • 14 8-17-2010 at 9:46 pm

    Dooby said...

    @ninja TOTALLY agree about Black Swan and Inception – I would love a genre film to get the best picture win. Inception was brilliant and judging by it’s trailer, so was Black Swan.
    Other films I’m looking forward too – Never let me go, The Town, Rabbithole, The Tempest and The Debt all looking good.

  • 15 8-17-2010 at 9:48 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Matt: Ninja’s a baiter of the worst kind. Best to just bow out and keep skimming.