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Pedro Almodovar’s “The Human Voice,” Sofia Coppola’s “On The Rocks,” And More Added To The New York Film Festival Lineup!

Moments ago, the New York Film Festival announced their new Spotlight section. For this 58th incarnation of the festival, a very unique one already, which will focus largely on outdoor and virtual screenings, NYFF is opening to try this approach, which will include sneak previews, gala events, screenings with live elements, and other more. Headlining this list is Pedro Almodovar’s The Human Voice, Sofia Coppola’s On the Rocks, Spike Lee’s filmed version of David Byrne’s American Utopia, and plenty more. It gives a glitzier sheen to the fest, which was somewhat lacking in that sort of thing this time around. The omission on the Main Slate of On the Rocks and The Human Voice initially was glaring, so it’s fitting that they’ll be playing at NYFF in the end. Read on for more…

Here is the press release about these NYFF additions:

Film at Lincoln Center announces Spotlight for the 58th New York Film Festival (September 17 – October 11). The new Spotlight section is NYFF’s showcase of sneak previews, gala events, screenings with live elements, and other special evenings.

“Prior to the pandemic, Dennis Lim and I 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,” said Eugene Hernandez, Director of NYFF. “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! This is what we’re aiming to do with our new Spotlight section, which this year features cinema’s brightest names (Spike! Pedro! Sofia! Tilda! Orson!), but also explores big topics and important ideas that our society is grappling with today: voter suppression and police brutality. Even though we’ll gather digitally and at drive-ins this year, rather than en masse at Lincoln Center, we hope our first Spotlight section will engage, enlighten, and entertain.”

Among the highlights are David Byrne’s American Utopia, Spike Lee’s filmed version of the exuberant Broadway musical; the newly unearthed Hopper/Welles, an extraordinary record of an intimate poolside chat between Orson Welles and Dennis Hopper; the World Premiere of Sofia Coppola’s On the Rocks, a lighthearted comedy of New York family dynamics, centered on a father/daughter duo played by Rashida Jones and Bill Murray; and The Human Voice, Pedro Almodóvar’s first English-language film, adapted from a Jean Cocteau play and starring Tilda Swinton. Spotlight also features two timely documentaries: Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortés’s All In: The Fight for Democracy, which confronts the racist history and present-day reality of voter suppression in the United States, anchored by interviews with Stacey Abrams; and David Dufresne’s The Monopoly of Violence, a powerful indictment of the harrowing police brutality against France’s Yellow Vest movement for economic justice.

The Spotlight section is programmed by Eugene Hernandez and Dennis Lim. In May, Film at Lincoln Center unveiled a reimagined New York Film Festival structure under the leadership of Hernandez, Director of NYFF, and Lim, NYFF Director of Programming. The festival’s offerings have been streamlined into five sections, including the previously announced Main Slate, Currents, and Revivals. Talks will be announced in the coming weeks.

Since 1963, the New York Film Festival has been a centerpiece of New York’s arts scene: an annual bellwether of the state of cinema that has shaped film culture in the city and beyond. Festival organizers will keep this tradition alive while adapting as necessary to the current health crisis. The safety of audiences and staff is the first priority. The 58th edition of NYFF will focus on outdoor and virtual screenings, as directed by state and health officials.

Stay tuned for more on the 58th New York Film Festival!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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