A column chronicling events and conversations on the awards circuit.
If you need a clue that film awards season is gearing up to return to normal, look no further than the Telluride Film Festival gathering overlooking the Sunset Strip on the roof of a London hotel on Thursday night. The festival always hosts a West Coast reception in mid-June to kick things off and sate Hollywood’s appetite for their annual Labor Day weekend festivities. Telluride is part of the usual fall trifecta that also includes Venice and Toronto and marks the official start of Oscar season — and if you want a place to be recognized as an early contender for all those movie awards coming up in the next seven months. , down from last year’s eight but still above the normal pre-Covid six. Yes, we know voting for the Emmy nominations just started on Thursday, but the TV and film awards calendars are so hazy now that it’s really just become one huge huge campaign opportunity. rest assured we can handle both Here on the notes on the season, and we will. Of course the coronavirus pandemic has helped muddy the waters and the festival was canceled last year for the first time in nearly half a century’s history (as apparently this London hotel outdoor soiree), but if T-Ride is a regular If the studio is voted, publicists and any other indications, this cocktail reception means it’s back to business as usual. And as California ended social distancing and mask requirements this week, it was hard to find a mask anywhere in this crowd, which was clearly happy to see old friends and start speculating about what the Rockies would be like on Sept. (and going on for a longer day than usual).
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Movies moving to Telluride?
You can usually make an educated guess about which award contenders will show up in Colorado from the presence of a few studio consultants and executives at this particular event. Telluride famously doesn’t reveal any of its titles until the charter plane takes off, but I’ve heard reliably that Netflix — of course, still No Going to Cannes next month – if things work out T-Ride will have at least four movies. I’m Told Warner Bros. Just Confirmed Denis Villeneuve Dune For Venice, is probably: There’s also a movie going to be a hit on Telluride, possibly one of its anticipated fall titles like David Chase’s sopranos prequel Many Saints of Newark, Clint Eastwood’s Ro Macho Mac or even the title of November King Richard With Will Smith. Want to guess? A strong searchlight crew was seen, and they are usually good for a movie or two. Will Wes Anderson enter Cannes? french dispatch One of them is unknown (it’s also announced for NYFF), but the September release Tammy Faye eyes Makes sense with Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield. Amazon was in force on Thursday night as well, so expect some of its goodies. at this point it is All Speculation, but I’ve heard that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is also plotting the return of its annual festive cocktail reception. hope so.
a person is going sure The Oscar winner is Barry Jenkins, who has been a Telluride regular since he was a college student in 2002, working various jobs for the festival and programming the shorts program, among other things. On Thursday, he was announced as the guest director and will be preparing the selection of films for that coveted annual post. He was also the guest of honor at Thursday night’s reception, and after congratulating the Emmy-competitive 10-part Amazon limited series on his monumental must-see underground Railroad, I had to ask which films he would be programming. But as a veteran of T-Ride’s privacy, he gave no indication. “If I told you I’d have to…,” he began to say, but I ended the sentence for him. As far as getting back to that fest this year where his Oscar-winning Best Picture is concerned Moonlight premiered, he said he would not miss it and would stay regardless. Of course. This applies to me as well, and my pass has rolled over from last year. Julie Huntsinger, who co-directs the fest with Tom Ludy, was excited to see everyone walk out (London’s rooftop is a great, COVID-safe place) and told me she wasn’t going to Cannes in July . She’s not alone in this, but it’s a normal May birth two months later, so timing is a bigger problem than usual. Huntsinger and Ludi are always very much there, investigating possible films to bring to Telluride. From what I’ve heard, T-Ride has no problem getting a tempting selection of movies to show without hunting some of them on the Croisette. People are clearly excited to go back—and Move back To normalize this. Another year is unthinkable without spending Labor Day weekend on a gondola in Telluride.
Trump Time for Showtime
But back to the Emmys. Remember them? Voters (I’m one of them) are inundated with a tsunami of content vying for TV’s top prize, and the crisis continues as voting continues until June 28. Showtime interestingly finds itself promoting several contenders with a Donald Trump connection. Trump never made himself famous for an Emmy learner That he claimed he deserved, but Showtime is hoping Emmy voters will respond, especially since none of these shows are exactly what you’d call “flattering” for the former president and Biden election denier. Billy Ray’s limited series is worthy of consideration comey rule, Which chronicles the conflict between former FBI Director James Comey and newly elected President Trump. Jeff Daniels as Comey and Brendan Gleeson as Trump both deserve Emmys in this brilliant adaptation of Comey’s book. Showtime is too our cartoon speaker in the animated series category; Stephen Colbert’s Election Night 2020 Live Variety in special category; vice president in a hosted nonfiction series or special race; Document kingdom of silence, Which is related to Trump’s handling of the murder case Washington Post Journalist Jamal Khashoggi; and Circus, The weekly political series that followed his every move on the electoral trail.
In hopes that there is still an appetite for Trump-related content on the part of the liberal-leaning entertainment industry, Showtime’s EVP non-fiction programming Vinnie Malhotra has taken on a very different kind of approach to present different aspects in something unique and provocative Administration and took the challenge of the President. And fun ways too. Was it just a coincidence that so much of Showtime’s programming revolved around Trump in one way or another?
“I guess there’s a rhyme and reason for how this happens?” he said. “I think there’s a general mindset, I would say at Showtime, that we really want to be a mirror of our times as storytellers, right? I guess why live in the past when the present is just as volatile and Compelling and groundbreaking? You know, there’s no region of American culture, or an American that hasn’t been influenced, touched, or influenced in any way by Donald Trump in the past six years. Like, it’s impossible to find out That’s not it. I think in the last six years, it’s been either Trumpism or Covid-19, and look, let’s be honest, even those two things are somehow connected I think it’s a perfect storm that they all come together this time around, but I would say we’ve been documenting Trump’s America in some shape or form for the past, you know ‘At least four or five years in comedy, in screenplay, in documentary, and I think as a network, I feel compelled to go down that road. Well, a lot of creators, I think, have come up with different vantage points and different areas of exploration to really see what it means to us in real time. “
For Malhotra, the most obvious version of Showtime’s efforts in all things Trump is comey rule, And even some of its predecessors carried it forward in both scripted and non-scripted areas. And she’s also high on election night and with Colbert as the voice heard in animated our cartoon speaker. “With Stephen, obviously his approach is very different from Billy Ray’s, which is very different from that” Circus host’ or Vice approach, and I think over the past decade Stephen has become an incredibly important voice in our culture,” he said. “So much of the steam that needs to get out of that kettle is coming from people like Stephen and others in the late night world. But I think even with Stephen, you see he did it in two separate ways. how seen in forms, whether it cartoon speaker Or is it his election night special, isn’t it? They may be the same today, but genre-wise and stylistically, obviously, they are quite different.”
Malhotra thinks that a huge well of Trump and Trumpism-related material could still go on for more than this year. He says this is really diagnosing our trauma as a country, and there will be a consequence. One of the projects being discussed is Ray’s look at the January 6 Capital riots through the lens of six different participants. Ray is researching this and hopes to get a final nod from Showtime. “I believe that just because Trump is no longer president,” Malhotra said, “doesn’t mean that Trumpism died with the presidency. You know what I mean? And so, When you look at Exploring Capital Riots by Billy, there are other things that we have currently edited or in production that I think will look into that as well.
He continued: “We have a documentary project that goes so deep inside these very important elements of the Republican Party that I think it’s going to show the aftermath of Trumpism that it is still affecting and exposing a political party. who has been struggling to figure out its identity, even today, we see it playing out in cable news between Liz Cheney and [Rep. Kevin] McCarthy, and the rest of the Republican Party, talk about them fracturing. So, you know, I think we’re going to continue to see that. I think the impact of these last few years is going to be very long-lasting, which should permeate our material, our culture. I think where there are other platforms, our contestants tend to stay away from politics or some of the more difficult topics, you know, Showtime always has a tendency to step into the fire and take them. , and I think it has a lot to do with cultural relevance, and again, it’s trying to be a mirror of our times. “