Nomadland: Chloe (The Rider) Zhao’s Film to Premiere at Venice, Telluride, Toronto, and N.Y. Film Fests

Searchlight Pictures Chairs Nancy Utley and Steve Gilula announced today a series of global screenings to commemorate Chloé Zhao’s upcoming feature Nomadland, which will play at all the fall festivals, Venice, Toronto, Telluride, and New York.

 

Venice film festival announces plan for a smaller edition this ...  Toronto International Film Festival - FilmFreeway  Telluride Film Festival - Montana Film Office  

Zhao’s third film, an exploration of modern-day van dwelling life on the road, will World Premiere with simultaneous screenings on September 11 at the 2020 Venice and Toronto Film Fests, both of which will feature virtual introductions by producer, writer, editor, and director Zhao, and producer and actor Frances McDormand.

Zhao’s previous film, The Rider

Telluride, which canceled its 47th edition due to the global pandemic, will host a special “Telluride from Los Angeles” drive-in screening in Southern California later in the evening, featuring in-person appearances by Zhao and McDormand.

The New York Film Fest announced NOMADLAND as the Centerpiece Selection of the 58th edition of the fest, leading into a domestic theatrical release this fall, subsequently rolling out internationally.

Frances McDormand

NOMADLAND marks the first project between Zhao and Searchlight and the fifth between McDormand and Searchlight. McDormand won an Oscar for her performance in Martin McDonagh’s film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which Searchlight released globally in 2017.

Venice film festival announces plan for a smaller edition this ...  Toronto International Film Festival - FilmFreeway  Telluride Film Festival - Montana Film Office  

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Zhao adapted NOMADLAND from journalist Jessica Bruder’s 2017 non-fiction book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century following McDormand and producer Peter Spears’ acquisition of the literary adaptation rights shortly after publication. The film follows Fern (McDormand), a woman who, after the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad. The film features real nomads Linda May, Swankie, and Bob Wells as Fern’s mentors and comrades in her exploration through the vast landscape of the American West.

Searchlight coordinated the events in tandem with festival programmers to salute the spirit of collaboration between the 77th Venice International Film Festival, 47th Telluride Film Festival, 45th Toronto International Film Festival, and 58th New York Film Festival. While Telluride was ultimately canceled, executive director Julie Huntsinger sought to honor the film with a hosted drive-in screening in Southern California.

“The American road fascinates me.  It’s heartbreakingly beautiful and deeply complicated. I’ve traveled it for many years and always hoped to capture a glimpse of it. I’m thankful to be able to make NOMADLAND and excited for audiences to join Fern on her adventure,” said Zhao.

“NOMADLAND is a true cinematic discovery,” said Utley and Gilula. “We are grateful to Chloé and the entire NOMADLAND filmmaking team and to the festival community that is essential to the success of independent films, and we thank Alberto and Giulia, Julie and Tom, Cameron and Joana, and Eugene and Dennis for the opportunity to be a part of this unique time in our industry’s changing landscape. Chloé reminds us that film has the power to connect us no matter how far apart we might seem. We hope this special film can move audiences across the world and further support global cinema.”

“It is both a great pleasure and honor to be part of Chloé Zhao’s new film’s unveiling to the world,” said Venice International Film Festival Director Alberto Barbera. “NOMADLAND is a brave and touching journey into a world that exists under the radar of mainstream social consciousness. It is a film that acquires particular meaning in a moment of pandemic induced seclusion, proving that values like mutual support and a strong sense of community can save us from solitude, failure, and despair. I am also happy to share the opportunity to support this beautiful film with our fellow festivals of Telluride, Toronto, and New York: a concrete sign of solidarity and collaboration in this unprecedented and difficult time.”