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Festival Line-Up Includes ‘Empire Of Light,’ ‘Women Talking’ & More

Jan 7, 2023

Over the past decade, The Telluride Film Festival has made itself something of an Oscar-kingmaker. Numerous Best Picture winners, including “Slumdog Millionaire,” “Argo,” “12 Years A Slave,” and “Moonlight,” each had their world premieres at the picturesque Colorado fest. However, for its 49th edition, and in something of a surprise, the festival is going in a very documentary-heavy direction.
READ MORE: Fall 2022 Preview: 60+ Must-See Films To Watch
Telluride has always showcased documentaries, and it even has a venue named after Werner Herzog, a longtime regular attendee who almost always has a new film to share. Moreover, heralded docs, such as “Free Solo” and “Citizen Ashe,” have always always been a staple, but they have never dominated the program quite like this. This year, at our count, there is an eye-brow raising 16 world premiere documentary films or doc series. That total doesn’t include a few additional documentaries that have been programmed after premiering at other festivals.
Some of the documentary highlights include “Sr.” about filmmaker Robert Downey, Sr. (the father of a little-known actor named Robert Downey, Jr.), Brian Fogel‘s sequel to his Oscar-winning “Icarus,” “Icarus: The Aftermath,” “The End of the World” (which appears to involve Bret Easton Ellis), Christopher Sharp’s “Bobi Wine: Ghetto President,” Ryan White’s “Good Night Oppy,” about the Mars Exploration Rover, Herzog’s latest, “Theater of Thought,” and Mark Cousins’ “My Name is Alfred Hitchcock.”
Cousins, who, like Herzog and Ken Burns, is a regular at Telluride, will be one of the three tributes at this year’s festival. The other two are Sarah Polley, whose new drama “Women Talking” is a rare narrative world premiere this year, and Cate Blanchett, who will trek across the Atlantic after Todd Field’s “TÁR” debuts at the Venice Film Festival.
Head scratchingly, there are only four other world premiere narrative films this year. They are Sam Mendes’ “Empire of Light,” Sebastian Lelio’s “The Wonder,” Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre‘s adaptation of “Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” and the aforementioned Polley film. Usually, there are at least six narrative debuts at Telluride. Not this year.
Other films heading to Telluride from Venice include Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Bardo (or False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths)” and Luca Guadagnino’s “Bones and All.”
Notable films from Cannes making their North American debuts include Lukas Dhont’s “Close,” Ali Abbasi’s “Holy Spider,” Hirokazu Koreeda’s “Broker,” The Dardeenes Brothers’ Tori and Lokita, James Gray’s “Armageddon Time,” and Hlynur Pálmason’s “Godland.”
Oliver Hermanus’s “Living,” is a rare Sundance title to get a Telluride invitation.
A complete list of the 2022 Telluride Film Festival program is as follows:
The 49th Telluride Film Festival is proud to present the following new feature films to play in its main program, the SHOW:
•       ARMAGEDDON TIME (d. James Gray, U.S., 2022) In person: James Gray, Jeremy Strong, Anne Hathaway
•       BARDO, FALSE CHRONICLE OF A HANDFUL OF TRUTHS (d. Alejandro González Iñárritu, Mexico-U.S., 2022) In person: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Griselda Siciliani, Ximena Lamadrid, Íker Sánchez Solano
•       BOBI WINE, GHETTO PRESIDENT (d. Christopher Sharp and Moses Bwayo, Uganda-U.K., 2022) In person: Christopher Sharp, Moses Bwayo, Bobi Wine, Barbie Kyagulanyi
•       BONES AND ALL (d. Luca Guadagnino, U.S., 2022) In person: Luca Guadagnino, Taylor Russell, Mark Rylance
•       BROKER (d. Hirokazu Kore-eda, South Korea, 2022) In person: Hirokazu Kore-eda, Song Kang-ho
•       CLOSE (d. Lukas Dhont, Belgium-France-Netherlands, 2022) In person: Lukas Dhont, Eden Dambrine
•       A COMPASSIONATE SPY (d. Steve James, U.S.-U.K., 2022) In person: Steve James
•       THE CORRIDORS OF POWER (d. Dror Moreh, U.S., 2022) In person: Dror Moreh
•       EMPIRE OF LIGHT (d. Sam Mendes, U.K.-U.S., 2022) In person: Sam Mendes, Micheal Ward
•       THE END OF THE WORLD (d. Matthew Tyrnauer, U.S., 2022) In person: Matthew Tyrnauer, Jonathan Lethem
•       THE FUTURE TENSE (d. Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor, Ireland, 2022) In person: Christine Molloy, Joe Lawlor, Molly Lawlor
•       GODLAND (d. Hlynur Pálmason, Denmark-Iceland-France-Sweden, 2022) In person: Hlynur Pálmason, Ída Mekkín Hlynsdóttir 
•       GOOD NIGHT OPPY (d. Ryan White, U.S., 2022) In person: Ryan White, Steve Squyres
•       HOLY SPIDER (d. Ali Abbasi, Denmark-Germany-Sweden-France, 2022) In person: Ali Abbasi, Zar Amir Ebrahimi
•       ICARUS: THE AFTERMATH (d. Bryan Fogel, U.S., 2022) In person: Bryan Fogel
•       IF THESE WALLS COULD SING (d. Mary McCartney, U.K., 2022) In person: Mary McCartney
•       LADY CHATTERLEY’S LOVER (d. Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, U.K.-U.S., 2022) In person: Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, Emma Corrin, Jack O’Connell
•       LAST FLIGHT HOME (d. Ondi Timoner, U.S., 2022) In person: Ondi Timoner, Morgan Doctor, Rabbi Rachel Timoner, and the Timoner family
•       LIVING (d. Oliver Hermanus, U.K., 2022) In person: Oliver Hermanus, Bill Nighy, Aimee Lou Wood
•       THE MARCH ON ROME (d. Mark Cousins, Italy, 2022) In person: Mark Cousins
•       MERKEL (d. Eva Weber, U.K.-Denmark-Germany, 2022) In person: Eva Weber
•       MY NAME IS ALFRED HITCHCOCK (d. Mark Cousins, U.K., 2022) In person: Mark Cousins
•       ONE FINE MORNING (d. Mia Hansen-Løve, France, 2022) In person: Mia Hansen-Løve, Léa Seydoux
•       RETROGRADE (d. Matthew Heineman, U.S., 2022) In person: Matthew Heineman, General Sami Sadat, Matt Chaney
•       “SR.” (d. Chris Smith, U.S., 2022) In person: Chris Smith, Robert Downey Jr., Susan Downey
•       SQUARING THE CIRCLE (d. Anton Corbijn, U.K., 2022) In person: Anton Corbijn
•       TÁR (d. Todd Field, U.S., 2022) In person: Todd Field, Cate Blanchett, Nina Hoss
•       TORI AND LOKITA (d. Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, Belgium-France, 2022) In person: Joely Mbundu
•       WILDCAT (d. Melissa Lesh and Trevor Beck Frost, U.S., 2022) In person: Melissa Lesh, Trevor Beck Frost, Harry Turner, Samantha Zwicker
•       WOMEN TALKING (d. Sarah Polley, U.S., 2022) In person: Sarah Polley, Frances McDormand, Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Judith Ivey, Jessie Buckley, Sheila McCarthy, Michelle McLeod, August Winter, Kate Hallett, Liv McNeil
•       THE WONDER (d. Sebastián Lelio, U.K.-Ireland, 2022) In person: Sebastián Lelio
The 2022 Silver Medallion Awards, given to recognize an artist’s significant contribution to the world of cinema, will be presented to Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett (with TÁR); award-winning writer-director Mark Cousins (with THE MARCH ON ROME and MY NAME IS ALFRED HITCHCOCK); and celebrated actor, writer, and filmmaker Sarah Polley(with WOMEN TALKING). Tribute programs include a selection of clips, the presentation of the Silver Medallion, and a screening of the aforementioned films. 
Additional episodic works and short films also playing in the main program are:
•       ANASTASIA (d. Sarah McCarthy, U.K.-Russia, 2022) In person: Sarah McCarthy, Anastasiia Shevchenko, Vladislava Shevchenko, Mikhail Shevchenko
•       ANGOLA DO YOU HEAR US? VOICES FROM A PLANTATION PRISON (d. Cinque Northern, U.S., 2022) In person: Cinque Northern, Liza Jessie Peterson
•       THE BEST CHEF IN THE WORLD (d. Ben Proudfoot, U.S., 2022) In person: Ben Proudfoot
•       GUERRILLA HABEAS (d. Emma Wall and Betsy Hershey, U.S., 2022) In person: Emma Wall, Betsy Hershey, Gregory Copeland, Baba Sillah, Mamou Drame 
•       LE PUPILLE (d. Alice Rohrwacher, Italy-U.S., 2022) 
•       MARIANNE (d. Lara Porzak and Rebecca Ressler, U.S., 2022) In person: Lara Porzak, Rebecca Ressler, Marianne Wiggins
•       RUSSIA [1985-1999] TRAUMAZONE (d. Adam Curtis, U.K., 2022) 
•       THE U.S. AND THE HOLOCAUST Episode 1(d. Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, and Sarah Botstein, U.S., 2022)
“While it can often feel like the world is crumbling around us, I continue to remind myself, at least we have movies,” remarks TFF executive director Julie Huntsinger. “And for every bit of doubt that meets that sentiment, our resolve to keep it true is exponentially intensified. My hope for this year’s Festival is that as our film-watching community gathers in Telluride, we remember that we cannot take this act for granted; that we will continue on after the Festival’s end and redouble our efforts to ensure we will long be able to sit in a dark room and be fortified by the enchanting and sometimes difficult stories we see. This year’s films challenge us and remind us how wonderful and hard it is to be alive.”
TFF’s 2022 Guest Directors, Kantemir Balagov and Kira Kovalenko, serve as key collaborators in the Festival’s programming decisions. Both will be present to introduce their finely curated film selections:
•       ELEGY OF A VOYAGE (d. Aleksandr Sokurov, France-Russia-Netherlands, 2001)
•       GETTING TO KNOW THE BIG, WIDE WORLD (d. Kira Muratova, Soviet Union, 1978)
•       L’ATALANTE (d. Jean Vigo, France, 1934)
•       OASIS (d. Lee Chang-dong, South Korea, 2002)
•       WHERE IS THE FRIEND’S HOME? (d. Abbas Kiarostami, Iran, 1987)
•       THE WONDERS (d. Alice Rohrwacher, Italy-Switzerland-Germany, 2014)
“It was important to us to include the films that not only changed us as directors but also struck us as a miracle,” comment Balagov and Kovalenko. “They keep us from getting used to war and its nightmare, allow us to feel human and inspire hope that darkness will eventually vanish.”
Five film revival programs include two shows presented in collaboration with The Film Foundation: the five-hour miniseries EIGHT DEADLY SHOTS (d. Mikko Niskanen, Finland, 1972); ÉL (d. Luis Buñuel, Mexico, 1953); two shows presented by Serge Bromberg of Lobster Films: THE MÉLIÈS AMERICAN NEGATIVES: World Premiere 3-D Screening and THE ROBBER SYMPHONY (d. Friedrich Feher, U.K., 1936); as well as KENTUCKY PRIDE (d. John Ford, U.S., 1925).
Backlot, Telluride’s intimate screening room featuring films about movies and portraits of artists, musicians, and cultural icons, will screen the following programs:
•       1341 FRAMES OF LOVE AND WAR (d. Ran Tal, Israel-U.S.-U.K., 2022) 
•       DESPERATE SOULS, DARK CITY AND THE LEGEND OF MIDNIGHT COWBOY (d. Nancy Buirski, U.S., 2022)
•       FRAGMENTS OF PARADISE (d. KD Davison, U.S., 2022)
•       THE LAST RIDER (d. Alex Holmes, U.K., 2022)
•       THE MÉLIÈS MYSTERY (d. Serge Bromberg and Eric Lange, France, 2021)
•       MIÚCHA, THE VOICE OF BOSSA NOVA (d. Daniel Zarvos and Liliane Mutti, Brazil-France, 2022) 
•       THE PADILLA AFFAIR (d. Pavel Giroud, Spain-Cuba, 2022)
•       SALVATORE: SHOEMAKER OF DREAMS (d. Luca Guadagnino, Italy, 2020)
•       SEE YOU FRIDAY, ROBINSON (d. Mitra Farahani, France, 2022) 
Special Screenings and Festivities programmed throughout the Festival include ORLANDO (d. Sally Potter, U.K.-Russia-Italy-France-Netherlands, 1992); THE RETURN OF TANYA TUCKER – FEATURING BRANDI CARLILE (d. Kathlyn Horan, U.S., 2022); THE FIRE WITHIN: A REQUIEM FOR KATIA AND MAURICE KRAFFT (d. Werner Herzog, U.K.-France-Switzerland-U.S., 2022); THEATER OF THOUGHT (d. Werner Herzog, U.S., 2022); WERNER HERZOG: RADICAL DREAMER (d. Thomas von Steinaecker, Germany-U.K., 2022); Bobi Wine in Concert; and a poster signing with 49th TFF poster artist Leanne Shapton.
Follow along with all our coverage of the 2022 Telluride Film Festival.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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