Source: Courtesy of Carlos Somonte / Netflix

Alfonso Cuaron on set of ROMA

Securing a prime awards season slot, Alfonso Cuarón’s anticipated ROMA will receive its New York premiere as the centerpiece screening at the 56th New York Film Festival on October 5.

The premiere status has heightened speculation the film will secure Venice and Telluride berths. This is the Mexican auteur’s first Spanish-language film since his international breakout Y Tu Mama Tambien back in 2001. Gravity premiered in Venice and Telluride in autumn 2013 and earned Cuarón the best directing Oscar.

ROMA appeared to be headed to Cannes a couple of months ago before Netflix pulled it and other potential selections in protest over the French showcase’s policy of only selecting films in competition that are eligible for local theatrical release. French media chronology laws forbid a film from going out on streaming platforms until three years after the theatrical release.

ROMA is produced by Esperanto Filmoj and Participant Media, and Netflix will launch it globally and distribute theatrically around the world.

The black and white feature, inspired by elements of Cuaron’s life, takes place in Mexico City in the early 1970s in a middle-class family whose heart resides in the beloved live-in nanny and housekeeper played by Yalitza Aparicio.

According to a press release issued by the festival, ROMA’s sound design “represents something new in the medium”.

New York Film Festival director and selection committee chair Kent Jones said, “I was absolutely stunned by ROMA from beginning to end – by the craftsmanship and the artistry of everyone involved, by the physical power and gravitational force of the images, by the realization that I was seeing something magical: a story of ongoing life grounded within the immensity and mystery of just being here on this planet. Alfonso Cuarón’s film is a wonder.”

“I am honored ROMA has been selected for the Centerpiece slot at this year’s New York Film Festival,” said Cuarón. “NYFF has a longstanding history of celebrating meaningful and compelling filmmaking and it felt right to return to the festival with ROMA – an incredibly personal, illuminating, and transformative project for me.”

The festival is presented by the Film Society Of Lincoln Center and runs from September 28-October 14.