Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland, starring and produced by Frances McDormand, will have a simultaneous world premiere on September 11 at the Venice (Sept 2-12) and Toronto (Sept 10-19) film festivals.
As part of a previously announced alliance between select autumn festivals, the drama has also been selected for New York and Telluride. Telluride, which cancelled its 2020 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.
New York Film Festival has yet to set dates but said Nomadland will be the centrepiece film.
The Venice screening of Nomadland will be held on September 11 in the Sala Grande at the Palazzo del Cinema on the Venice Lido. Both Venice and TIFF screenings will feature virtual introductions by the cast and crew.
Nomadland is Zhao’s third film following Songs My Brothers Taught Me and Cannes award-winner The Rider and marks her first collaboration with Searchlight. It is adapted from journalist Jessica Bruder’s 2017 non-fiction book and sees McDormand play 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 conventional society as a modern-day nomad.
Other producers are Peter Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, and Zhao. It co-stars David Strathairn (Good Night, And Good Luck). Zhao reunites with her cinematographer on The Rider, Joshua James Richards.
Earlier in July, the heads of the four major autumn festivals - Cameron Bailey and Joana Vicente (TIFF), Alberto Barbera (Venice), Eugene Hernandez (New York), and Julie Huntsinger and Tom Luddy (Telluride Film Festival) - pledged to collaborate rather than compete this year in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In an open letter, they said: “This year, we’ve moved away from competing with our colleagues at autumn festivals and commit instead to collaboration.
“We are sharing ideas and information. We are offering our festivals as a united platform for the best cinema we can find. We’re here to serve the filmmakers, audiences, journalists and industry members who keep the film ecosystem thriving. We need to do that together.”