The Telluride Fest celebrations as if it were in 2019; Emmy Voting Begins – Deadline
A column chronicling events and conversations on the rewards circuit.
If you need a clue that film awards season is about to return to normal, look no further than Thursday night’s gathering of Telluride Film Festival worshipers on the rooftop of the overlooking London Hotel the Sunset Strip. The festival still hosts a West Coast reception in mid-June to kick off and whet Hollywood’s appetite for their annual Labor Day weekend festival. Telluride is part of the normal fall trifecta which also includes Venice and Toronto and is the official start of Oscar season – and a place to go if you want to be recognized as one of the top contenders for all of these movie awards at come over the next seven months. , down from eight last year but still up from the usual six pre-Covid. Yes, we know the Emmy nominations ballot just started on Thursday as well, but the TV and movie award timelines are so hazy now that it really has only become one giant campaign opportunity. Please be assured that we can handle both here at Season Notes, and we will. Of course, the coronavirus pandemic has helped to muddy the waters and the festival was canceled for the first time in its nearly half-century history last year (as evidently this al fresco evening of the London hotel), but if the participation of regular T-Ride publicists and the like is any indication, this cocktail means it looks like business is back on track. And with California eliminating social distancing and mask requirements this week, it was hard to find a mask anywhere in this crowd, who were clearly happy to see old friends and start speculating what will hit them. Rockies on September 2 (and run one more day than usual).
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FILMS TO TELLURIDE?
You can usually make educated guesses about the award nominees that will appear in Colorado thanks to the presence of certain consultants and studio executives at that particular event. Telluride doesn’t reveal any of its titles until the charter plane takes off, but I’ve reliably heard that Netflix – of course, still do not going to Cannes next month – will have at least four movies at T-Ride if things work out. I’m told Warner Bros, who just confirmed the Dune for Venice, is perhaps is also going to have a hit movie Telluride, possibly one of his expected fall titles like David Chase’s. Soprano prequel The many saints of Newark, At Clint Eastwood crying macho or even the title of November king richard with Will Smith. Do you want to guess? There was a strong contingent of Searchlight spotted, and they’re usually good for one or two movies. That the entry of Cannes by Wes Anderson The French dispatch is one of them is unknown (it was also announced for NYFF), but released in September Tammy Faye’s eyes with Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield makes sense. Amazon was also out in force Thursday night, so expect its goodies. At this stage it is all speculation, but I’ve heard that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences may also be planning the return of its annual festival cocktail party. I hope.
One person for Of course is Oscar winner Barry Jenkins, who has been a regular at Telluride since he was a college student in 2002, holding various festival jobs and programming the short film program, among others. He was announced Thursday as guest director and will curate a selection of films for this highly prestigious annual post. He was also the guest of honor at Thursday night’s reception, and after congratulating him on his monumental 10-part Amazon limited-edition must-see. The Underground Railroad, I had to ask him what films he could program. But as a veteran of T-Ride’s secrecy, he gave no clue. “If I told you, I should…” he started to say, but I finished the sentence for him. As for returning this year to the festival where his Oscar for best film Moonlight created, he said he wouldn’t have missed it and would be there anyway. Of course. This goes for me too, and my pass was carried over from last year. Julie Huntsinger, who is co-director of the festival with Tom Luddy, was delighted to see everyone participate (the roof of London is a great and safe place for Covid) and told me that she would not be going to Cannes in July. She is not the only one in this case, but she arrives two months later, her usual place in May, which poses a more serious problem than usual. Huntsinger and Luddy are still very visible there, looking for potential films to bring to Telluride. From what I hear, T-Ride has no problem securing an enviable selection of films to show without chasing some on the Croisette. People are clearly excited to return – and return to this normal. Another year without spending Labor Day weekend on a gondola in Telluride is unthinkable.
TIME FOR THE SHOWTIME
But back to the Emmys. Memory? Voters (I am one of them) are inundated like never before with a tsunami of content vying for TV’s top prize, and the crisis is active as voting continues through June 28. Trump himself never won the Emmy for The apprentice that he claimed he deserved, but Showtime is hopeful that Emmy voters respond, especially since none of these shows are exactly what you would call “flattering” to the former president and Holocaust denier. Biden elections. Billy Ray’s limited series deserves to be considered Comey’s 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 superb adaptation of Comey’s book. Showtime also Our cartoon president in the animated series category; Stephen Colbert’s 2020 election night in the Special Live Variety category; Vice in the Hosted Nonfiction Series or the special race; document Kingdom of Silence, which deals in part with Trump’s handling of the murder case Washington post journalist Jamal Khashoggi; and The circus, the weekly political series which followed each of his movements on the electoral track.
Hoping there is still an appetite for Trump-related material from the liberal-leaning entertainment industry, Showtime Executive Vice President of Non-Fiction Programming Vinnie Malhorta rose to the challenge. of a very different type of administration and president to present different facets in a unique and provocative way. and even funny ways. Was it just a coincidence that much of Showtime’s programming somehow revolved around Trump?
“I think there is a rhyme and a reason for how this happens, isn’t there? ” he said. “I think there’s a general mindset, I would say, in Showtime, which is that we really want to be a mirror of our times as storytellers, right? I think why live in the past when the present is as volatile, fascinating and revolutionary as it is? You know, there is no area of American culture, or there is no American that has not been affected, touched or in any way influenced by Donald Trump in the past six years. years. Like, it’s impossible to find a way that it isn’t. I think over the past six years it’s been either Trumpism or Covid-19, and listen, let’s be honest, even those two things are related in some way. I think it’s kind of a perfect storm that they all get together around this time, but I would say we’ve documented Trump’s America in some form or another from the past, you know, at least four or five years in comedy, in screenplay, in documentary, and I think as a network I think we feel obligated to go that route. And also, I think a lot of creators have come in with different perspectives and different areas of exploration of what it really means to us in real time.
For Malhorta, the most overt version of Showtime’s forays into all things Trump is Comey’s rule, and even some of the forerunners that led to it in the scripted and unscripted fields. And he’s also proud to have Colbert as his voice to be heard on election night and in animated form with Our cartoon president. “With Stephen, obviously his approach is very different from that of Billy Ray, which is very different from The circus hosts’ or Vices is approaching, and I think Stephen has become an incredibly important voice in our culture over the past decade, ”he said. “A lot of the steam that needs to be released from this kettle comes from people like Stephen and others in the late night world. But I think even with Stephen you see how he approached it in two different forms, either Comic president or these are his election night specials, right? Maybe the tone is the same, but in terms of genre and style, obviously they’re quite different. “
Malhorta believes that there is still a very large pool of material relating to Trump and Trumpism that may last well beyond this year. He says it really diagnoses our trauma as a country, and there will be sequelae. One of those projects being discussed is Ray’s look at the Jan.6 riot on Capitol Hill through the lens of six different participants. Ray is doing some research and is hoping to get the final green light from Showtime. “I believe that just because Trump is no longer the president,” said Malhorta, “it doesn’t mean that Trumpism is dead with the presidency. You know what I mean? And so, when you watch Billy’s exploration of the Capitol Riot, there’s also some other stuff that we currently have in editing or production that I think is going to look into that as well.
He continued, “We have a documentary project that is so deeply rooted in these very important parts of the Republican Party that I think it’s going to show that the consequences of Trumpism are that it still has an impact and that it defeats. a political party struggling to figure out its identity, as even today we watch it play in the cable news between Liz Cheney and [Rep. Kevin] McCarthy and the rest of the Republican Party talk about their fracking. So, you know, I think we’re going to keep seeing it. I think the last few years are going to have a very lasting effect, which should continue to permeate our content, our culture. I think where there maybe other platforms that our competitors like to stay away from politics or some of the more difficult topics, you know, Showtime has always had a bit of a tendency to go in. directly into the fire and take them over. , and I think it has a lot to do with cultural relevance, and again, it kind of tries to be a mirror of our time.