2020 NY Film Festival will be outdoors & virtual; Steve McQueen’s ‘Lovers Rock’ will open the fest
Like a lot of film festivals this year, the 58th annual New York Film Festival is going to work a little differently this year, with screenings mostly held outside and virtually. The 2020 edition takes place September 25 - October 11 and the opening night film (September 25) is the World Premiere of Lovers Rock, from director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave, Hunger). Lovers Rock is part of McQueen's five-film "Small Axe" series, and two other films in the series -- Mangrove and Red, White and Blue -- will also make their world premiere at NYFF.
Set from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s, the films in the "Small Axe" series each tell a different story "involving London’s West Indian community, whose lives have been shaped by their own force of will despite rampant racism and discrimination." "It’s an incredible honor and also very humbling to show three of my films at the New York Film Festival," McQueen said. "It’s especially meaningful for me at this particular time to share these stories as a Black man of West Indian heritage. I’m grateful to the NYFF for their generosity and wish everyone a safe and healthy festival."
Many of the outdoor screening for the 2020 NYFF will take place at Rooftop Films' drive-in theaters in Brooklyn and Queens. There may be some indoor screenings, too, "as possible and directed by state and health officials."
The Centerpiece Film at the 2020 festival is Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland, which stars Frances McDormand and is adapted from journalist Jessica Bruder’s 2017 nonfiction book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century.
The full 2020 slate of films has yet to be released -- stay tuned.
More on Lovers Rock, Mangrove and Red, White and Blue is below:
Mangrove is the true story of the Mangrove 9, a group of Black activists who clashed with London police during a protest march in 1970, and the highly publicized trial that followed. The trial was the first judicial acknowledgment of behavior motivated by racial hatred within the Metropolitan Police. Letitia Wright (Black Panther), Shaun Parkes (Lost in Space), and Malachi Kirby (Curfew) star alongside Rochenda Sandall (Line of Duty), Jack Lowden (The Long Song), Sam Spruell (Snow White and the Huntsmen), Gershwyn Eustache Jnr (The Gentlemen), Nathaniel Martello-White (Collateral), Richie Campbell (Liar), Jumayn Hunter (Les Misérables), and Gary Beadle (Summer of Rockets). Mangrove was co-written by Alastair Siddons and Steve McQueen. Mangrove and Lovers Rock are part of the Cannes 2020 Official Selection.
Red, White and Blue spotlights the true story of Leroy Logan, who saw his father assaulted by two policemen, motivating him to join the Metropolitan Police and change their racist attitudes from within. John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Steve Toussaint (Prince of Persia) star with talented newcomers Tyrone Huntley, Nathan Vidal and Jaden Oshenye. Red, White and Blue was co-written by Courttia Newland and Steve McQueen.