Telluride Fest Events Like It’s 2019; Emmy Voting Begins – .
A column that records events and conversations at the awards ceremony.
If you need a hint that film awards season is preparing for a return to normal, the Telluride Film Festival worshipers gather on Thursday night on the roof of the London hotel overlooking the Sunset Strip. The festival always hosts a reception on the west coast in mid-June to kick off and whet Hollywood’s appetite for the annual Labor Day weekend festival. Part of the normal Fall Trifect that includes Venice and Toronto, Telluride is the official start of Oscar season – and a place where you’ll want to be recognized as an early contender for all of the film awards coming over the next seven months , less than eight last year, but still above the usual six before Covid. Yes, we know the election for Emmy nominations didn’t start until Thursday either, but the television and film awards calendars are so blurry now that it’s really just become one big, huge campaign opportunity. Rest assured that here at Notes on the Season we can handle both, and we will. Of course, the coronavirus pandemic helped cloud the water, and the festival was canceled for the first time in its nearly 50-year history last year (as was obviously this London hotel outdoor soiree), but when the T-Ride Attending regular guests, studio publicists and others is a clue that this cocktail reception means things are back to normal. And with California lifted social distancing and masking requirements this week, it was hard to find a mask anywhere in this crowd that was obviously delighted to see old friends and speculate about what the Rockies did longer than usual on Day 2 ).
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FILMS ON THE TELLURID?
Telluride 2021 LA Party – London Hotel
Pete Hammond / .
You can usually make educated guesses about which award contenders will appear in Colorado by visiting certain studio consultants and executives at this particular event. Telluride is known to not reveal any of its titles until the charter plane takes off, but I’ve heard reliably that Netflix – still not in Cannes next month, of course – will have at least four films on T-Ride if it works. I’ve been told that Warner Bros, which just confirmed Denis Villeneuves Dune for Venice, may also have a hit movie Telluride, likely one of the most anticipated fall titles like David Chase’s Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark, Clint Eastwood’s Cry Macho, or even November the title King Richard with Will Smith. Would you like to guess? A strong contingent of Searchlights has been spotted, and they’re usually good for a movie or two. Whether Wes Anderson’s entry into Cannes The French Dispatch is one of them is unknown (it has also been announced for NYFF), but the September release The Eyes of Tammy Faye, starring Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield, makes sense. Amazon was also in effect Thursday night so expect some of its goodies. It’s all speculation at this point, but I’ve heard the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are also planning a return of their annual festival cocktail reception. I hope.
Erik Carter / .
One person who is certain is Oscar winner Barry Jenkins, who has been with Telluride regularly since his college student in 2002, including various jobs for the festival and programming the short film program. He was announced as guest director on Thursday and will curate a selection of films for this very prestigious annual position. He was also the guest of honor at the Thursday night reception, and after congratulating him on his monumental Emmy-competing 10-part limited Amazon series The Underground Railroad, I had to ask what films he might be programming. But as a veteran of T-Ride secrecy, he gave no clue. “If I tell you, I would have to …” he began to say, but I finished the sentence for him. When he returned to the festival that premiered his Oscar-winning Best Picture Moonlight this year, he said he didn’t miss it and would be there anyway. Naturally. That goes for me too, and my passport fell over from last year. Julie Huntsinger, who is co-director of the festival with Tom Luddy, was excited to have everyone there (the London roof is a great, Covid-safe place) and told me she won’t be going to Cannes in July. She’s not alone with this, but two months later her usual May berth arrives, so timing is a bigger problem than usual. Huntsinger and Luddy are always very visible there, checking out possible films that can take them to Telluride. From what I hear, T-Ride has no problem showing off an enviable selection of films without chasing some of them down the Croisette. People are obviously excited to go back – and get back to that normalcy. Another year without spending the Labor Day weekend on a gondola in Telluride is unthinkable.
TRUMPING TIME FOR SHOWTIME
But back to the Emmys. Do you remember her Voters (I’m one of them) are inundated like never before by a tsunami of content vying for the television grand prize, and voting continues until June 28th. Trump himself is known to never win the Emmy for The Apprentice, which he claimed deserved, but Showtime hopes Emmy voters will respond, especially since none of these shows are exactly what one would for the former President and Biden – would describe electoral deniers as “flattering”. Particularly noteworthy is Billy Ray’s limited series The Comey Rule, which chronicles the conflict between former FBI director James Comey and the newly elected President Trump. Jeff Daniels as Comey and Brendan Gleeson as Trump both deserve Emmys in this great adaptation of Comey’s book. Showtime also has our cartoon president in the animated series; Stephen Colbert’s 2020 election night in the Live Variety Special category; Vice in the Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special Race; Documentary Kingdom of Silence, which partly deals with Trump’s handling of the case of the murdered Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi; and The Circus, the weekly political series that tracked his every move on the electoral path.
Hoping the liberal entertainment industry would continue to have an appetite for Trump-related material, Showtime’s EVP non-fiction program Vinnie Malhorta took on the challenge of a very different type of government and president, different facets in unique and provocative and even amusing ways. Was it just a coincidence that so much of Showtime’s programming revolved around Trump in one way or another?
Donald Trump and Jeff Daniels
“I think there is a rhyme and a reason for how it happens, right? I think there’s a common mindset at Showtime that as storytellers we really want to be a mirror of our time, right? I guess why live in the past when the present is as volatile, compelling and groundbreaking as it is? ”He said. “You know, there is no area of American culture, or there is no American that has not been influenced, touched, or influenced by Donald Trump in the past six years. It is impossible to find a way that it is not. I think for the past six years it has been either Trumpism or Covid-19, and let’s face it, even those two things are related in some ways. I think it’s a perfect storm for them all to come together at this time, but I would say we have documented Trump’s America in some form in the past, for at least 4 or 5 years in comedy, in script, in documentary and I think that as a network we feel compelled to take this path, and I believe that many of the creators have come into play with different perspectives and different areas and explore in real time what that actually means for us. “
“The Comey Rule”
For Malhorta, the most overt version of her forays into everything about Trump is Comey Rule and even some of the precursors that led to it in both scripted and unscripted areas. And he’s also happy to have Colbert as the voice that can be heard on election night and in animated form with Our Cartoon President. “With Stephen, his approach is obviously very different from Billy Ray’s, which is very different from the approach taken by The Circus Host or Vice, and I think Stephen has become an incredibly important voice in our culture over the past decade the steam that needs to be vented from this cauldron comes from the likes of Stephen and other people in the late night world. But I think even with Stephen you can see him approaching it in two different ways, be it The Cartoon President or his election night specials, right? Maybe they’re sonically the same, but obviously they’re quite different in terms of genre and style, ”he said.
“Our cartoon president”
Malhorta believes there is still a very large source of material on Trump and Trumpism that can last well beyond this year. He says it really diagnoses our trauma as a country and it will have consequences. One of those projects currently under discussion is Ray’s view of the Capitol Riots uprising on January 6th through the lens of six different participants. Ray is currently researching and hoping to get the final go-ahead from Showtime. “I think just because Trump is no longer president doesn’t mean Trumpism died with the presidency. You know what I mean? So if you look at Billy’s exploration of the Capitol Rising, there are other things that we currently have in development or in production that I think will address that as well.
We have a documentary project that is so deep into these very important elements of the Republican Party that I think it will show that the aftermath of Trumpism is still affecting and unraveling a political party struggling to find out its identity. As we do today, we see it on the cable news between Liz Cheney and McCarthy and the rest of the Republican Party talking about their breaking up. So, you know, I think we’ll keep seeing, ”he said. “I think the last few years will have a very lasting effect that should continue to permeate our content and our culture. I think where there might be other platforms our competitors like to stay away from politics or some of the more difficult subjects you know Showtime has always had a certain tendency to step straight into the fire and deal with it and I think that has a lot to do with cultural relevance, and that in turn is an attempt to be a mirror of our time. “