Telluride Lineup Includes World Premieres of ‘Women Talking’ and ‘Empire of Light’ With Tributes to Cate Blanchett and Sarah Polley

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Telluride Film Festival’s official 2022 lineup has been announced, revealing world premieres of Sam Mendes’ “Empire of Light,” Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking,” Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre’s “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” and Sebastián Lelio’s “The Wonder.”

In its 49th year, the festival will pay tribute to two-time Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett, whose new film “TÁR,” from director Todd Field, will debut stateside after premiering at the Venice Film Festival.

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In addition, the festival will also tribute Academy Award nominee Polley (adapted screenplay for 2006’s “Away from Her”) and acclaimed documentarian Marc Cousins, who has two films dropping at the fest. One is “My Name Is Alfred Hitchcock,” which is based on a fictional monologue between Cousins and the master of suspense. The other is “The March on Rome,” depicting the ascent of fascism in Europe during the 1930s.

Other Venice bows heading over to the Colorado Mountains are Luca Guadagnino’s “Bones and All” and Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Bardo (or False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths).”

Stopping first at the Sundance Film Festival didn’t hold the festival back from adding Olivier Hermanus’ “Living” to the lineup, which stars veteran actor Bill Nighy.

Alongside the Mexican Oscar hopeful “Bardo,” from the international circuit is Lukas Dhont’s “Close,” Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s “Tori and Lokita,” Mia Hansen-Løve’s “One Fine Morning” and Hlynur Pálmason’s “Godland.”

On the surface, the lineup doesn’t seem as robust as in previous years; the festival has housed multiple world premieres for eventual best picture winners, such as “Spotlight” and “Moonlight.” However, Julie Huntsinger, executive director of Telluride, says of all the films she watched that these are the best of the best.

“Without demeaning any films, there are just fewer films to sift through,” says Huntsinger. However, like in years past, she has a few tricks up her sleeve that are not included in the announced lineup. Huntsinger tells Variety that will be a title coming from Venice, saying, “it’s not what you think.”

Films that made a splash at Cannes are also in the lineup that has “Armageddon Time” by James Gray and “Broker” by Hirokazu Kore-eda.

With a slated lineup heavy on documentaries, acclaimed and beloved filmmakers such as Oscar-winners Bryan Fogel (“Icarus: The Aftermath”) are returning alongside former nominees like Steve James (“A Compassionate Spy”) and Matthew Heineman (“Retrograde”).

Oscar-nominee Ken Burns will bring the first episode of his new docu-series “The U.S. and the Holocaust,” beside his fellow directors Sarah Botstein and Lynn Novick. That’s not the only television doc in the lineup, as Adam Curtis’ 420-minute “Russia [1985 – 1999] TraumaZone” will screen over two days.

Other nonfiction directors making the most of their moments are Ryan White (“Good Night Oppy”) and Matt Tyrnauer (“The End of the World”). There’s also a debut selection from Mary McCartney with “If These Walls Could Sing.”

In the preferential ballot era since 2009, only “The Hurt Locker” (2009), “Green Book” (2018) and “CODA” (2021) have won the Oscar for best picture without debuting at Telluride first. Huntsinger, an Academy voter herself, says the best picture winner of the 95th Oscars is among her lineup. She obviously won’t share which one she thinks it is.

Going into its 50th year in 2023, Telluride has cemented itself as a must-go destination for awards season. Huntsinger wants to cherish the theater experience. “People like our guest directors symbolize the next 50 years. We have to sit together in the dark and watch movies together. Done.”

The full lineup is below. All attendees and information are subject to change.

Read Variety’s Awards Circuit predictions to keep up with the latest Oscar race updates.

Telluride Film Festival Lineup

Women Talking” (MGM/United Artists Releasing) – with a tribute to Sarah Polley
In person: Sarah Polley, Frances McDormand, Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Judith Ivey, Jessie Buckley, Sheila McCarthy, Michelle McLeod, August Winter, Kate Hallett, Liv McNeil

TÁR” (Focus Features) – with a tribute to Cate Blanchett
In person: Todd Field, Cate Blanchett, Nina Hoss

The March on Rome” (I Wonder Pictures) – with a tribute to Mark Cousins
In person: Mark Cousins

My Name is Alfred Hitchcock
In person: Mark Cousins

Armageddon Time” (Focus Features)
In person: James Gray, Jeremy Strong, Anne Hathaway

Bardo or (False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths)” (Netflix)
In person: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Griselda Siciliani, Ximena Lamadrid, Íker Sánchez Solano

Bones and All” (MGM/United Artists Releasing)
In person: Luca Guadgnino, Taylor Russell, Mark Rylance

Broker” (Neon)
In person: Hirokazu Kore-eda, Song Kang-ho

Lady Chatterly’s Lover” (Netflix)
In person: Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, Emma Corrin, Jack O’Connell

One Fine Morning” (Sony Pictures Classics)
In person: Mia Hansen-Løve, Léa Seydoux

Empire of Light” (Searchlight Pictures)
In person: Sam Mendes, Micheal Ward

The Wonder” (Netflix)
In person: Sebastián Lelio

Living” (Sony Pictures Classics)
In person: Olivier Hermanus, Bill Nighy, Aimee Lou Wood

Close” (A24)
In person: Lukas Dhont, Eden Dambrine

Good Night Oppy” (Amazon Studios)
In person: Ryan White, Steve Squyres

Holy Spider” (Utopia)
In person: Ali Abbasi, Zar Amir Ebrahimi

Wildcat” (Amazon Studios)
In person: Melissa Lesh, Trevor Beck Frost, Harry Turner, Samantha Zwicker

The End of the World
In person: Matt Tyrnauer, Jonathan Lethem

Icarus: The Aftermath
In person: Bryan Fogel

A Compassionate Spy
In person: Steve James

Retrograde
In person: Matthew Heineman, General Sami Sadat

Godland
In person: Hlynur Pálmason

Squaring the Circle
In person: Anton Corbijn

The Corridors of Power
In person: Dror Moreh

Tori and Lokita
In person: Joely Mbundu

If These Walls Could Sing
In person: Mary McCartney

Bob Wine, Ghetto President
In person: Christopher Sharp, Moses Bwayo, Bobi Wine, Barbie Kyagulanyi

The Future Tense
In person: Christine Molloy, Joe Lawlar, Molly Lawlar

The U.S. and the Holocaust
In person: Ken Burns

Eight Deadly Shots” (1972)

Russia [1985 – 1999] TraumaZone
In person: Adam Curtis

The Defenders
In person: Sarah McCarthy, Cinque Northern, Emma Wall, Betsy Hershey, Gregory Copeland, Baba Sillah, Mamou Drame

Él” (1953)

Last Flight Home
In person: Ondi Timoner, Morgan Doctor, Rabbit Rachel Timoner and the Timoner family

Sr.”
In person: Chris Smith, Robert Downey Jr., Susan Downey

Le Pupille

Merkel
In person: Eva Weber

The Creators
In person: Rebecca Ressler, Lara Porzak, Marianne Wiggins, Ben Proudfoot

The Robber Symphony
In person: Serge Bromberg

Kentucky Pride” (1925)
In person: Paolo Cherchi Usai, Donald Sosin

The Méliès American Negatives: World Premiere 3-D Screening
In person: Serge Bromberg, Donald Sosin

Guest Directors’ Selections
All programs presented by Kantermir Balagov and Kira Kovalenko

“Oasis” (2002) – South Korea

“Getting to Know the Big, Wide World” (1978) – Soviet Union

“The Wonders” (2014) – Italy-Switzerland-Germany

“Elegy of a Voyage” (2001) – Russia-Netherlands

“Where is the Friend’s Home?” (1987) – Iran

“L’Atalante” (1934) – France

Backlot

“1341 Frames of Love and War”

“Desperate Souls, Dark City and the Legend of Midnight Cowboy”

“Fragments of Paradise”

“The Last Rider”

“The Méliès Mystery”

“Miúcha, The Voice of Bossa Nova”

“The Padilla Affair”

“Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams”

“See You Friday, Robinson”

Filmmakers of Tomorrow

Student Prints – “Favorite Daughter,” “Berry Pickers,” “Solo,” “The Rotting of Casey Culpepper” and “The Midwife”

Calling Cards – “Nurture,” “Uogos (Cherries),” “Neighbour Abdi,” “Fire at the Lake,” “Un Petit Homme (A Tiny Man)” and “Le Cormoran”

Calling Cards – Redband – “Starfuckers,” “Zoon,” “Lucienne in a World Without Soltitude,” “Abyss,” “Ambasciatori” and “Bestia”

Conversations

Adam Curtis and Kantemir Balagov

Mia Hansen-Løve and James Gray

Alejandro González Iñárritu and Barry Jenkins

Women Really Talking: the cast and crew of Women

Special Screenings

“Orlando” (1992)
In person: Sally Potter

“The Return of Tanya Tucker – Featuring Brandi Carlile” (Sony Pictures Classics)
In person: Kathlyn Horan

Happy Birthday, Werner Herzog

“The Fire Within: A Requiem for Katia and Maurice Krafft”

“Werner Herzog: Radical Dreamer”

“Theater of Thought”

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