Nomadland by Chloé Xhao NYFF Centerpiece
Frances McDormand in the film NOMADLAND. Photo Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2020 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved

Film at Lincoln Center announced today that Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland will be featured as the Centerpiece film at the 58th New York Film Festival. Nomadland will be released in theaters this fall domestically by Searchlight Pictures.

Zhao adapted Nomadland from journalist Jessica Bruder’s 2017 nonfiction book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century following Frances McDormand and producer Peter Spears’ acquisition of the literary adaptation rights shortly after publication. The film follows Fern (McDormand), a woman who, after the economic collapse of her company town in rural Nevada, packs her van and sets off on the road to explore a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad. 

Nomadland is produced by Frances McDormand (HBO’s Olive Kitteridge), Peter Spears (Call Me by Your Name), Mollye Asher (The Rider), Dan Janvey (Beasts of the Southern Wild), and Chloé Zhao (The Rider). In addition to McDormand, the film includes real nomads Linda May, Swankie, Bob Wells as Fern’s mentors and comrades, and actor David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck). Zhao reunites with her cinematographer from The Rider, Joshua James Richards (God’s Own Country). The film features compositions by celebrated Italian pianist and composer Ludovico Maria Enrico Einaudi and film editing by Zhao. At Searchlight, the film was overseen by Presidents of Production Matthew Greenfield and David Greenbaum and Vice President of Production Taylor Friedman. Zhao is a film director, screenwriter, editor, and producer known for her work on her debut feature film, Songs My Brothers Taught Me (2015), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Her second feature film, The Rider (2017), was a NYFF55 selection and received several accolades including nominations for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Film and Best Director. In addition to Nomadland, Zhao also directed the upcoming Marvel Studios release Eternals, set for release in 2021 by Walt Disney Studios.

“We knew that Chloé Zhao’s masterful film, Nomadland, deserved a central spot at the New York Film Festival as soon as we saw it,” said Eugene Hernandez, Director of the New York Film Festival. “We’re elated to share Chloé and Fran’s remarkable achievement with New York audiences this fall.”

I’m very excited and proud that Nomadland will screen at NYFF. I learned how to make films in New York City, at NYU. This wonderful, brave, and inspiring city means a lot to me. I’m so thankful for NYFF to invite me back to connect with its audiences.

Chloé Zhao, director of Nomadland

The NYFF Main Slate selection committee, chaired by Dennis Lim, also includes Eugene Hernandez, Florence Almozini, K. Austin Collins, and Rachel Rosen.

In an unprecedented collaboration between the festivals this year, Nomadland will also screen at the 77th Venice International Film Festival and the 45th Toronto International Film Festival on September 11th. The Telluride Film Festival will also host a special “Telluride from Los Angeles” drive-in screening in Southern California on September 11th. 

Since 1963, the New York Film Festival has been a centerpiece of New York’s arts scene: an annual bellwether of the state of cinema that has shaped film culture in the city and beyond. Festival organizers will keep this tradition alive while adapting as necessary to the current health crisis. 

As the festival dates approach, Film at Lincoln Center will share additional New York Film Festival programming updates. 

Presented by Film at Lincoln Center, the New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema. The 58th edition continues a more than 50-year tradition of introducing audiences to bold and remarkable works from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent.

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