Telluride is off, and it’s not business as usual.
The first day began with the annual Patron Branch, where the press, talent and other festival-goers mingled to celebrate their departure from Colorado, now in its 48th year. Attended was “Belfast” writer and director Kenneth Branagh with one of his stars Jamie Dornan, who screened for the first time this evening. Others include “One Hero” writer and director Asghar Farhadi, “The Power of the Dog” co-star Cody Smith-McPhee, “Turn” director Jonas Poher Rasmussen and “Red Rocket” writer and director Shawn Baker and his two stars Simon Rex. Including and Bree Elrod.
Then, Julie Huntingser, co-director of Telluride, greeted the media present at the press conference, talking about the whole slate and what it has to offer. In clear signs of the times, Huntingser shares that for the first time in recent memory their tribute was not attended by the esteemed Reese Ahmed. No explanation given but during COVID, do we have any need? The festival’s co-director also joked about the three actors he wanted to appear in – Jesse Buckley from “The Lost Daughter”, Claire Foy from “The Electrical Life of Lewis Wayne” and Rooney Mara, who was going to appear with his partner Joaquin Phoenix in his film. For “C’mon C’mon” – but couldn’t because they are currently filming Polly’s upcoming project “Women Talking”. “They will no doubt submit the movie next year, but we’ll see,” he joked with the crowd.
After the sponsor screening, Michael Pierce’s “Encounter”, a sci-fi thriller that mimics Jonathan Glazer’s “Under the Skin” and Jeff Nichols’ “Midnight Special”.
The film tells the story of a father, Malik (Ahmed), who embarks on a journey to save his two sons from alien threats. Ahmed was nominated for his Powerhouse performance in “Sound of Metal” last year, another Amazon studio film that was nominated for Best Picture. This entry may invite him back to the party. You can find similar characters and symbols with past nominees like Jeremy Rainer (“The Heart Locker”). Nevertheless, some disturbing images and anxiety-stimulating theme awards can divide voters and critics.
After her 2017 indie “Beast,” marking Pierce’s second feature, she shared her role before the screening, where she worked on the film “twelve hours a day for the past four years”. Also, co-author of Joe Burton, the Academy has never been kind to science fiction, especially with a film that plays the theme of mental illness within the genre. While they were open to some new waves, such as Alex Garland’s “X Machine”, which was nominated for the original screenplay, it could face a final battle in that category.
One place where it can find significant attraction is Jade Kurzel’s dynamic and hunting score. Already proving itself to be an indie flick like “Slow West”, its reflection in the special scene is a genre that the music branch can often be attracted to. The sound design team feels something that we got to see in the great Johnny Burn Orchestra, as it blends in with the oral shift and the changes that enhance the audience experience.
The “Encounter” festival begins, but it can be one of the hardest to predict in the upcoming dense season. Let’s start the game.