TIFF: CHLOÉ ZHAO’S “NOMADLAND” FOLLOWED BY FALL 2020 THEATRICAL RELEASE

SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES SETS PREMIERE EVENTS WITH MAJOR

FALL FILM FESTIVALS FOR CHLOÉ ZHAO’S “NOMADLAND”

FOLLOWED BY FALL 2020 THEATRICAL RELEASE

Venice and Toronto Simultaneous World Premieres September 11th

 Searchlight Pictures Chairmen Nancy Utley and Steve Gilula announced a series of global screenings to commemorate Chloé Zhao’s upcoming feature film NOMADLAND’s invitations to Venice, Toronto, Telluride, and New York Film Festivals. Zhao’s third film, an exploration of modern-day van dwelling life on the road, will World Premiere with simultaneous screenings on September 11th at the 77th Venice International Film Festival and the 45th Toronto International Film Festival, both of which will feature virtual introductions by producer, writer, editor, and director Zhao, and producer and actor Frances McDormand. Telluride, which canceled its 47th edition due to the global pandemic, will host a special “Telluride from Los Angeles” drive-in screening in Southern California later in the evening, featuring in-person appearances by Zhao and McDormand. Additionally, the New York Film Festival announced NOMADLAND as the Centerpiece Selection of the 58th edition of the festival, leading into a domestic theatrical release this fall, subsequently rolling out internationally. 

NOMADLAND marks the first project between Zhao and Searchlight and the fifth between McDormand and Searchlight. McDormand won an Oscar for her performance in Martin McDonagh’s film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which Searchlight released globally in 2017. Zhao adapted NOMADLAND from journalist Jessica Bruder’s 2017 non-fiction book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century following 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 a company town in rural Nevada, packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad. The film features real nomads Linda May, Swankie, and Bob Wells as Fern’s mentors and comrades in her exploration through the vast landscape of the American West.

“The American road fascinates me.  It’s heartbreakingly beautiful and deeply complicated. I’ve traveled it for many years and always hoped to capture a glimpse of it. I’m thankful to be able to make NOMADLAND and excited for audiences to join Fern on her adventure,” said Zhao. 

“NOMADLAND is a true cinematic discovery,” said Utley and Gilula. “We are grateful to Chloé and the entire NOMADLAND filmmaking team and to the festival community that is essential to the success of independent films, and we thank Alberto and Giulia, Julie and Tom, Cameron and Joana, and Eugene and Dennis for the opportunity to be a part of this unique time in our industry’s changing landscape. Chloé reminds us that film has the power to connect us no matter how far apart we might seem. We hope this special film can move audiences across the world and further support global cinema.” 

“It is both a great pleasure and honor to be part of Chloé Zhao’s new film’s unveiling to the world,” said Venice International Film Festival Director Alberto Barbera. “NOMADLAND is a brave and touching journey into a world that exists under the radar of mainstream social consciousness. It is a film that acquires particular meaning in a moment of pandemic induced seclusion, proving that values like mutual support and a strong sense of community can save us from solitude, failure, and despair. I am also happy to share the opportunity to support this beautiful film with our fellow festivals of Telluride, Toronto, and New York: a concrete sign of solidarity and collaboration in this unprecedented and difficult time.”

“We can’t wait for Toronto audiences to fall in love with NOMADLAND as we did,” said TIFF Co-Heads Joana Vicente and Cameron Bailey. “Frances McDormand’s heartbreaking performance and Chloé Zhao’s wise embrace of American outcasts make this a film everyone should see. We’re proud to join our colleagues in Venice, Telluride, and New York in presenting this terrific new film from Searchlight.”

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