Searchlight Pictures recently 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 Film Festival, 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.
Searchlight coordinated the events in tandem with festival programmers to salute the spirit of collaboration between the 77th Venice International Film Festival, 47th Telluride Film Festival, 45th Toronto International Film Festival and 58th New York Film Festival. While Telluride was ultimately canceled, executive director Julie Huntsinger sought to honor the film with a hosted drive-in screening in Southern California.
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 features David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck).
Zhao reunites with her cinematographer on The Rider, Joshua James Richards (God’s Own Country). The film features compositions by Italian composer Ludovico Maria Enrico Einaudi and film editing by Zhao.
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), received several accolades including nominations for Independent Spirit Award for Best Film and Best Director. Zhao directed the upcoming Marvel Studios release Eternals, set for release in 2021 by Walt Disney Studios.