Spencer. 2021. UK/USA. Directed by Pablo Larraîn. Courtesy NEON

In-Person Screenings and Conversations with Filmmakers Return, Beginning with Pablo Larraîn and Kristen Stewart on Opening Night

The Contenders 2021
November 4, 2021–January 22, 2022
The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters

The Museum of Modern Art announces its selection of the best and boldest films of 2021 for the 14th annual edition of The Contenders, running predominantly in-person, with a select number of Virtual Cinema screenings, from November 4, 2021, through January 22, 2022. MoMA’s end-of-year series offers audiences the opportunity to catch up on the year’s most noteworthy films, with special presentations and post-screening conversations with filmmakers and actors. MoMA members at the Explore category and above will have early, complimentary access to tickets for The Contenders screenings, beginning two weeks before each screening date. Open access to ticket reservations begins one week prior to each screening. Tickets can be reserved at moma.org/contenders or in person during regular Museum hours.

Opening the series on November 4 is Pablo Larraîn’s Spencer. Kristen Stewart stars as the iconic Princess Diana in this atmospheric feature detailing three pivotal days in 1991, as Diana makes the decision to leave Prince Charles. The film also features a score by Jonny Greenwood. The screening will be followed by a conversation with Pablo Larraîn and Kristen Stewart. The Contenders Closing Night film is the New York City premiere of Sebastian Meise’s Grosse Freiheit (Great Freedom). Awarded the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, this beautiful drama, set in postwar Germany, follows the complicated relationship between Hans, imprisoned for being a homosexual, and his longtime cellmate Viktor, a convicted murderer.

La Frances Hui, Curator, Department of Film, explains that “This year’s Contenders line-up includes highly anticipated genre pics, new works by the most followed auteurs such as Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog) and Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Memoria), and independent films that introduce emerging cinematic voices like Amalia Ulman (El Planeta) and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (Summer of Soul),” adding that “these selections are exhilarating and we believe the audience will enjoy the opportunity to watch them on our big screen and interact with the many artists who will attend in-person.”

Highlights of the 2021 line-up include Titane (Julia Ducournau), Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn (Radu Jude), Drive My Car (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi), Wife of a Spy (Kiyoshi Kurosawa), The Worst Person in the World (Joachim Trier), The Card Counter (Paul Schrader), Bergman Island (Mia Hansen-Løve), Annette (Leos Carax), About Endlessness (Roy Andersson), The Village Detective: a song cycle (Bill Morrison), Passing (Rebecca Hall), Last Night in Soho (Edgar Wright), Belle (Mamoru Hosoda), Saint Narcisse (Bruce LaBruce),The Lost Daughter (Maggie Gyllenhaal), Benedetta (Paul Verhoeven), The Hand of God (Paolo Sorrentino), Lingui, the Sacred Bonds (Mahamat-Saleh Haroun), The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen), The Velvet Underground (Todd Haynes), The Mitchells vs. the Machines (Michael Rianda, Jeff Rowe), Dune (Denis Villeneuve), The French Dispatch (Wes Anderson), Prism (Eléonore Yameogo, An van. Dienderen, Rosine Mbakam), The Rescue (E. Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin), tick, tick… BOOM! (Lin-Manuel Miranda), Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi), Petite Maman (Celine Sciamma), and many more titles to be announced.

The Contenders November schedule is currently available at moma.org/film.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masks (ages 2+) are required to attend on-site film screenings. Learn more about how you can visit MoMA safely at moma.org/visit/tips.


Film at MoMA is made possible by CHANEL.

Additional support is provided by the Annual Film Fund. Leadership support for the Annual Film Fund is provided by Debra and Leon D. Black and by Steven Tisch, with major contributions from The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation, the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, Karen and Gary Winnick, and The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston.

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