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Woody Allen's Rifkin’s Festival

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2020: #72. Rifkin’s Festival – Woody Allen

Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2020: #72. Rifkin’s Festival – Woody Allen

Rifkin’s Festival

Now that Woody Allen has been officially exiled, he’s been adopted in the realm of world cinema with his latest feature, Rifkin’s Festival, a provisional title for the Spanish/US co-pro, produced by Letty Aronson of Gravitas Productions (Vicky Cristina Barcelona; Midnight in Paris) and Jaume Roures of Mediapro. The international cast includes Gina Gershon, Christoph Waltz, Elena Anaya, Louis Garrel, Sergi Lopez, and previous Allen collaborators Wallace Shawn and Douglas McGrath. Notably, cinematographer Vittorio Storaro (The Last Emperor; Apocalypse Now), who also lensed Allen’s last three features (Café Society; Wonder Wheel; A Rainy Day in New York) is also on hand. Allen, who has led numerous actors to Oscar glory, and whose Annie Hall won Best Picture in 1977, has long been a festival favorite as well. While Berlin has only entered his 1975 title Love and Death in competition, Cannes and Venice have often programmed the director (though out of competition, according to Allen’s wishes).

MUBI World Cinema

Gist: Simply put, Allen’s latest is a romantic comedy about a couple who fall in love with the San Sebastian Film Festival as a backdrop.

Release Date/Prediction: Allen filmed in San Sebastian in July of 2019. While Cannes has long been a champion of Allen (Café Society opened the festival, out of competition in 2016), it will be curious to see if they’ll be as welcoming in 2020 (considering their handling of Lars Von Trier, for instance). While recent events could find Allen a bit more open to the possibility of a competition screening for Rifkin’s Festival, if he doesn’t pop up at Cannes we’ll have to wait for Venice 2020 to take up the gauntlet (which programmed both Roman Polanski and Nate Parker in 2019, filmmakers whose personal controversies have led to unforgiving and unrelenting scrutiny). We imagine that Donostia-San Sebastián is not a far fetched preem location considering the backdrop.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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