Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Roma’ Will Play the New York Film Festival
By Amanda Svachula
The filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón’s autobiographical movie “Roma” — his first feature since he won best director for his 2013 drama “Gravity” — will be the centerpiece of the New York Film Festival this fall.
Set in Mexico City in the early 1970s, “Roma” tells the story of a middle-class family held together by a live-in nanny and housekeeper played by actress Yalitza Aparicio. The black-and-white film is loosely based on Mr. Cuarón’s early years growing up in Mexico.
“I am honored ‘Roma’ has been selected for the centerpiece slot at this year’s New York Film Festival,” Mr. Cuarón said in a statement. “NYFF has a longstanding history of celebrating meaningful and compelling filmmaking, and it felt right to return to the festival with ‘“Roma’ — an incredibly personal, illuminating and transformative project for me.”
The New York premiere comes after a rocky start for the movie, which is being distributed by Netflix. It was chosen to appear at the Cannes Film Festival in May, but Netflix pulled it and other titles after the festival reinstated a rule requiring that eligible movies receive French theatrical distribution.
In France, films that are released theatrically can’t stream for three years after their premiere. This conflicted with Netflix’s business model, which avoids French theaters in favor of immediate streaming.
Mr. Cuarón’s last theatrical release, “Gravity,” brought in $723 million worldwide, and he won an Oscar for best director and shared one for best editor (with Mark Sanger).
The New York Film Festival will run Sept. 28 through Oct. 14. “Roma” is set to play the event on Oct. 5 in its New York premiere (the festival was unable to confirm whether it would have a world premiere elsewhere). Netflix would not say when the movie will be released generally.