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The Contenders, 2020

December 10, 2020 – February 28, 2021

The Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art announces its selection of the best and boldest films of 2020 for the 13th annual The Contenders, running entirely online from December 10, 2020, through February 28, 2021. MoMA’s end-of-year series offers audiences the opportunity to catch up on the year’s most celebrated films, from the comfort of home. The Contenders 2020 will be the first of MoMA’s film series to be presented on The Museum’s new Virtual Cinema platform. Beginning on December 10, Virtual Cinema will be accessible exclusively to MoMA members via moma.org.

Opening the series on December 10 is Garrett Bradley’s Time. Bradley produced and directed this astounding documentary that spans 20 years, detailing one woman’s fight for the release of her husband from a 60-year prison sentence. This year’s Centerpiece selection is George C. Wolfe’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Based on the play by August Wilson and starring Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman, tensions rise between Ma Rainey and her band, and music executives at a Chicago recording studio in 1927. The Contenders Closing Night film is Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland. Based on Jessica Bruder’s book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, Francis McDormand stars as a newly-widowed and jobless woman abandoning her rural Nevada town, in search of work, meeting other nomads along the way.


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 Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston, and The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art.




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Time. 2020. USA. Directed by Garrett Bradley. Courtesy Amazon Studios

First Cow. 2020. USA. Directed by Kelly Reichardt. Courtesy A24

The Assistant. 2020. USA. Directed by Kitty Green. Courtesy Bleecker Street

Kajillionaire. 2020. USA. Directed by Miranda July. Courtesy Focus Features

Dick Johnson is Dead. 2020. USA. Directed by Kirsten Johnson. Courtesy Netflix

Never Rarely Sometimes Always. 2020. USA. Directed by Eliza Hittman. Courtesy Focus Features

76 Days. 2020. USA/China. Directed by Hao Wu, Weixi Chen, Anonymous. Courtesy MTV Docs

Tesla. 2020. USA. Directed by Michael Almereyda. Courtesy IFC Films

Gunda. 2020. Norway. Directed by Victor Kosssakovsky. Courtesy NEON.

Babyteeth. 2020. Australia. Directed by Shannon Murphy. Courtesy IFC Films

Crip Camp. 2020. Directed by Nicole Newnham & Jim Lebrecht. Courtesy Netflix

Boys State. 2020. USA. Directed by Amanda McBaine & Jesse Moss. Courtesy Apple/A24

His House. 2020. Directed by Remi Weekes. Courtesy Netflix.

MLK/FBI. 2020. USA. Directed by Sam Pollard. Courtesy IFC Films

City Hall. 2020. USA. Directed by Frederick Wiseman. Courtesy Zipporah Films

The White Tiger. 2020. USA/India. Directed by Ramin Bahrami. Courtesy Netflix

Da 5 Bloods. 2020. USA. Directed by Spike Lee. Courtesy Netflix

Pieces of a Woman. 2020. USA/Canada. Kornél Mundruczó. Courtesy Netflix

Mangrove. 2020. UK. Directed by Steve McQueen. Courtesy Amazon Studios

Lovers Rock. 2020. UK. Directed by Steve McQueen. Courtesy Amazon Studios