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The Contenders 2021

November 04, 2021 – January 22, 2022

The Museum of Modern Art

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 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.

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

Grosse Freiheit (Great Freedom). 2021. Austria/Germany. Written and directed by Sebastian Meise. Courtesy MUBI

Bergman Island. 2021. France/Belgium/Germany/Sweden/Mexico. Written and directed by Mia Hansen-Løve. Courtesy IFC Films

Drive My Car. 2021. Japan. Directed by Ryûsuke Hamaguchi. Courtesy Sideshow/Janus Films

The Card Counter. 2021. USA. Written and directed by Paul Schrader. Courtesy Focus Features

Titane. 2021. France. Written and directed by Julia Ducournau. Courtesy NEON

Zola. 2021. USA. Directed by Janicza Bravo. Courtesy A24

About Endlessness. 2019. Sweden/Germany/Norway/France. Written and directed by Roy Andersson. Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

Annette. 2021. France. Directed by Leos Carax. Courtesy Amazon Studios

Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn. 2021. Romania/Luxembourg/Czech Republic/Croatia. Written and directed by Radu Jude. Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

Passing. 2021. USA. Written and directed by Rebecca Hall. Courtesy Netflix

Petite Maman. 2021. France. Written and directed by Céline Sciamma. Courtesy NEON/MK2

Prism. 2021. Belgium. Directed by Eléonore Yameogo, An van. Dienderen, Rosine Mbakam. Courtesy Icarus Films

Saint Narcisse. 2020. Canada. Directed by Bruce La Bruce. Courtesy Film Movement

Wife of a Spy. 2021. Japan. Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Courtesy Kino Lorber

The Worst Person in the World. 2021. Norway. Directed by Joachim Trier. Courtesy NEON/Everett Collection

Madres paralelas (Parallel Mothers). 2021. Spain. Written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar. Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics

Grosse Freiheit (Great Freedom). 2021. Austria/Germany. Written and directed by Sebastian Meise. Courtesy MUBI