Mill Valley Lineup Announced

The Mill Valley Film Festival announced this year’s lineup Thursday morning. And the big question is: Which film will win the Best Picture Oscar?

Okay, the real big question is: What movies should you see? From October 4 through 14, the Festival will screen 108 feature films and 96 shorts, from 46 different countries. I can’t possibly see all of them before opening night…or even closing night.

CFI members will be able to buy tickets on September 9. Everyone else will have to wait until September 15.

Here are some of the big films at Mill Valley’s 41st festival:

  • Opening night: To start the Festival, you can pick either A Private War or The Green Book. Private War stars Rosamund Pike as the late, great warzone journalist Marie Colvin. Green Book stars Mahershala Ali as a black musician touring the south in 1962, with a white chauffer/bodyguard (Peter Farrelly).

Many filmmakers, of course, will be attending and providing Q&A.

Other films that might seem interesting include Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, Nina Paley animated version of the Passover story called Seder Masochism, and Angst, a documentary on anxiety in teenagers. (Note: I have updated this paragraph and the one that follows, adding links to the films that weren’t available when I first posted this article.)

Speaking of docs, the Active Cinema section screens films that, in theory, will send us marching in the streets (or at least pulling out credit cards). These include Harvest Season, Charm City, and Time for Ilhan, about Ilhan Omar, the first Somali American elected to the House of Representatives.

The title Mill Valley Film Festival is a bit misleading. The festival plays all over Marin County. I try to visit only one venue a day.

Oh, and about the Oscars. For the last seven years, at least, every film that won Best Picture had its Bay Area premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival. There’s no magic to it; it’s a matter of the calendar. The likely winners open in November and December, which means they’re on the festival circuit in October.