Pedro Almodóvar’s “Parallel Mothers” has been tapped as the closing night selection of the 59th New York Film Festival.
The melodrama, which reunites the Spanish auteur with one of his greatest cinematic muses, Penélope Cruz, will make its North American premiere October 8 at Alice Tully Hall. “Parallel Mothers” is making its world debut as the opening night film of this year’s Venice Film Festival. Almodóvar and Cruz previously collaborated on the likes of “All About My Mother” and “Volver.”
The New York Film Festival is returning to in-person screenings after going entirely digital in 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns. It has yet to unveil its full lineup, but has landed some starry films for its prime slots. Joel Coen’s “The Tragedy of MacBeth” will kick off the festival as its opening-night feature, while Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog” will serve as its centerpiece selection.
Sony Pictures Classics is planning an awards run for “Parallel Mothers,” which it will release in theaters on December 24. The movie centers on two women, a generation apart, who find themselves inextricably linked by their brief time together in a maternity ward.
“It is always a privilege and an honor to feel that I am part of the most significant films of the season,” said Almodóvar. “After more than 30 years, the NYFF has become my second home. It is the best reason to visit New York and to see the best films of the year.”
“Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar’s long relationship with the New York Film Festival spans more than three decades and a dozen films,” said New York Film Festival Director Eugene Hernandez. “He returns this year with ‘Parallel Mothers,’ a stirring and somber exploration of secrets and hidden histories—those sometimes found in families and often buried by societies—and how those skeletons can shape the course of individual lives and entire cultures. We’re thrilled to have Pedro back at NYFF to conclude this 59th edition!”
The festival is presented by Film at Lincoln Center and takes place Sept. 24 – Oct. 10. As a concession to the the changing public health situation, the festival will also host virtual and outdoor screenings.
Variety's Brett Lang contributed to this post.