Mill Valley Film Festival Plucks Promising Titles from Festival Circuit

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Still from Rebecca Hall's 'Passing,' featuring Clare (Ruth Negga) and Irene (Tessa Thompson). (Courtesy Mill Valley Film Festival)

Marin County’s long-running soirée is a supreme apple-picker, plucking the most promising titles from the Telluride, Venice, Toronto and New York festivals (which all take place in September) on their way to theatrical releases and end-of-year awards. The juicy offerings include Todd Haynes’ documentary The Velvet Underground (opening Oct. 15 before streaming on Apple+), Denis Villeneuve’s take on Frank Herbert’s Dune (Oct. 22) and Eve Husson’s adaptation of Graham Swift’s Mothering Sunday (Nov. 19).

The dazzling list of women directors also includes Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Lost Daughter), Rebecca Hall (Passing, adapted from Harlem Renaissance author Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel) and Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog). Release dates are forthcoming for all three films, with the latter two coming to Netflix.

MVFF also has the local premieres of a slew of Bay Area documentaries, including Susan Stern’s Bad Attitude: The Art of Spain Rodriguez, Suzanne Joe Kai’s Like a Rolling Stone: The Life & Times of Ben Fong-Torres and Andres Alegria and Abel Sanchez’s Song for Cesar. Local filmmakers have been busy during the pandemic, and we’re about to reap the benefits.

The Mill Valley Film Festival takes place Oct. 7–17 online and in-person.