Aspen Film taps Kate Hudson for 30th Academy Screenings opening night
Aspen Film has announced that opening night of the 30th Academy Screenings will feature Netflix’s highly-anticipated Glass Onion, the sequel to 2019 murder mystery/comedy Knives Out, followed by a Q&A with actor and part-time Old Snowmass resident Kate Hudson.
“Glass Onion is our opener — it’s such a crowd pleaser and so much fun. It doesn’t launch on Netflix until closer to Christmas. And, we are thrilled to get Kate Hudson in here for the Q&A,” said Susan Wrubel, executive and artistic director of Aspen Film. “We are also excited to have the director of The Pale Blue Eye, Scott Cooper, joining us for a Q&A after the screening of his film.”
Academy Screenings was launched 30 years ago when Aspen Film founder Ellen Kohner Hunt realized that many voting members of the academy and other entertainment guilds came to Aspen for the holidays. Voting members need to screen a film before voting, so it seemed like a great opportunity to bring in these films for the industry folks and locals and has grown from there.
Wrubel has curated a diverse lineup of 17 films for this year’s festival. She makes it a point to only bring films to the valley that have not had wide distribution and are not yet on any streaming platforms. Due to her contacts from her many years as a producer, film executive, and in distribution, she is able to get an early look at films that have premiered at the prestige festivals — like Cannes, Telluride, Venice, and Toronto — that have not made it into the mainstream yet.
“I basically kill myself to get the highest-quality movies from the best distributors that are the most awards-worthy that have gotten the best accolades,” she said.
A couple of the highlights of this year’s festival are Darren Aronofsky’s new film, The Whale, which is already generating Oscar buzz for actor Brendan Fraser’s performance; and Noah Baumbach’s White Noise, based on the novel by Don DeLillo, starring Adam Driver and Baumbach’s partner and muse, Greta Gerwig.
Wruber explained: “Driver and Gerwig are amazing together. It’s a wild ride, and the soundtrack is phenomenal; LCD Sound System recorded a new track for the film, which I was very excited about. It’s a bit of a departure for Noah Baumbach. It’s not as quiet of film as his other films. Or, I should say, maybe not quiet, maybe subtle. It’s definitely a bigger film.”
She has also managed to snag several films up for Best International Feature, including the submissions from Sweden (Cairo Conspiracy); France (Saint Omer); Ireland (The Quiet Girl), and Austria (Corsage). One foreign film that is not an Oscar contender but still worthy of seeing is the Iranian film No Bears from director Jafar Panahi, who is serving a six year jail sentence for making the film.
The festival will run from Dec. 19 to 23, and films will be screened between The Wheeler Opera House and the newly acquired Isis Theatre, which Wrubel calls “a dream come true.” Now that Aspen Film has its own brick-and-mortar venue, it will give them “more freedom and flexibility” to bring in more films from a variety of genres for special screenings, series, educational opportunities, and other community events, she said.
“Most foreign films don’t make it to this valley, so this is the opportunity to see them on a big screen,” she said.
And, in in the not-too-distant future, the Isis will undergo a bit of a face-lift.
“We have bigger plans for the theater and want to make some modifications where we’ll have a stage in the main auditorium,” Wrubel said, “so that we can actually bring guests on stage and have proper conversations and simulcast people and have microphones that are passed around the audience and more of a reception space downstairs. So, that will be upcoming.”
What: Aspen Film 30th Academy Screenings
When: Dec. 19-23
Where: The Wheeler Opera House & Isis Theatre
Tickets and more info: https://aspenfilm.org/festival/academy-screenings-2022