Bradley Cooper’s ‘Maestro’ Set As Spotlight Gala At New York Film Festival

Maestro, the Leonard Bernstein biopic starring and directed by Bradley Cooper, will have the Spotlight Gala slot at this fall’s 61st New York Film Festival.

The Netflix film’s North American premiere on October 2 will come a few weeks after its world premiere in Venice. Netflix and New York have had an active relationship in recent years, with recent editions of the festival including films like The Irishman, Marriage Story, White Noise, The Power of the Dog and Roma occupying tentpole slots.

Lincoln Center’s Geffen Hall, which reopened last year after a $550 million renovation, will host the premiere. The venue is home to the New York Philharmonic, of which Bernstein was the longtime conductor.

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Maestro is Cooper’s directorial follow-up to A Star Is Born. Per the official logline, “Coasting on the boundless energy of its subject’s runaway genius, Maestro transports the viewer back to a vividly re-created postwar New York, when Bernstein (Cooper) began his stratospheric rise to international fame as both a conductor and composer, and also when he first met Felicia (Carey Mulligan), the actress whom he would marry and spend his life with. Maestro is a tender, often intensely emotional film about the different faces one wears when living in the public eye, depicting Bernstein’s open bisexuality as frankly as it does the complicated yet devoted decades-spanning relationship between Leonard and Felicia.”

New York Film Festival Artistic Director Dennis Lim called Maestro “a bravura achievement” for Cooper and “a work of conviction and imagination that does justice to the brilliance and complexity of its subject.” He noted that David Geffen Hall, where the screening will be held, is “synonymous” with Bernstein. It is also the venue where the first New York Film Festival was held in 1963.

A Dolby Vision projection system and a Dolby Atmos sound system will be installed by Dolby and its technical partners in Geffen Hall specifically for the Maestro screening.

The NYFF Spotlight selection committee, chaired by Lim, also includes Florence Almozini, Justin Chang, K. Austin Collins, and Rachel Rosen.

Maestro’s Spotlight Gala screening joins previously announced Main Slate, Opening Night, Closing Night and Centerpiece titles on the New York docket. The festival opens September 29 and runs through October 15.

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