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The Museum of Modern Art announces its selection of the best and boldest films of 2020 for the 13th annual edition of “The Contenders,” running entirely online from December 10, 2020, through February 28, 2021. MoMA’s end-of-year series offers audiences the opportunity to catch up on the year’s most celebrated films, from the comfort of home. “The Contenders 2020” will be the first of MoMA’s film series to be presented on The Museum’s new Virtual Cinema platform. Beginnning on December 10, Virtual Cinema will be accessible exclusively to MoMA members via moma.org.
Opening the series on December 10 is Garrett Bradley’s Time. Bradley produced and directed this astounding documentary that spans 20 years, detailing one woman’s fight for the release of her husband from a 60-year prison sentence. This year’s Centerpiece selection is George C. Wolfe’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Based on the play by August Wilson and starring Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman, the film follows tensions that arise between Ma Rainey and her band and music executives at a Chicago recording studio in 1927. The Contenders Closing Night film is Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland. Based on Jessica Bruder’s book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, the film stars Francis McDormand as a newly widowed, jobless woman who abandons her rural Nevada town in search of work, meeting other nomads along the way.