By Joey Nolfi
July 18, 2018 at 01:18 PM EDT
Credit: Carlos Somonte / NETFLIX
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Alfonso Cuarón will make his directorial comeback on the 2018 awards season trail.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced Wednesday that Roma, the celebrated Mexican filmmaker’s first feature project since 2013’s Gravity, has been selected to screen at the 56th New York Film Festival as the Centerpiece presentation.

Produced by Esperanto Filmoj and Participant Media for release on Netflix and in theaters by the end of the year, Roma follows a middle-class family as they navigate daily life throughout one year in 1970s Mexico City. The black-and-white film serves as an autobiographically inspired tale threaded by the presence of the family’s live-in nanny and housekeeper (Yalitza Aparicio).

“I was absolutely stunned by Roma from beginning to end — by the craftsmanship and the artistry of everyone involved, by the physical power and gravitational force of the images, by the realization that I was seeing something magical: a story of ongoing life grounded within the immensity and mystery of just being here on this planet. Alfonso Cuarón’s film is a wonder,” festival director Kent Jones said in a press statement.

Cuarón added: “I am honored Roma has been selected for the Centerpiece slot at this year’s New York Film Festival. NYFF has a longstanding history of celebrating meaningful and compelling filmmaking and it felt right to return to the festival with Roma — an incredibly personal, illuminating, and transformative project for me.”

Roma is billed as having its New York premiere Oct. 5 at Alice Tully Hall, which suggests that screenings at other Oscar-positioning festivals earlier in the fall circuit (Venice, Telluride, Toronto) are likely to precede the project’s NYFF bow.

While NYFF typically hosts films making a splash on the awards front, the Centerpiece slot is often reserved for bold, visionary titles from well-known filmmakers regardless of their Oscar prospects. Other recent Centerpiece selections include Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck, Mike Mills’ 20th Century Women, Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs, and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice.

Roma was previously expected to debut earlier this year at Cannes, though Netflix’s public row with the festival over theatrical-versus-digital release rollouts resulted in the streaming giant — which bagged multiple Oscar nominations for its historical drama Mudbound at the 2018 Oscars ceremony — pulling its slate from the Croisette.

The 56th New York Film Festival runs Sept. 28-Oct. 14. Tickets go on sale to the public beginning Sept. 9. Festival passes, including VIP tickets, are available now.


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