Film at Lincoln Center announces Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla as the Centerpiece selection for the 61st New York Film Festival, making its North American premiere at Alice Tully Hall on October 6.
Never has there been a more obsessed-over American pop icon than Elvis Presley, yet no one knew him more tenderly during his superstar years than Priscilla Ann Wagner, whose own story as Elvis’s romantic partner and only wife has rarely been told from her perspective. Director Sofia Coppola, who in her remarkable filmography has so often returned to intimate portraits of women living complicated lives behind closed doors, has found a subject exquisitely tailored to her interests. As portrayed with extraordinary poise and strength by Cailee Spaeny, Priscilla finally becomes the center of her narrative. Coppola follows her love affair with Elvis (an equally revelatory, larger-than-life Jacob Elordi), from her early years as a teenage army brat stationed in West Germany to her surreal arrival at Graceland, which becomes both her home and prison. With her customarily precise attention to texture and detail, Coppola has created one of her most stirring, vivid films, a tribute to a woman who was living in the public eye before she had truly experienced the world. Featuring evocative, moody cinematography by Philippe Le Sourd and original music by Phoenix. An A24 release.
Coppola, Youree Henley, and Lorenzo Mieli of The Apartment/Fremantle and American Zoetrope produced the film. Coppola was also joined by Stacey Battat (Costume Designer), Sarah Flack (Editor), and Tamara Deverell (Production Designer).
“I am honored to be back at the New York Film Festival with my new film and to be telling Priscilla Presley’s story, the unseen side of a great American myth,” said director Sofia Coppola.
“Priscilla is a culminating triumph for Sofia Coppola, a filmmaker with a singular gift for illuminating the interior lives of her characters,” said Dennis Lim, Artistic Director, New York Film Festival. “It’s a showcase for a pair of star-making performances and a work of tremendous empathy and emotional nuance. We are looking forward to welcoming Sofia back to the festival with one of her very best films.”
Sofia Coppola made history in 2017 as only the second woman to win the Best Director prize at the Cannes Film Festival for her film The Beguiled, where her directorial debut The Virgin Suicides had its world premiere in 1999. Coppola’s second feature film Lost in Translation (2003) brought her the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay as well as nominations for Best Director and Best Picture. Coppola’s writing and directing credits also include Marie Antoinette (2006, NYFF44) starring Kirsten Dunst, which was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival; Somewhere (2010), which was honored with the Golden Lion at the 67th Venice Film Festival; The Bling Ring (2013) starring Emma Watson, Leslie Mann, Taissa Farmiga, and Katie Chang; A Very Murray Christmas (2015) starring Bill Murray; and On the Rocks (2020), which had its world premiere at NYFF58. Coppola also serves as producer on Fairyland (2023), directed by Andrew Durham. In addition to her film career, Coppola directed a production of La Traviata at the Rome Opera House, for which she teamed up with Valentino and production designer Nathan Crowley. In 2022, she created a room for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibit, “In America: An Anthology of Fashion.”
The NYFF Main Slate selection committee, chaired by Dennis Lim, also includes Florence Almozini, Justin Chang, K. Austin Collins, and Rachel Rosen.
Presented by Film at Lincoln Center, the New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema and takes place September 29–October 15, 2023. An annual bellwether of the state of cinema that has shaped film culture since 1963, the festival continues an enduring tradition of introducing audiences to bold and remarkable works from celebrated filmmakers, as well as fresh new talent.
Secure your Centerpiece tickets and more with Festival Passes, limited quantities on sale now. NYFF61 single tickets will go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, September 19 at noon ET, with pre-sale access for FLC Members and Pass holders prior to this date. NYFF61 press and industry accreditation opens July 31.