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Telluride by the Sea 2018

Telluride by the Sea 2018

The Music Hall
28 Chestnut Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801
United States603-436-2400


Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Hugh Jackman, Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, and Emma Stone


Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl); Matteo Garrone (Gomorrah); Jason Reitman (Thank You For Smoking, Up In The Air); and Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, The Killing of Sacred Deer)


Featured Filmmakers in the Loft; Festival Party on Chestnut Street.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire Friday, August 31, 2018…The secret is out: seven diverse, original films with international casts of both seasoned actors and fresh new faces, directed by some of the world’s most acclaimed filmmakers, are coming to The Music Hall’s Telluride by the Sea Festival in Portsmouth, New Hampshire—transforming the charming Seacoast town into a mecca for cinephiles for three exciting days, Friday, September 14 – Sunday, September 16, 2018. In keeping with the tradition, a limited number of individual film tickets go on sale, noon Friday, August 31. Weekend passes are already on sale, but Patron passes are already sold out.

For its 20th anniversary, Telluride by the Sea 2018 is filled with all-stars: Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Hugh Jackman, Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, and Emma Stone; and new work from directors Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl); Matteo Garrone (Gomorrah); Jason Reitman (Thank You For Smoking, Up In The Air); and Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, The Killing of Sacred Deer). For passholders only, the Loft will feature Featured Filmmakers, two films by two superlative female filmmakers who have earned their place among the finest living filmmakers today.

According to Chris Curtis, Film & Outreach Manager for The Music Hall, “For its twentieth year, we’re bringing a special seventh premiere film to The Music Hall’s big screen. All of these films will surely make “Best Of” lists this year, so be the first to see the movies that everyone will be talking about come awards season.”

Featured Filmmakers  – FOR PASSHOLDERS ONLY

Two excellent films by two superlative filmmakers. Each of these women have been guests at Telluride Film Festival and each of them has clearly earned their place among the finest living filmmakers today. Revisit these classics in the weekend context of a celebration of cinema. Introductions by one of The Music Hall’s female leaders in the arts.


Friday, September 14

5:30pm: Queues begin on Chestnut St.
5:45-6:55pm: Live Music on Street: John Mayer Five
6pm: Doors open for Patron Passholders
7pm: Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Patron Pass Party at LaBelle Winery Shop following film

Saturday, September 15

9:30am: Featured Filmmakers (Loft Series): Frida (2002)
1pm: Border
4pm: Dogman
7:30pm: The Front Runner
Festival Party on Chestnut Street following film, with food provided by The Portsmouth Brewery

Sunday, September 16

9-10:30am: Patron Passholder Brunch at The District
10:30am: Featured Filmmakers (Loft Series): The Piano (1993)
1:15pm: Girl
4pm:The Favourite
7pm: Free Solo


Can You Ever Forgive Me?
US, 1h 47m, Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

Telluride by the Sea 2018 Can You Ever Forgive Me

A once-respected author falling into obscurity, Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy) tries to save herself by tapping into her gift for forgery. Director Marielle Heller captures the ache of being alone and unglamorous in your 50s and, powerfully, the humiliation of poverty after a life of middle-class accomplishment. Melissa McCarthy is so precise in her depiction of Lee that you momentarily forget she’s one of Hollywood’s most successful comedians. But then, her exchanges with Richard E. Grant, playing an equally clever, equally desperate conman, are wildly funny. Can You Ever Forgive Me’s depth and pleasure ensure it will long endure.

Sweden, 1h 48m, Courtesy of Neon (subtitles)

Telluride by the Sea 2018 Border

In this poignant fairy tale, Tina (Eva Melander), a troll-like customs officer, has a preternatural sense of smell that allows her to detect guilt and rage. After catching a child-porn smuggler and being promoted to detective, Tina meets Vore (Eero Milonoff), who has similar physical irregularities and insists on their beauty. Swedish-Iranian director Ali Abbasi adapted the ingenious script with Isabella Eklöf and John Ajvide Lindqvist (Let The Right One In) from Lindqvist’s short story, and he skillfully blends erotic and supernatural elements with commentary about outsiders in contemporary Sweden.

Italy, 1h 43m, Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures (subtitles)

Telluride by the Sea 2018 Dogman

Marcello (Marcello Fonte) is an elfin, sweet-tempered dog groomer, who clearly has a deep affection for man’s best friend. To afford scuba-diving trips for his daughter, he also deals a little cocaine on the side, a neat arrangement until Simone, a former boxer, forces Marcello to assist in a robbery. Simone (Edoardo Pesce) is a short-tempered, dangerously impulsive thug, and he disrupts the fragile equilibrium of gentle Marcello’s life. In the manner of a classic Western, Marcello must ultimately take revenge. Writer-director Matteo Garrone returns to the impoverished small-town southern Italian atmosphere, blending shocking violence with heart-melting tenderness.

The Front Runner
US, 1h 52m, Courtesy of Sony Worldwide

Telluride by the Sea 2018 The Front Runner

The latest from writer-director Jason Reitman (Thank You For Smoking, Up In The Air), written with Matt Bai and Jay Carson, takes on the 1988 tabloid scandal that derailed Gary Hart’s presidential campaign. Hugh Jackman is remarkably convincing as the senator who is too interested in ideas to succeed in a changing media culture. Vera Farmiga is quietly heartbreaking as his wife; J.K. Simmons plays the campaign manager struggling to turn the candidate into a TV commodity. The supporting cast of actor-comedians includes Alex Karpovsky, Mike Judge, and Kevin Pollack.

Belgium-Netherlands, 1h 45m, Courtesy of Netflix (subtitles)

Telluride by the Sea 2018 Girl

This extraordinarily passionate and compassionate film follows Lara (Victor Polster), a young transsexual teenager whose medical progress is complicated by the grueling physical challenges of training to be a ballerina. Lukas Dhont’s storytelling, with its own lyrical, balletic elegance, seeks out every nuance and conflict arising from the physical and psychic challenges Lara must endure. Frank van den Eeden provides the agile, sensuous cinematography, and Polster, who was just 15 at the time of filming, embodies Lara’s obsessive dedication to her dreams. Polster’s commitment serves as the fuel for the film’s heartbreaking beauty and clarity.

The Favourite
UK, 2h, Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

Telluride by the Sea 2018 The Favourite

In the early 18th-century English court, Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) is chronically infirm but mercurial and her long-time consort Lady Marlborough (Rachel Weisz) manages parliamentary factions on the Queen’s behalf. Enter Abigail (Emma Stone), a young gentlewoman fallen on hard times seeking to restore her lost privileges. Director Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, The Killing of Sacred Deer) has fashioned a sumptuous comic melodrama that never loses its savage edge. Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara’s witty, foul-mouthed script finds a way to merge Barry Lyndon and All About Eve to exhilarating effect.

Free Solo
US, 1h 37m, Courtesy of National Geographic

Telluride by the Sea 2018 Free Solo

Already one of the most celebrated rock climbers in history, Alex Honnold sets out to do the impossible: “free solo” El Capitan, the legendary 3,000-foot wall in Yosemite. To free solo means climbing without ropes, meaning any mistake will be fatal. This vertiginous film, by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, uses an entire arsenal of mountain-film tricks to capture each perilous step. But this is much more than sport—the filmmaking team explores the calculus of risk in our lives, revealing Honnold’s inner life and the powerful arrival of love into his precarious world.


The Telluride Film Festival has been, for the last 45 years, a celebration of the art of film: honoring the great masters of the cinema, discovering the rare and unknown, bringing new works by the world’s greatest directors and the latest in American independent film to a small mountain town in Colorado. The New York Times called Telluride “the smallest, most original, and most stimulating of the major festivals,” while Entertainment Tonight simply said it was “the world’s best festival.”


The Music Hall and the Telluride Film Festival collaborate on an exclusive presentation of six new features, brought directly from their Colorado debuts. This unique and intimate Portsmouth event treats audience members from across the Northeast to an exclusive peek into the Telluride experience—packing one September weekend in Portsmouth with the latest international cinema, private parties, great music, delicious food, and inspired conversations with other cinephiles of all ages, tastes, and backgrounds. According to Patricia Lynch, executive director of The Music Hall, “Portsmouth is the perfect town for this perfect weekend. With its charming mix of history, salt air, and film lovers, Portsmouth buzzes when Telluride by the Sea arrives. The streets are filled with people stopping one another to talk about the films, the restaurants are jumping. It’s a moving party!”



Primary seating for all films
Opening night post-show party at LaBelle Winery Shop
VIP access to Founders Lobby all weekend, no lines
Festival Party on Chestnut St. with food provided by The Portsmouth Brewery
Sunday Brunch at The District
First admission to passholder-only Featured Filmmakers films in the Loft (seating limited!)
Patron Pass Seat Saver


Preferred seating for all films
Festival Party on Chestnut St. with food provided by The Portsmouth Brewery
Admission to passholder-only Featured Filmmakers films in the Loft (seating limited!).

Please note: Seating is General Admission. Patron Passholders are admitted first, Weekend Passholders second, and Individual ticket holders third. Show up early for best seating options. Featured Filmmakers films are in the Loft. Seating is very limited. Patron Passholders are admitted first. Seating is NOT guaranteed. Saving of seats or places in line is prohibited, except for Patron Passholders using designated seat-savers. Use of photographic, video, recording, or broadcast equipment is strictly prohibited.


A limited number of individual tickets will be available at noon, Friday August 31.

Weekend Passes are on sale now at the B2W Box Office @ the Historic Theater located at 28 Chestnut Street, in downtown Portsmouth, by phone at 603.436.2400, or online at TheMusicHall.org.