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Every year there are films that resonate far beyond a theatrical release—if they manage to find their way to a commercial screen at all—or film festival appearance. Their significance can be attributed to a variety of factors, from structure to subject matter to language, but these films are united in their lasting impact on the cinematic art form. For this recurring series, the Department of Film combs through major studio releases and the top film festivals in the world, selecting influential, innovative films made in the past 12 months that we believe will stand the test of time. Whether bound for awards glory or destined to become a cult classic, each of these films is a contender for lasting historical significance, and any true cinephile will want to catch them on the big screen.

Read posts related to The Contenders at INSIDE/OUT, a MoMA/MoMA PS1 blog.

Organized by the Department of Film.

The exhibition is supported by BNP Paribas.

Media sponsorship is provided by The Hollywood Reporter.

Past events