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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

TCM Presents Annual Film Festival May 6 – 9 on TCM and HBO Max

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) today announced that the TCM Classic Film Festival (TCMFF) will run virtually this year Thursday, May 6 – Sunday, May 9, both on the TCM network and for the first time within the Classics Curated by TCM Hub on HBO Max. The 12th Annual Festival will open with a 60th anniversary screening of West Side Story (1961) with stars Rita Moreno, George Chakiris and Russ Tamblyn giving new and exclusive interviews. This much anticipated cast reunion will air on TCM and be available on HBO Max simultaneously for opening night on May 6 at 8:00 PM ET. Use the below picture as a link to the announcement made by TCM host, Ben Mankiewicz.

“We’re thrilled to expand this year’s virtual festival across two platforms – linear and streaming. Our approach gives fans even more movies, stars and unique presentations to choose from,” said Pola Changnon, head of TCM. “The breadth of this festival will offer interest for every kind of classic movie fan whether they’re new to this world or card-carrying cinephiles!”

This year’s festival will feature four days of unique and complementary programming on both TCM and HBO Max. Cable subscribers can tune in to TCM for an extensive lineup of iconic classic films, presented by TCM hosts who will sometimes be joined by special guests. Starting the same day, HBO Max subscribers can navigate to the Classics Curated by the TCM Hub to find unique and unforgettable classic movies not scheduled in the festival, as well as exclusive film discussions and interviews with festival special guests and TCM hosts, panels and unique presentations, brand new film introductions from our TCM hosts, and rarely seen behind-the-scenes footage.

The following is just a taste of what fans can expect at the upcoming festival, with more talent and special events to be announced closer to Opening Night. The Masters place a spotlight on iconic directors, including Rob Reiner and Mira Nair, who will introduce one of their seminal films and share their personal recollections of the production. Tributes at the festival will recognize a select group of individuals, such as Danny Glover and Ali MacGraw, whose careers have left a lasting impact on cinema, and include exclusive conversations celebrating the honoree. Guest Programmers are those from different fields of expertise who select and introduce their favorite films (one year I saw Malcolm McDowell introduce Yankee Doodle Dandy). Discoveries are films, like Antwone Fisher (2002) and They Won’t Believe Me (1947), that have been forgotten or overlooked by time or changing cultural tastes that deserve to be rediscovered. Special Collections are curated collections of films highlighting special themes that spotlight specific genres, eras, technical expertise, or cultures, including a focus this year on the 1970s black filmmakers movement known as The L.A. Rebellion. And of course, the Essentials are timeless classics that have shaped generations, both past and present, and continue to influence filmmaking and culture today. Special Presentations are unique presentation events created by notable filmmakers and film experts which illuminate little-known and rarely seen film history. And so much more will be going on, it's hard to list everything here.

This is the second year the TCM Film Festival has gone virtual. And although it's not even close to matching the excitement of the fest in person, they do a great job of making the most of what they have. Overall, the virtual TCMFF is a great experience that surpasses expectations and offers a great accessibility never before known by. fans who wish they could be a part of the festivities, but can't. I hope TCM continues to offer the virtual festival even when things get back to being able to meet in person, so that those who never before had the opportunity to visit the Hollywood party, can continue to feel like part of the crowd.

For more information, including a How To Fest guide, please visit


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