Telluride Film Festival

Telluride Film Festival
The Telluride Film Festival is the most popular of the town's many festivals. | Photo by filmbuff421 / flickr

By John Leach

The Telluride Film Festival was created by local residents in 1974 and drew immediate attention by honoring not only director Francis Ford Coppola and actress Gloria Swanson but also the Nazi documentary filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl.

The Telluride festival has continued to draw top Hollywood movies and stars, as well as hard-core film fans, thanks to a Labor Day weekend schedule that falls conveniently between the Cannes Film Festival and the Toronto and New York festivals.

New films dominate the program, chiefly North American premieres. Past premieres include Michael Moore’s “Roger and Me,” Louis Malle’s “My Dinner With Andre,” David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet,” Ken Burns’ “The Civil War,” Neil Jordan’s “The Crying Game,” Ang Lee’s “Brokeback Mountain” and Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire.”

The film figures honored by the festival include Penélope Cruz, Daniel Day-Lewis, Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Clint Eastwood, Jodie Foster, Jack Nicholson, Peter O’Toole, Mickey Rooney, John Schlesinger and Meryl Streep.

The artists who have designed the poster art for the festival include such major figures as Chuck Jones, Jim Dine, Ed Ruscha and Gary Larson.

The festival shows 40 films in nine locations, including the Sheridan Opera House, local schools, the ski area’s conference center, other buildings and an outdoor venue, starting Friday night and ending Monday night. It offers four types of festival passes and regularly sells out well in advance.

Telluride Film Festival
800 Jones St.
Berkeley, CA   94710
(510) 665-9494