Traditionally, Labor Day is celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer vacation season. For some, it’s the last time to visit the beach for the year, or the last time to wear that favorite white, linen shirt hanging in the closet, or maybe it’s the last time you enjoy a nice picnic or barbecue with friends and family. Here in Telluride, Labor Day weekend is celebrated as a beginning. A commencement to a heated race of reviews, critiques, festivals and silver screen gazing… all hoping for as many miniature golden statues as possible five months later at the Academy Awards. “We take great pains to remain not a competition, but a celebration of the best in film – past, present and future – from all around the world. This is the one weekend immersed in an unabashed carnival of film: viewing, breathing, eating, and talking cinema. This is The SHOW”.
“…like Cannes died and went to heaven…” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
So, what makes Telluride Film Festival (TFF) unique and different than all the others – Sundance, Cannes, Venice, Toronto and more? First and most importantly, TFF is WAY more laid back. You won’t find any red carpets, TMZ, paparazzi, flashing cameras, stretch Hummer’s, champagne and other Hollywood-esk moments (thank God)... all the glamour and glitz is left behind when you arrive in our box canyon. You might even randomly sit beside Sean Penn at the Sheridan Bar having a beer (true story) or even get behind Laura Linney at the Clark’s Market checkout line (she’s pretty much a local) or stroll by Colin Firth on Main Street and exchange hello’s (another true story). Instead of black-tie, invite only events… TFF offers free Q&A’s in Elks Park where you can bring a blanket, lunch and enjoy the views of the surrounding 13,000 foot peaks. Relaxed, unhurried, casual, free from stress is something the film industry doesn’t embrace (for many reasons)… and that’s what makes Telluride so much more memorable.
“The town’s theatres are filled with the famous, the infamous, and the anonymous, seated side by side in a joyful camaraderie of discovery” – Steven G. Kellman, San Antonio Light
Second, TFF is about one thing - the love of film. A TRUE film festival where the films, not celebrities, are celebrated. The entire program is even a secret all the way up until hours before the festival starts. TFF calls their films “sneak peaks” and not “premieres” - the emphasis is on the movies and their creative teams, not on the announcement. Little things like this make the Labor Day Festival so special here in Telluride. With this charm and laidback attitude, it’s no wonder TFF has “sneak peaked” The King’s Speech, Black Swan, Slumdog Millionaire, The Lives of Others, Juno, Brokeback Mountain and many, many more fantastic films in recent years. Maybe it’s something in the air? Whatever it is… we look forward to another amazing and laidback Labor Day weekend here in Telluride. Welcome to The SHOW!
“The Telluride Festival is for those who have a passion for the cinema, those who live for the cinema, those who live for the cinema, rather than those who live on the cinema” – Bertrand Tavernier