Telluride Film Festival co-founders
(with Tom Luddy and the late James Card) Bill and
Stella Pence have departed after 34 years. A ninth venue – The Backlot – has been added, joining the historic
Sheridan Opera House, the Masonic Hall, et al., in order to accommodate the
numerous submissions of cinema-themed documentaries. And the festival’s base of operations has
moved to San Francisco from Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
No one seems too fazed. New co-director Gary Meyer calls the
transition "incredibly smooth." "If it
ain’t broke," said Luddy, "don’t fix it." And filmmaker Werner Herzog notes that "spiritually it will be the same.
Telluride is a family reunion of those who really love films."
One thing that hasn’t changed is the quality
and diversity of the selections. Some likely
candidates for prizes during the coming award season: Noam Baumbach’s Margot at the Wedding, the follow-up to
his brilliant, wrenching The Squid and
the Whale; Into the Wild, Sean
Penn’s adaptation of Jon Krakauer’s 1996 account of an ill-fated Alaskan
wilderness trip; and I’m Not There,
directed by Todd Haynes and starring Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger, Richard Gere
and others, all playing Bob Dylan.