50th Telluride Film Festival

Thu, Aug 31, 2023 – Mon, Sep 4, 2023

50th Telluride Film Festival: Because of the ongoing strikes, Telluride Film Festival director Julie Huntsinger was sitting in her office a few weeks ago thinking this year’s lineup would be like the pandemic year.

Huntsinger boasts, with gratitude, that she didn’t lose one film for the 50th festival, which fans love for its carefully chosen movies blending future Oscar winners like “Argo,” “Moonlight,” and “The Shape of Water” with the best international and indie films.

Like I told some filmmakers, we just keep making lemonade,” Huntsinger told me recently.

50th Telluride Film Festival
50th Telluride Film Festival

50th Telluride Film Festival: Unveiling the Lineup Amidst Challenges

Because of the strikes, Telluride Film Festival director Julie Huntsinger was in her office thinking this year’s lineup would be like 2020.

Huntsinger boasts gratefully that she didn’t lose one film for the 50th festival, loved by fans for its carefully picked movies like future Oscar winners “Argo,” “Moonlight,” and “The Shape of Water” plus the best international and indie films.

Like I told some filmmakers, we just keep making lemonade,” Huntsinger recently told me.

This year has new movies from Oscar-winning directors Alexander Payne, Emerald Fennell, and Steve McQueen.

There are also world premieres like “Rustin,” a biopic of activist Bayard Rustin; “Nyad,” starring Annette Bening as swimmer Diana Nyad; and “All of Us Strangers” from director Andrew Haight.

The festival is honoring directors Yorgos Lanthimos, Wim Wenders, and Alice Rohrwacher, who all have films there.

The lineup reflects strike reality. Usually there are tributes to actors; last year Cate Blanchett was honored. But with the strike, tributes went to directors instead.

It’s fun having glittering stars, but with what’s going on, it felt good to go old-school,” says Huntsinger, shocked they’d never honored Wenders before.

She raved about Rohrwacher: “She seems unreal. She is the most earthy, intelligent, gentle, beautiful.” And Lanthimos – “I can’t imagine him making something not mind-blowing.

Huntsinger has a soft spot for “Fallen Leaves,” a melancholy comedy from Aki Kaurismaki.

Even considering the title and a fallen leaf itself, a fallen leaf is still beautiful,” she says. “You can lose some vibrancy but still be vibrant.”

This year they honor the founders like Tom Luddy, who passed from Parkinson’s.

Huntsinger wants to dispel the “film nerd” myth. “Let’s rethink what a cinephile is. Because some are really f—ing cool,” she says.

Like Ethan Hawke, bringing his new film and hosting a sexy cool screening of “All That Jazz.” “He really loves film in an unpretentious way,” Huntsinger says.

You hear people talk about Telluride, but you have to be here,” she says. “You come and say, ‘I get it. They’re all in jeans. We do hear “the cinephile festival!” Let’s rethink cinephile. Because there are many fun, thrilling, even sexy cinephiles.

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