As all spring film festivals, like SXSW and Tribeca, are canceled and the fate of the Cannes Film Festival is still up in the air, the Telluride Film Festival has received approval from the mountain town’s city council to add an extra day to its late summer event.
Originally scheduled from September 4-7, the event, which attracts an international crowd of nearly 3,000 film-lovers, film industry heavyweights and a fleet of crew and volunteers, will now begin September 3. Film festival representative Brandt Garber explained the reasoning behind wanting an additional day added.
“We’re trying to create more space,” Garber said in a Zoom council meeting. “We need to be agile and nimble. Having more time seems it would be good for the town.”
While noting that the extra day will cost the festival money and that it won’t include adding more films to the slate, Garber said “We’re looking for a more relaxed and calmer atmosphere. We can spread out the programming. We’ll have more time and less hectic energy.”
Something of note, the small county of San Miguel where Telluride is located, was one of the first and only to provide free testing to its entire population and reported only eight cases in 8,200. Still, safety and precaution are paramount for the town, which doubles in population over the Labor Day weekend for the film festival, bringing in about 3,000 visitors and journalists.
While Telluride hosts a handful of world premieres, it often picks up Cannes winners that US audiences will see for the first time. Last year brought Portrait of a Lady on Fire as well as Palme d’Or and Best Picture Oscar winner Parasite. With Cannes up in the air, it could mean that Telluride, if the festival remains in tact, could become the main world premiere location of the year.
The 47th Telluride Film Festival is now slated for September 3-7, with the Opening Feed, which usually takes place Friday on Colorado Avenue, moving to Thursday and the annual closing day picnic still happening on that last day.