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Prepping for a Rocky Mountain High: Thoughts as I Head to the Telluride Film Festival

Tomorrow, I head to the airport for a Rocky Mountain high…sort of. I’m headed to the mountains of Colorado, but to the hallowed streets of Telluride for the prestigious Telluride Film Festival. It’ll take several early morning flights (whatever made me think a 6AM flight was a good idea?) and a long shuttle ride, but I’ll be there, the day before the fest kicks into gear for the 49th time. Why is this my first time going? Why this fest? Plus, what makes it so special? With Telluride about to kick off, I figured I’d muse a little bit about all of this today…

This is my first year at Telluride, largely due to the cost. Since the festival is basically the only one that charges the press to attend, I’ve long been opposed to that. What changed? Honestly? Now owning Awards Radar and being able to treat it as a business expense, though truth be told, a large part of it was that these plans were made while I was still dating my ex. It would have also been a mini vacation. So, that part is sad, but obviously, the movies will be there to make up for it!

Mostly, I’m excited to finally see the place for myself. Aside from the Cannes Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival, which also seem prohibitively expensive, Telluride is the only major one with Oscar crossover that II’ve yet to really experience. So, this is something that I’ll surely treasure. Who knows, maybe it’ll be the start of me returning year after year, like so many of my colleagues do?

What makes Telluride such a big deal? Well, a lot of it is how beautiful the town is, but also how small it is, compared to how big the Oscar players that screen there are. For a while, a film that won Best Picture at the Academy Awards was always playing there, and it remains a hallmark of the fest. So, most studios consider it an excellent place to hawk their best wares.

What will I be seeing? Well, it’s a secret! At least until tomorrow, that is. I have my suspicions, as I’ve detailed on some recent episodes of the Awards Radar Podcast, but it’s all going to be revealed soon enough. Whatever ends up in the lineup, it’ll be some of the highest profile titles of 2022. Once it’s known, I’ll be arranging my schedule to fit as much in as possible, with reviews to come as soon as humanly possible. There’s no rest for the weary kind, after all!

So, it’s going to be a time. I’ll in Telluride for a few days, then back home for only about 48 hours, before I whisk myself off to Canada and the Toronto International Film Festival. Stick around and sit tight for all of the movies, as they’re likely to impact the awards season in a major way…

Stay tuned for all of my coverage and reviews from the Telluride Film Festival!


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Written by Joey Magidson

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