Telluride Film Festival Does it Again

12 years a slave, Telluride Film Festival, oscar, academy award
Move over, Cannes. Telluride Film Festival has become the most elite venue for premiering films. Last night’s Oscar ceremonies marked the fifth time in six years that the Academy’s “Best Picture” Award went to a movie that had its world or North American debut at Telluride Film Festival. The film 12 Years a Slave screened at the 2013 festival in our tiny mountain town.
In 2008, TFF screened Slumdog Millionaire. In 2010, The King’s Speech premiered here. In 2012 it was Argo that first captivated audiences in Telluride before going on to win the Oscar for Best Picture.
Telluride Film Festival’s uncanny knack for picking the winners has not gone unnoticed in the media. The LA Times ran a piece in 2013 with this lede:

“Oscar pundits love to debate the best forecaster of the Academy Awards. Is it the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild ensemble trophy or some obscure film critics organization? Here’s a new theory: the Telluride Film Festival.”

The Directors of Telluride Film Festival are more interested in creating programs of the most worthy films, the hard work that has kept the festival thriving for the past 40 years, than they are about the awards. Said Gary Meyer, who co-directs the festival with Tom Luddy and Julie Huntsinger, to the Times, “We’re pleased for the films and filmmakers … but it’s not what we’re about. We’re about showing a great selection of movies to our audience.”

12 years a slave, Telluride Film Festival, oscar, academy award
“12 Years a Slave” premiered at the 2013 Telluride Film Festival.