Telluride Film Festival canceled

The 2020 Telluride Film Festival has been canceled, event organizers announced today. Considered one of the world’s top four fall festivals, the cancellation of Telluride due to COVID-19 will likely affect other movie events in the coming months, including the other three majors: Toronto, New York and Venice. (Venice, the world’s oldest film festival, and New York are still on schedule, at least for now. However, Toronto has already announced that its festival will be largely virtual this year.)

I attended last year’s Telluride Film Festival and was eagerly anticipating this year’s event. But it wasn’t to be. I look forward to seeing you all back in the prettiest town in Colorado in 2021.

Here is the full statement from Telluride:

“After months of intense due diligence around physically holding an event, we’ve come to the heartbreaking but unanimous conclusion to cancel this year’s Labor Day celebration of film in Telluride.

While there will be those who might say they’re not surprised by it, that this was inevitable, we beg to differ. It didn’t have to be this way. Until the past week or so, we had a very good plan to put on the SHOW safely. But with a seemingly unending number of new cases of Covid-19 and the national chaos around it, even the best strategy is threatened by this out of control environment. No matter how much many of us wear our masks and observe social distancing protocols, the pandemic has worsened rather than improved and the health and safety of you – our passholders, filmmakers, the people of Telluride and its surrounding areas – cannot be compromised.

As you may know, we have been working cooperatively with our fellow fall film festival partners to champion global cinema and its artists. We hope that many of you will seek out and discover the titles we’ve selected for this year’s program at the New York Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, or Venice Film Festival, or when they’re made available on a wider basis. We will announce soon what we have carefully programmed in the hopes that you will experience as we did, the best in film this year. There are some incredible, powerful, and beautiful gems and we’re excited to extol their virtues when the time is right. Follow these titles, support them. We intend to champion them outside of the festival as best we can.

For those who have supported us and believe in what we are trying to do, our gratitude is enormous. Thank you. We will need you in the coming months in many ways. Let’s light candles now to conjure a better 2021 and Labor Day weekend in Telluride, together, under the stars in the mountains doing what many of us love the most. The way we prefer to experience cinema will return.  Let’s make it so.

We wish you good health, peace and may we collectively move forward to a better world.”

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