Telluride Film Fest: free films in Elks Park in thanks

Telluride Film Fest: free films in Elks Park in thanks

IMG_5308 Despite its relatively small crowd size –  about 3,000 attendees versus, say,10,000 for events such as Telluride Bluegrass -  Telluride Film Festival, September 3 – September 6, brings in more sales tax revenue to both Telluride and the Mountain Village than any other single event. And it does so with minimal environmental impact.

Equally important, the Telluride Film Festival has developed a worldwide reputation as to go-to spot for the unhyped celebration of the art of filmmaking. Telluride's reputation as the place to be results in hundreds of articles across the country and beyond each year, which reinforces the brand like no other festival can.

Finally, the Telluride Film Festival itself pumps well over $1 million into the local economy in staff salaries, lodging, food and other expenses. It is an economic engine without parallel. Neither the Festival nor the greater community would be the same without the other.

The Telluride Film Festival thanks Telluride in a number of ways that count, including free seminars and conversations and films at The Backlot (the Wilkinson Public Library) throughout the Festival weekend. In addition the Telluride Film Festival holds the master lease on the Nugget Theatre, which, with a little help from the Telluride Foundation and the Town of Telluride, allows for the programming of nightly movies. Telluride Film Festival Presents, Telluride Cinematheque at the Library, Sunday at The Palm are a few of the ways the Film Festival makes its presence felt in the greater community, providing entertainment to a wide audience of young and old alike throughout the year. The nonprofit also awards scholarships.

Hosting nights of free films at the Abel Gance Cinema in Elks Park over the Festival weekend is another of the givebacks.

The first screening of the 37th annual Telluride Film Festival on Wednesday night, September 1, 8:30 p.m. is Ken Burns' "The Tenth Inning." The four-hour documentary, set to air September  28 – 29 on PBS.

The latest from Burns, a documentary director with deep ties to Telluride (Burns is a regular at Telluride Film Festival and Mountainfilm in Telluride), is a look at the changes in national pastime of baseball over the past two decades. (Can you spell "steroids"?) It is clear Burns, a Sox fan, regards Barry Bonds as the black hat of the era. When Bonds broke Hank Aaron's home run record in 2007, the moment was met with a giant yawn or worse, disgust, rather than elation.

The Tenth Inning is not just gloom and doom. Burns includes many uplifting moments such as the astounding 2001 World Series, when the Yankees won a pair of unbelievable games at Yankee Stadium just weeks after the attack on the World Trade Center. And on the flip side, the jubilation New England felt when the Red Sox came back from three games to none in the 2004 American League Championship Series to defeat the arch-rival New York Yankees to eventually win the World Series over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Thursday's film is "Once Upon A Time In The West," an epic spaghetti western directed by Sergio Leone and starring Henry Fonda cast against type as a villain, Charles Bronson as his nemesis, Jason Robards as the bandit Cheyenne and Claudia Cardinale as Jill,a newly widowed homesteader and former prostitute.

"We have the most free screenings this year, more than ever before!," exclaimed Shannon Mitchell, Director of Public Relations.

For ongoing coverage of 2010 Telluride Film Festival, see Catalog of 2010 Stories. Reviews of previous Telluride Film Festivals at Film Fest.

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