Champagne Movies on a Light-Beer Budget
by Watch Staff
Sep 02, 2010 | 1474 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A Non-Passholder’s Guide to the Telluride Film Festival

TELLURIDE – A page on the Telluride Film Festival website reads: “Year after year, cinephiles with appetites for champagne movies brave the Festival on light-beer budgets.” With a 2010 lineup that includes a wide array of free movies and events and a few bargain options for tickets, even those on a shoestring budget can experience the Telluride Film Festival this year.

For moderately priced passes, try one of the festival’s two new options: a new Cinephile pass for $390 giving you admission to a special menu of Festival morsels, and the Acme Pass, priced at the special rate of $520, which offers nearly the full Festival experience in the Mountain Village venue, the Chuck Jones' Cinema.

“We understand that not everyone can buy a festival pass,” said TFF Director of Public Relations Shannon Mitchell. “We want anyone to be able to come and experience the Festival in some way, particularly the residents of Telluride.”

For those on the shoestring budget, check out the 12 p.m. seminars in Elks Park, which are free; the Conversations in front of the County Courthouse; the four film premieres — one each night — in the Open Air Cinema; the three Filmmakers of Tomorrow presentations; all of the films at the Backlot (at Wilkinson Library), all of them free. For $40, there’s the Late Show Pass, good for the last film each day at two different theatres, for up to four films.

Among the best offerings for the non-passholder are the nightly film screenings at the Abel Gance Outdoor Cinema in Elks Park. The four films this weekend will provide everyone, from the veteran festivalgoer to the inquisitive novice, a chance to catch a free movie in a most Telluride-esque setting – sitting on a blanket under the stars.

The keys to watching one of these outdoor films is first to stake your claim on a piece of the lawn, preferably a piece with a good view of the screen. And second, to dress warmly.

Friday’s film is Oka! Amerikee; Saturday’s is The Princess of Montpensier; Sunday’s is The Way Back; Monday’s film has yet to be announced. All shows start at 8:30 p.m. Film descriptions can be found in The Film Watch or on TFF website.

This year’s Films at the Backlot schedule includes Moguls and Movie Stats with Q & A, Friday, Sept. 3, at 12 p.m.; Cameraman: Life/Work Jack Cardiff with Q & A, at 2:30 p.m.; Hurricane Kaltozof at 4:45 p.m.; and The Magnificent Tati at 6:30 p.m., wrapping up with The World According to Ion B. and Daniel Schmid: Le Chat Qui Pense, at 8 and 9:45 p.m., respectively.

As Mitchell explains, the Backlot was created to further enhance the Festival’s ongoing tribute to the art of film, and give festivalgoers a special behind-the-scenes look at the past, present, and future of cinema.

“We see so many wonderful films exploring the world of film that it seemed perfect to create a festival within the Festival that compliments the passion for cinema that our filmmakers and audiences bring to Telluride,” said TFF co-director Tom Luddy.

The first Library showing will be Friday at noon, and the free movie blitz will continue nearly uninterrupted through the weekend. All screenings are free and open to the public. See the 2010 Program Guide or The Film Watch for a full listing. More free films are marked, in the schedules in both programs, with an encircled No-$.

Films aren’t the only free events festivalgoers can attend. Those on a budget will find a smattering of free seminars throughout the weekend as well. See the 2010 TFF Program Guide for a complete listing of Conversations guests.

The Filmmakers of Tomorrow series is also free, and offers a glimpse into some of the film industry’s up-and-coming talent. This year’s programs include Great Expectations and Student Prints, Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 6 p.m., respectively.

For those willing to throw down a little dough to catch a flick, the Festival offers a few options. Tickets to individual films are $20 each. Once passholders are seated, tickets for the remaining seats are sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information about how to fest without a pass, visit the 2010 Telluride Film Festival website at, and click on the “Festival on a Budget” link. Or, visit the Hospitality Center in Brigadoon during the Festival for a detailed handout of shows and tips.

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