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Labor Day Picnic Seminar with moderator Anne Thompson of Variety, Paul Schrader (Adam Ressurected), Nandita Das (Firaaq), Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire), Jan Troell (Everlasting Moments) and Ari Folman (Waltz with Bashir). Photo by Lisa Law.
The 35th Telluride Film Festival featured a diverse selection of programming from across the globe with over seventy filmmakers, writers, actors and artists in attendance.
The Festival kicked off in style Friday night with a tribute to David Fincher. Rumors proved true when, following a dynamic Q&A between Fincher and Variety’s Chief Film Critic Todd McCarthy, the packed house got a first look at twenty minutes of Fincher’s highly anticipated new film, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON. Laura Linney made an unannounced appearance at the Festival to present screen legend Jean Simmons the Silver Medallion at her Tribute on Saturday night. The third Tribute was for Oscar-nominated Swedish director Jan Troell who also presented his newest film, EVERLASTING MOMENTS.
Festival attendees included: Alloy Orchestra, Nicole Beharie, Cathal Black, Nae Caranfil, Philippe Claudel, Ron Colby, Lance Daly, Tim Disney, Tony Donoghue, Francois Dupeyron, Sergei Dvortsevoy, Nicholas Eliopoulos, Ari Folman, Matteo Garrone, Jeff Goldblum, Bent Hammer, Bill Haney, Kim Ji-Woon, Yoram Kaniuk, Joe Lawlor, Jane Lee, Mike Leigh, Thomas Lynch, Ole Christian Madsen, Steve McQueen, Christine Molloy, Youssou Ndour, Maud Nelissen, Tim Blake Nelson, Will Patton, Kimberly Reed, Richard Schickel, Paul Schrader, Jan Sikl, Götz Spielmann, Peggy Stern, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Paul Vester, Paul Watson, Félicité Wouassi, Slavoj Zizek, and Elsa Zylberstein. Salman Rushdie also made a special appearance to introduce Indian actress Nandita Das’s directorial debut, FIRAAQ.
Senegalese musician and composer Youssou Ndour and his band played surprise concerts following screenings of I BRING WHAT I LOVE.
In keeping with Festival tradition, audiences were treated to three sneak previews: Danny Boyle brought his just completed SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE about a young man seeking wealth on an Indian TV version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” who reveals his brutal, sometimes comic life story through a series of questions asked by the hilariously slippery on-air TV host; FLASH OF GENIUS, directed by Marc Abraham and starring Greg Kinnear and Lauren Graham, all of whom were in attendance to introduce the film. The film tells the true story of a David (Kinnear) who took on the Goliath of the Detroit auto industry; and JAN TROELL’S MAGIC MIRROR, a trip inside the creative process of one of the world’s great directors.