Into the Mountains - Headed Back for Another Telluride Film Festival

August 28, 2013

Telluride Film Festival

Back to Colorado. Back into the mountains, for my sixth year. Back to the Telluride Film Festival I go. This year, the festival celebrates its 40th anniversary and is throwing quite a party, adding one extra day of screenings (instead of four days it's five in total running from Thursday to Monday) and programming many special tributes, including one for Robert Redford highlighting his latest film All is Lost (which I saw in Cannes and loved). Telluride just announced their line-up of films for 2013 and it looks like it might be one of the best years since I've been attending. I can't wait to fall in love with movies again up in the mountains.

I've been writing about my experiences at the Telluride Film Festival for the last six years straight and I'll continue to make the trek up into the mountains because of the connection I feel to this fest. I grew up in Colorado and every time I come back here it's like coming home. This is my domain, and I've been coming long enough to call this my backyard film festival. I know the town so well, I know the highways through the mountains, and it always brings a big smile to my face to set foot on the ground at an elevation of 8,750 feet. The fresh mountain air, the carefree attitude of the locals, everything about the experience of this festival is wonderful (except for maybe scheduling screenings) and I find myself always yearning to return every year.

As is tradition, Telluride keeps their line-up a secret up until the day before the festival begins. This year, for the 40th anniversary, they've programmed a number of great Cannes holdovers including J.C. Chandor's All is Lost with a tribute to Robert Redford, Abdellatif Kechiche's Blue is the Warmest Color (my favorite film of Cannes and Palme d'Or winner), Alexander Payne's Nebraska, the Coen Bros' Inside Llewyn Davis (which I might see again) and Frank Pavich's documentary Jodorowsky's Dune. Aside from the additional "TBD" secret screenings (one of which might be 12 Years a Slave), the rest of the line-up looks fantastic, and I'm excited to already begin watching films. Other must-see highlights playing Telluride 2013:

Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity
Jason Reitman's Labor Day
Gia Coppola's Palo Alto
Yuval Adler's Bethlehem
David Mackenzie's Starred Up
Teller's doc Tim's Vermeer
John Curran's Tracks
Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin
Mark Levinson's doc Particle Fever
Mark Cousins' doc Here Be Dragons

Other than that, it's all about discovery and walking in to see a film that is not on my radar and being blown away. Only time will tell how the films shake up, what I can catch, what I love and what goes at this year's festival. For now, I'm finishing my two hour drive up into the mountains, winding around narrow two lane roads to reach the unreachable - the Town of Telluride. This will be the first time I am attending the festival on my own, without my colleague Peter Sciretta from SlashFilm (we usually travel and stay together) who is not returning in 2013. But I have new friends, and many other movie industry colleagues, to catch up with at the festival this year. And I've got a good feeling it's going to be a vintage year with everything screening.

In addition to reviews, interviews and blog posts about the Telluride Film Festival, I will be covering the fest on both Twitter as @firstshowing and Instagram as @abillington. Spending a weekend in this peaceful, beautiful town and watching movies all day every day is an experience unlike anything else and I do my best to capture that experience in photos and tweets. Here's my photo showing Main Street from Telluride 2012:

You can follow my Telluride Film Festival 2013 coverage/reviews here on in this category, as well as on twitter as @firstshowing, where I'll be posting my instant reactions and updates. Let it finally begin!

Find more posts: Editorial, Indies, Telluride 13



Sounds wonderful! So jealous! I look forward to keeping up with your reviews and recommendations!

Nathan Williams on Aug 28, 2013


You're my yearly ears & eyes for this film fest! Enjoy!

ioncinema on Aug 28, 2013


Outstanding write up Alex. I am excited about the lineup and can't wait for the "sneaks" to be announced. Welcome back to Colorado... home! ~Kathy | MFO

Michael Fassbender Online on Aug 28, 2013

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