By Matt Neglia
It was inevitable. After weeks of speculation, reassurances and planning to ensure that this year’s Telluride Film Festival would take place, the 47th edition of the festival has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a letter sent today to pass holders, the safety of everyone involved in the festival was stressed, as was the attempts to still put on a show despite the growing concerns around the pandemic. Faced with no other option, the festival will not go on this year, not even in a digital capacity.
As stated in a previous message a few days ago, Telluride is working alongside NYFF, TIFF & Venice to share their selections so that people might still be able to catch some of the unreleased films. Telluride has stated that they will soon announce what the lineup would have been and will be contacting pass holders regarding their pre-purchased passes at a later date. The festival has always served as the unofficial kick-off for the Oscar season and with it not in that slot this year, it will most likely lead to one of the more unpredictable and wild awards seasons we’ve ever witnessed.
On a personal note, after attending Telluride for the first time ever last year and having the best film festival experience of my life, this is truly disappointing. I loved getting to meet so many of my online friends in person, especially those who cover the awards race as I do. However, I do agree with the email’s final statement which reads…
“We understand that film festivals and their long-term health are not top of mind today. A safe vaccine, vital medical interventions for those sick and properly enforced health regulations are. However, we do ask that you take this moment to consider a world where gathering around a shared love of culture is no longer possible and what that means for the psychological condition of the world. If the prospect prompts a sense of despair, please advocate and champion the return of our gatherings that provide vital nourishment and oxygen to humanity’s soul, at the appropriate time, of course!”
The optimism from the team over at Telluride that a better 2021 is coming warms my heart and gives me hope. What do you think of this development and what will it mean for the other remaining film festivals? Let us know in the comments section below or on our Twitter account.
You can follow Matt and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @NextBestPicture