The 2013 Telluride Film Festival has been dedicated, in part, to film critic Roger Ebert who passed away on April 4, 2013 after a lengthy battle with cancer. According to the festival organizers, Ebert was a huge supporter of the annual event and once said the Telluride Film Festival’s setting and selection of films was “like Cannes died and went to heaven.”
“I’m deeply touched that the board of the Telluride Film Festival decided to honor Roger this way and I send my sincere thanks and congratulations on their 40-year anniversary to festival directors Tom Luddy, Gary Meyer, and Julie Huntsinger,” stated Ebert’s wife, Chaz. “Roger loved going to film festivals to find little movie gems and always had a soft spot for Telluride in particular. He admired the wide diversity of films and the fact that, in many cases, it offered attendees their only chance to see certain important retrospectives.”
This year’s festival is also dedicated to documentarian Les Blank, philanthropist and Telluride supporter George Gund, and writer/director Donald Richie.
Per the official announcement:
This year’s festival also marks the opening of the 650-seat Werner Herzog Theater. An anonymous donor made a generous financial contribution toward this theater in honor of Ebert.
It’s an appropriate tribute: Ebert and director Herzog had a long relationship of mutual admiration. ‘You are the most curious of men,’ Ebert once wrote in a letter to Herzog. ‘You are like the storytellers of old, returning from far lands with spellbinding tales.’
Herzog is just as complimentary of Ebert. In an essay about the critic in this year’s festival program, he writes: ‘He was the last mammoth alive, the last to create excitement and intelligent discourse about movies … His passing signifies much, much more than the passing of one wonderful man.'”
Source: Telluride Film Festival
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