2020 Telluride Film Festival Canceled

Festival was originally scheduled for Sept. 3 through Sept. 7

Last Updated: July 15, 2020 @ 6:42 AM

The 47th Telluride Film Festival, originally scheduled for Sept. 3 to Sept. 7, has been cancelled, organizers announced on Tuesday.

“After months of intense due diligence around physically holding an event, we’ve come to the heartbreaking but unanimous conclusion to cancel this year’s Labor Day celebration of film in Telluride,” the statement said. “But with a seemingly unending number of new cases of Covid-19 and the national chaos around it, even the best strategy is threatened by this out of control environment.”

The festival plans to release its lineup in the near future, and hopes film fans will be able to see the films at other festivals like New York Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival and Venice.

Earlier this month, Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York agreed  to team up this year and offer what they call a “united platform” for this year’s cinema in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers of the festivals said they are moving away from competing with each other for world premieres and specific films and will work together to keep the “film ecosystem” thriving, serving filmmakers, audiences, journalists and industry professionals in the process.

Many film festivals have been canceled, postponed or went ahead virtually in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The Cannes Film Festival’s virtual market, for example, started June 22, while the Palm Springs Film Festival was postponed to February 2021. Toronto is still scheduled for Sept. 10 through Sept. 20.

Read the full statement below.

After months of intense due diligence around physically holding an event, we’ve come to the heartbreaking but unanimous conclusion to cancel this year’s Labor Day celebration of film in Telluride.

While there will be those who might say they’re not surprised by it, that this was inevitable, we beg to differ. It didn’t have to be this way. Until the past week or so, we had a very good plan to put on the SHOW safely. But with a seemingly unending number of new cases of Covid-19 and the national chaos around it, even the best strategy is threatened by this out of control environment. No matter how much many of us wear our masks and observe social distancing protocols, the pandemic has worsened rather than improved and the health and safety of you – our passholders, filmmakers, the people of Telluride and its surrounding areas – cannot be compromised.

As you may know, we have been working cooperatively with our fellow fall film festival partners to champion global cinema and its artists. We hope that many of you will seek out and discover the titles we’ve selected for this year’s program at the New York Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, or Venice Film Festival, or when they’re made available on a wider basis. We will announce soon what we have carefully programmed in the hopes that you will experience as we did, the best in film this year. There are some incredible, powerful, and beautiful gems and we’re excited to extol their virtues when the time is right. Follow these titles, support them. We intend to champion them outside of the festival as best we can.

For those who have supported us and believe in what we are trying to do, our gratitude is enormous. Thank you. We will need you in the coming months in many ways. Let’s light candles now to conjure a better 2021 and Labor Day weekend in Telluride, together, under the stars in the mountains doing what many of us love the most. The way we prefer to experience cinema will return.  Let’s make it so.

We wish you good health, peace and may we collectively move forward to a better world.

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