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Academy Gives $50,000 to Telluride

Money will underwrite Guest Director program.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has awarded a $50,000 grant to underwrite the 2009 Telluride Film Festival’s Guest Director program.


This year’s program will feature "Sideways" director and Oscar-winning writer Alexander Payne. The festival runs Sept. 4-7.


This is the second consecutive year that the Academy has funded the program. In 2008 the festival’s guest director was Slavoj Zizek, the Slovenian political philosopher and cultural critic.


“It’s very gratifying for the Academy to be able to support this program, especially at a time when arts funding is so critical,” said Academy President Tom Sherak. “That the festival has chosen one of our members, and a former governor, as guest director simply enriches this year’s gift.”


Previous guest directors at Telluride include Peter Bogdanovich and Errol Morris.


The Academy’s cultural and educational wing — the Academy Foundation — annually grants more than $1 million to film scholars, cultural organizations and film festivals throughout the U.S. and abroad.