A tribute to actor Daniel Day-Lewis
, new documentaries from Barbet Schroeder
, Werner Herzog
and Kevin Macdonald
, a spotlight on such Israeli films as The Band's Visit
and a restoration of King Vidor
's classic silent film The Big Parade
are all part of the jampacked program that will greet cineastes making the pilgrimage this weekend to the 34th annual Telluride Film Festival.
The high-altitude, informal, equalitarian festival, which runs today through Monday, has undergone change at the top: Bill and Stella Pence
, who co-founded the fest in 1974 with Tom Luddy
and the late James Card, announced their resignation last year and will not participate in this year's gathering. Longtime Telluride participant Gary Meyer has joined Luddy as co-director.
But festivalgoers aren't likely to see changes because of the transition. "Emotionally, it was very different," Luddy said. "I kept thinking about 33 years of having constant conversations with my partner and friend Bill Pence
, but Gary Meyer is also an old friend. Bill and I both identified Gary as really the one and only candidate to replace Bill when that day would come," Luddy added, noting of the partial changing of the guard that "it was pretty smooth, very harmonious and very efficient."
As usual, there will be first looks at Hollywood product that could well figure in the fall's awards race. The lineup includes Sean Penn's Into the Wild
, an adaptation of Jon Krakauer
's account of a fateful trip into the Alaskan wilderness, which will be released by Paramount
Vantage; Noah Baumbach
, in his first film since The Squid and the Whale
, looks at two contentious sisters (Nicole Kidman
, Jennifer Jason Leigh
) in Paramount Vantage's Margot at the Wedding
; Todd Haynes
' Bob Dylan
study I'm Not There
, from the Weinstein Co.; and Allison Eastwood, making her directorial debut with the family drama Rails and Ties
, starring Kevin Bacon
and Marcia Gay Harden
, from Warner Independent Pictures.
There also is a strong selection of titles that earned critical applause at May's Festival de Cannes. "Cannes had a very strong year", Luddy said. "Normally, we try to show a number of films from Cannes, but I think we're showing many more than usual, and I think we could have included a lot more."
The program includes Cannes' Palme d'Or winner, Romanian director Cristian Mungiu
's 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
, which IFC Films has picked up for U.S.