Foreign films dominate Telluride Film Festival

Thu Aug 28, 2008 3:20pm EDT
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By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Telluride Film Festival will show fewer American movies than usual at its upcoming 2008 edition with foreign titles dominating the list of 23 new features unveiled on Thursday from hundreds of entries.

The four-day event in the picturesque town of Telluride, Colorado, a mining camp turned ski resort in the Rockies, prides itself on shying away from the glitz and glamour of other film festivals and has in recent years paved the way for such hits as "Brokeback Mountain" and "Juno."

The selection for this year's 35th annual showcase, opening on Friday, includes six U.S. films, down from eight in 2007.

Festival director Gary Meyer and managing director Julie Huntsinger said the greater emphasis on foreign films stems from both the rising quality of cinema outside the United States and the impact of the recent Hollywood writers strike.

"Not many American films is neither a good or bad thing, it is what it is," said Huntsinger. "We have to address the fact there was a writers' strike and there is a lot of American product that is not going to be completed -- truly, will not be finished -- until its winter release date."

Meyer said other parts of the world such as Ireland and Italy had produced especially appealing films this year, and movies from France, Britain and Israel also are featured at the Telluride event.

"There is no lack of great movies," he said. "Do you say 'The Lives of Others' was a lesser film because it was not an American movie?" That film, Germany's 2006 Oscar winner for best foreign-language film, had its first U.S. screening at Telluride.


<p>Indian actress Nandita Das poses on the red carpet at the 58th Cannes Film Festival May 14, 2005. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler SN/dh</p>