Top directors headlining Telluride film fest

Fri Sep 3, 2010 12:02pm EDT
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By Jay A. Fernandez

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Directors Peter Weir, Danny Boyle, Mark Romanek and Errol Morris will headline the Telluride Film Festival, the annual Labor Day holiday weekend event that kicks off Friday in the Colorado mountain resort.

Romanek's "Never Let Me Go," based on the Kazuo Ishiguro novel, will screen Friday night. Keira Knightley, Andrew Garfield and Carey Mulligan star in the film, which Fox Searchlight will also show at next week's Toronto film festival before a theatrical release September 15.

Later Friday, Morris will unveil his documentary "Tabloid," about the bizarre case of former Miss Wyoming Joyce McKinney, before it also moves on to Toronto.

Though Boyle will officially be on hand to present a special Sunday screening of his 2005 film "Millions," it is widely expected that he will also sneak in his new film "127 Hours" ahead of its Toronto berth. Fox Searchlight has a November theatrical release scheduled for the drama, which stars James Franco as a hiker trapped under a boulder.

Films such as "Juno" (2007), "Up in the Air" (2009) and "Slumdog," which Boyle and Fox Searchlight brought to Telluride in 2008, all went on to high-profile awards recognition. Telluride's programmers consider this nothing more than a nice coincidental bonus.

"We've had some pretty good luck with these things," said Julie Huntsinger, one of Telluride's programmers. "I must tell you, I think it's going to happen again (this year). There are a couple of things that I think people are going to embrace."

Though Huntsinger wouldn't "confirm or deny" whether "127 Hours" or Darren Aronofsky's recent Venice premiere "Black Swan" will show up in Telluride, the programmers always leave two or three slots in the schedule open for last-minute surprises. The fest slipped in "Paranormal Activity" last year, lighting the fuse of the film's shocking box office success (ultimately $193 million worldwide), and there is a juicy TBA slot on the schedule for Saturday night.

Weir will be in town to receive one of the festival's special tributes, which will highlight the career that produced "The Last Wave," "Witness," "Dead Poet's Society," "Fearless" and "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World."   Continued...

<p>Director Danny Boyle arrives at the 62nd Annual Directors Guild of America Awards in Los Angeles January 30, 2010. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok</p>