Telluride Celebrates 40th Birthday by Opening 650-Seat Werner Herzog Theatre

11:57 AM PST 02/28/2013 by Tim Appelo
Pamela Gentile
Telluride Film Festival in 2012

The arty Oscar launchpad will go from four to five days this year, running from Aug. 29-Sept. 2.

An increasingly springy launchpad for Oscar movies (Argo, The King's Speech, Slumdog Millionaire), the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado has grown in importance in recent years.

For its 40th anniversary the fest is growing by one day -- from four days to five -- running Aug. 29-Sept 2 and adding a desperately needed new 650-seat venue, the Werner Herzog Theatre in the Town Park Pavilion.

There will still be lines in which festgoers can stand and find themselves chatting with legendary filmmakers, stars, critics and scholars, but presumably the lines will be a bit shorter next Labor Day.

“The 40th celebration is our chance to thank and honor the founders, filmmakers and audience who have helped us create such a beloved cultural institution,” said Telluride Film Festival executive director Julie Huntsinger in a statement.

It is wise to buy passes and make arrangements early, because Telluride won't expand its passholder base from 2012, and tickets typically sell out early every year. This year, demand could be high.

Festival passes will be available starting March 1 at www.telluridefilmfestival.org/passes. The five-day festival with the new theater will cost the same as previous years' four-day fests.

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