TCM Classic Film Festival to Honor Ted Turner on Opening Night

Wesley Mann
Ted Turner

TCM host Ben Mankiewicz will interview the TCM founder and media mogul in a conversation that touches on how he changed culture and what he learned along the way.

TCM is set to honor founder and media mogul Ted Turner on the opening night of the channel's 10th annual classic film festival in Los Angeles.

The festival will roll out a video tribute and conversation between TCM host Ben Mankiewicz and Turner on the opening night of the TCM Classic Film Festival on April 11, the cable network announced Wednesday. The interview with Turner will touch on how he changed Hollywood over the course of his career, his interest in the preservation of classical films and TCM's idiosyncratic place in the film and television industry.

“Without Ted Turner there simply would be no Turner Classic Movies. Ted’s maverick spirit saw the potential in utilizing Hollywood’s great film libraries on a TV network that could serve as a home for these iconic classics,” TCM general manager Jennifer Dorian said in a statement. “There is no greater place to honor his work and his legacy than at the TCM Classic Film Festival while the brand celebrates its 25th anniversary — a milestone we couldn’t have reached without Ted’s incredible vision.”

In a preview clip of the interview premiering on TCMFF opening night, Mankiewicz asks Turner what he would identify as his best business decision. "To do it," he says. "To do CNN and Turner Classic Movies."

“Turner Classic Movies was a passion project of mine, born of my love for classic films,” Turner said in a statement about the tribute. “I’m very proud to have played a role in honoring these great works through the years, and hope they continue to provide just as much joy and entertainment to TCM viewers as they have to me.”

The 2019 edition of TCMFF will run April 11-14 in Hollywood.