Telluride festival peaking

More pics, von Stroheim this year

The Telluride Film Festival is expanding its prestigious slate from 35 features last year to more than 50 this year with Backlot, a new screening room and "mini-festival" featuring 10 films about legendary and new film personalities.

The venue, located in Telluride's Wilkinson Library, also will display "Erich von Stroheim: A Life Discovered," an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences exhibit about the renowned director.

Telluride co-directors Tom Luddy and Gary Meyer have increased the lineup to 40 features this year, plus the 10 new Backlot films. Surprise sneak presentations and tribute films during the fest will bring the grand total to about 55 films.

Luddy and Meyer created the Backlot program and space to educate festivalgoers on the past and future of cinema.

"We saw so many wonderful new works exploring the world of film that it seemed perfect to create a festival within the festival that complements the passion for cinema that our filmmakers and audiences bring to Telluride," Luddy said.

The von Stroheim exhibit will feature many items on loan from AMPAS, including the director's family photographs, handwritten documents and correspondence as well as still photos from all of his films, including some now lost or never completed. Clips from many of his movies will be featured.

The exhibit also will be on display at Brigadoon, the festival's hospitality center. Luddy and Meyer worked with AMPAS executive director Bruce Davis to assemble it from the Academy's collection.

A new 10-film Backlot lineup will be selected each year and announced alongside the rest of the slate on Telluride's opening day. The 34th annual fest runs Aug. 31-Sept. 3 in its traditional Labor Day weekend slot.