Awards: Will the Best Picture Winner Play at Telluride This Year?

The 46th Telluride Film Festival will run August 30 through September 2, sandwiched between the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. The Colorado-set occasion is a more casual gathering of industry players but a key launch pad on the path to Oscar glory. But will this year’s Best Picture winner make a stop in Colorado over Labor Day weekend?

A Telluride play seems to be a good luck charm for movies to go on to claim Best Picture. Just looking over this decade, eight Best Picture winners screened at Telluride:

  • “The Shape of Water” (2017)
  • “Moonlight” (2016)
  • “Spotlight” (2015)
  • “Birdman” (2014)
  • “12 Years a Slave” (2013)
  • “Argo” (2012)
  • “The Artist” (2011)
  • “The King’s Speech” (2010)

Of this decade, only “Green Book” skipped Telluride but still went on to win Best Picture. Eight titles in the past nine years is encouraging for what will be screened in a few days. When the roster is announced, it’s likely the 2019 Best Picture winner could be among the selected films. As the Academy evolves, statistics and trends continue to lose significance, but Telluride certainly does not.

So, what are the possible films contending for Best Picture that could be playing at Telluride this year? At this point, no one knows. Movies aren’t announced until the start of the festival but based on the verbiage of other festival announcements, we can deduce what’s likely to play at Telluride. For example, James Mangold’s “Ford v Ferrari” is listed as an “International Premiere” at TIFF and not a world premiere. This suggests it’s likely to take its initial bow at Telluride. Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” is listed at TIFF as a “Canadian Premiere” because Netflix seems to be taking the film everywhere (the movie is premiering at Venice). With “The Irishman,” which is opening the New York Film Festival, Netflix is eager to have just as many audiences in front of the Martin Scorsese film as “Marriage Story.”

Netflix arguably came close to a Best Picture win last year with “Roma” and they seem to be making all the same stops with “Marriage Story.” Should the trend continue, Telluride just might have another Best Picture winner on their hands this year.

What do you think? Is the next Best Picture winner going to play at Telluride? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below

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