Festival on a Budget

This festival is characterized by its small size and friendly atmosphere. If there were a few key words to describe Telluride, they might include 'intimate' and 'down home,' just as easily as 'monumental' and 'important.'

Elise Berlin, Boulder Daily Camera

There is no better way to attend Telluride than as a passholder. There's no hassle: one purchase in advance entitles you to seating at the theatres, films and events on a first-come, first-served basis. Year after year, cinephiles with appetites for champagne movies brave the Festival on a light beer budget. If the Festival Pass is not affordable for you, there are two options: a Cinephile pass for $390 giving you admission to a special menu of Festival morsels, and the Acme Pass, priced at the special rate of $580. The Acme offers nearly the full Festival experience in one of our best venues — Chuck Jones' Cinema.

Here's the scoop on attending on a real 'show' string:

  • The noon Seminars in Elks Park are free
  • The 'Conversations' in the County Courthouse are free
  • The four film screenings — one each night — in the Open Air Cinema are free
  • The three ‘Filmmakers of Tomorrow’ programs are free
  • Films at the Backlot, located in the Library are free
  • The LATE SHOW PASS, the last film at two different theaters each day, four films for $125. This is quite a bargain, bearing in mind that individual film tickets cost $40 each.

Note: All nine indoor theatres put individual tickets on sale ten minutes before showtime if there are seats available after passholders have been seated.

Reasonably priced campsites are available. 

Telluride has more than its share of gourmet dining, but it also has great pizza, ribs, burritos, salads, burgers and plenty of popcorn!

How to fest without a pass, click here for guidelines (PDF). Visit the Hospitality Center in Brigadoon during the Festival for a detailed handout of shows and tips.

While most festivals offer sightings of filmmakers as well as films, the population of Telluride — festival and town — is small enough that the ratio of auteurs to filmgoers may be higher than anywhere in the world.

Godfrey Cheshire, the New York Press

… the undisputed gem of American film festivals.

William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer