In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

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"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Telluride Film Festival Dedicated to Roger

2013 Telluride Film Festival dedicated to Roger Ebert

The late movie critic was a longtime champion of the event and its films

TELLURIDE, Colo., August 29, 2013 — This year's Telluride Film Festival, opening August 29, will be dedicated, in part, to Roger Ebert, the celebrated movie critic who died last April. Until his health began to fail, Ebert was a fixture at Telluride over much of its 40-year history and championed the festival and its films in his writing. With its mountain-town setting and diverse array of screenings, Telluride, Ebert once said, "is like Cannes died and went to heaven."

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"I'm deeply touched that the board of the Telluride Film Festival decided to honor Roger this way and I send my sincere thanks and congratulations on their 40-year anniversary to festival directors Tom Luddy, Gary Meyer, and Julie Huntsinger," said Ebert's wife, Chaz. "Roger loved going to film festivals to find little movie gems and always had a soft spot for Telluride in particular. He admired the wide diversity of films and the fact that, in many cases, it offered attendees their only chance to see certain important retrospectives."

This year's festival also marks the opening of the 650-seat Werner Herzog Theater. An anonymous donor made a generous financial contribution toward this theater in honor of Ebert.

It's an appropriate tribute: Ebert and director Herzog had a long relationship of mutual admiration. "You are the most curious of men," Ebert once wrote in a letter to Herzog. "You are like the storytellers of old, returning from far lands with spellbinding tales."

Herzog is just as complimentary of Ebert. In an essay about the critic in this year's festival program, he writes: "He was the last mammoth alive, the last to create excitement and intelligent discourse about movies … His passing signifies much, much more than the passing of one wonderful man."

In addition to honoring Ebert, this year's festival is also dedicated to three other members of the film community who died in the past year: documentarian Les Blank, philanthropist and Telluride supporter George Gund, and writer and director Donald Richie.

To see a list of films being presented at this year's festival, please see www.TellurideFilmFestival.org.

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