Academy grants $50,000 to Telluride Film Festival

MUMBAI: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has awarded a $50,000 grant to underwrite the 2009 Telluride Film Festival’s Guest Director program, this year featuring the director and Oscar-winning screenwriter of Sideways, Alexander Payne.

"It’s very gratifying for the Academy to be able to support this program, especially at a time when arts funding is so critical. That the festival has chosen one of our members, and a former governor, as guest director simply enriches this year’s gift," said Academy president Tom Sherak.

This is the second consecutive year that the Academy has funded the program. In 2008 the festival’s guest director was Slavoj Zizek, the Slovenian political philosopher and cultural critic.

For more than two decades, Telluride has welcomed numerous prominent filmmakers and personalities to help select and present each year’s films. Previous guest directors include writer-director Peter Bogdanovich, director Jean-Pierre Gorin, film curator and archivist Edith Kramer, documentarian Errol Morris, author Salman Rushdie, composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, and filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier.

The Academy’s cultural and educational wing – the Academy Foundation – annually grants more than $1 million to film scholars, cultural organizations and film festivals throughout the US and abroad. It is also through the Foundation that the Academy presents a rich assortment of screenings and other public programs each year.

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