The festival said today that this year’s 40th edition will be dedicated in part to film critic Roger Ebert. He died in April at age 70 after a long bout with cancer. Said the fest in its release today announcing the honor: “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’.” The fest also said an anonymous donor made a financial contribution in Ebert’s name toward the new 650-seat Werner Herzog Theater that is being dedicated this week; Ebert and Herzog were longtime admirers of one another. The fest is also dedicated this year to documentarian Les Blank, philanthropist and Telluride supporter George Gund, and writer-director Donald Richie, all of whom died in the past year.

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