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Rushdie guides Telluride

Helmer Luddy wanted guest director to animate fest

As the 28th Telluride Film Festival got under way Friday, the talk was over the surprise choice of Salman Rushdie as “guest director.” The India-born novelist assisted longtime directors Tom Luddy and Bill Pence with pic selection.

“Totally what I expect from Telluride,” was one comment on the offbeat choice. “It’s a way of mixing the arts — like a filmmaker doing an introduction to a book,” was another. “He’s on all the screening lists and I’m not,” was a third.

Luddy said he chose his old friend Rushdie because he “wanted someone who can animate the festival in an exciting way. Salman is a passionate, well-educated film lover.”

Among the other film lovers in town were Bille August, Peter Bogdanovich, Ken Burns, David Dinerstein, Faye Dunaway, Jeffrey Field, James Ivory, Adam Krentzman, Ed Lachman, Ismail Merchant, Giovanni Ribisi, Pierre Rissient and Peter Sellars.

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