Org awards grant to guest director program

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has awarded a $50,000 grant to the Telluride Film Festival’s guest director program for a second consecutive year.

As part of the Acad’s cultural and education branch — the Academy Foundation — the org donates more than $1 million annually to film scholars, cultural orgs and film fests.

“It’s very gratifying for the Academy to be able to support this program, especially at a time when arts funding is so critical,” said Acad prexy Tom Sherak.

Oscar winner Alexander Payne will serve as this year’s guest director, selecting six films to be screened during the fest’s four-day run. He joins past guest directors including Peter Bogdanovich, Errol Morris and last year’s Slavoj Zizek.

The fest’s 36th edition runs Friday through Monday.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more