That it’s hard to get to the Telluride Film Festival is sort of the point. The event’s remote nature is a barrier to entry, ensuring that those who’ve made it there—filmmakers, industry executives, audiences, and, yes, even lowly journalists—really want to be there. With that commitment comes passion for film and ideas, exchanged in line for a screening or while ambling down the main drag on Colorado Avenue.
This year’s lineup gave us all plenty to talk about, with a starry array of world premieres, European festival holdovers, and smaller curios that thrilled and enlightened. To capture some of the talent responsible for these films, photographer Justin Bishop roamed the festival all weekend, snapping portraits of some of the biggest movers and shakers at this year’s festival—photographic proof that they made the long journey.
Laura Dern has been having a great couple of years, so why not continue the streak with a somewhat surprise world premiere at Telluride? She’s one of the stars of Trial by Fire, director Edward Zwick’s telling of the story of Cameron Todd Willingham, an innocent man executed for murder in Texas. Zwick has long been known for his big, robust dramas, like Gloryand Courage Under Fire, but here he zooms in on two people’s fight for justice in a large and rarely forgiving system. The film was a rare Telluride debut coming into the festival without a distributor, but should the film find a company eager to put it out this year, Dern could go from Emmy to Oscar in a matter of months.