From Pete Hammond’s Deadline assessment of award-season prospects if and when the pandemic ebbs (posted on 4.6.20): “As for Telluride, set in an enclosed tiny town in the Colorado Rockies, far fewer visitors attend, but being in such a condensed space over the Labor Day weekend could be problematic not just for attendees (some already have issues because of the altitude), but also the town itself, which is thought to be the first in the country offering to have every single citizen tested for COVID-19.
“Last month, local papers and an ABC report said the city of Telluride was offering tests free to all combined 8,000 residents there and in San Miguel County, of which it is the biggest part. The strategy is similar to one done in Vo Euganeo, a tiny Italian town that managed to test all 3300 of its residents and, according to Live Science, reduced transmission by 90%. It is a wider scale in Telluride, and the tests being used are ELISA tests, which reportedly can find antibodies against coronavirus.
“The testing is being funded by Mei Mei Hu and Louis Reese, co-founders of c19, the subsidiary of United Biomedical that is the company behind the antibody test. They also happen to be residents of Telluride. ‘Our goal is to show what mass testing, social distancing and isolation can do together to stop the spread of infection, and to create a model that could save lives worldwide,’ they told ABC news.
“How this will affect planning of the 47th Telluride Film Festival remains to be seen, but this year for the first time Telluride may not only be known for bringing some of the movie world’s most famous people to town, but also as an incubator for information helping to find a cure for this devastating virus.
“Would they want to take a risk by the influx of Hollywood? Well, it is a resort town, so they are used to interlopers. Interestingly, the Academy has in recent years thrown an annual party for its members, as well as officials and board governors, attending the fest right there in the heart of Telluride, and it is always a wall-to-wall affair. If it can happen again this year, it will mean Oscar season is alive and well and things may be heading to some semblance of normal. We can only hope.”