From Justin Chang‘s 8.20 Variety piece about the Telluride vs. Toronto War: “It probably didn’t bother Toronto too much that its new honesty policy allowed it to deal Telluride an unusual slap in the face. In unveiling its typically massive film slate, the Toronto press office opted for the first time to disclose the true premiere status of each entry, effectively spilling the beans (or some of them, anyway) on Telluride’s lineup, which is usually kept under wraps until just before its Labor Day weekend kickoff.

“Based on reasonable deductions from Toronto’s announcement, the Telluride program almost certainly will include Jean-Marc Vallee‘s Wild, Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, Jon Stewart’s Rosewater, Ramin Bahrani’s 99 Homes and Ethan Hawke’s documentary Seymour: An Introduction. As usual, Telluride will host the North American premieres of Sony Classics’ Cannes entries, which this year include Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher and Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, Andrei Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan and Damian Szifron’s Wild Tales.”

HE Insert #1: I heard Foxcatcher wasn’t going to Telluride…hmmm. HE Insert #2: Sony Pictures Classics has recently screened Leviathan, Whiplash and Wild Tales for regional critics. One of them told me he’s just seen Leviathan and Wild Tales. I wish SPC would extend the same courtesy to big-city critics. I’d love to re-see all three just for the pleasure, without being pressed for time.

Back to Chang: “Although Fox Searchlight declined to comment, rumors persist that Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance will make its North American bow at Telluride after opening Venice on 8.27, and before closing the New York Film Festival on 10.12; the film is bypassing Toronto altogether. And” — this is interesting — “festival watchers haven’t ruled out the possibility that Telluride, with its practiced skill at nabbing major films under a tight veil of secrecy, may yet secure a secret screening of another of the fall’s most coveted titles.”