The Telluride Film Festival didn’t officially kick off its 50th edition until Thursday, but at least one attendee decided to get an early start the night before.

A bear made its way into a restaurant in the main part of town Wednesday night, sparking more than a little conversation among patrons — most of whom were in town ahead of the festival — as it wandered into the patio dining area.

The incident happened around 11 p.m. local time Wednesday at the South Oak Bistro, which was packed inside and out with film industry professionals — filmmakers, producers and journalists — who began arriving in the Colorado mountain town yesterday.


There was lots of shoo-ing from patrons and staff as the bear knocked over tables before scurrying outside and toppling some garbage cans. It eventually left the area probably only because it wanted to, not because it was asked.

For those nature documentary movie lovers out there: black bears are the only known species to live in Colorado.

Telluride, the annual Labor Day weekend festival, opened Thursday with a lineup that includes buzzy world premieres of Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn, Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers, Annette Bening’s Nyad as well as RustinWildcat and more.

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