‘The Descendants’ and ‘Albert Nobbs’ set for 2011 Telluride Film Festival

Nestled inbetween the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals, Telluride has a reputation as a movielovers smorgasbord, but it’s also become a prominent fixture on the awards season festival circuit.  The major films set to screen at the 2011 edition of the Labor Day Weekend event were announced today and some heavy hitters are on their way to the small Colorado township.

Here’s a rundown of the films set to screen:

“The Descendants”
Director: Alexander Payne
Lowdown: The awards season and publicity journey begins for Payne’s first film since “Sideways.”

“Albert Nobbs”
Director: Rodrigo Garcia
Lowdown: Glenn Close co-adapted and stars in this period passion project.

Director: Steve McQueen
Lowdown: More Michael Fassbender, this time reuniting with his “Hunger” director.

“A Dangerous Method”
Director: David Cronenberg
Lowdown: After debuting in Venice on Friday, one of Sony Classics major awards season contenders makes a stop in Colorado before arriving in Toronto.

“The Artist”
Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Lowdown: Good bet to be the biggest crowdpleaser with the Telluride audience.

“In Darkness”
Director: Agnieszka Holland
Lowdown: Foreign film contender from the filmmakers behind “Europa, Europa” and “The Secret Garden.”

“Into the Abyss”
Director: Werner Herzog
Lowdown: The legendary filmmaker spends time talking to death row inmates in Texas.

“We Need To Talk About Kevin”
Director: Lynne Ramsay
Lowdown: Well-regarded Cannes favorite should make Tilda Swinton an Oscar contender.

Other films screening include Joshua Marston’s “The Forgiveness of Blood,” Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s “The Kid With A Bike,” Wim Wenders “Pena,” “Black God, White Devil,”  “The Island President” and “The House at Trebnaya Square.”

As always, there are a number of “TBA” slots that the Festival has yet to announce. Last year, one of those “TBA” slots was filled by “127 Hours.”

Look for complete coverage from the 2011 Telluride Film Festival on HitFix and Awards Campaign all weekend. 

For the absolute latest, sign up for Telluride alerts in the form above (it’s quick and easy) or follow Gregory Ellwood on twitter @HitFixGregory.