Telluride Film Festival

Telluride Film Festival

August 29st | September 2nd 2024

51st Edition

The films are wonderful, but they’re only one piece of the SHOW. There are also the people. For starters, there are three major film artists who will attend to accept our Tribute. In addition, every Telluride program is presented by special guests — usually the director or key players. With older films, it may be a historian who recognizes the significance of overlooked silver nitrate.

This incomparably mixed company of directors, actors, and scholars is an essential part of the Festival: interacting all weekend with attendees, discussing, defending and delighting in the movies that are playing. From scheduled “conversations” to simply chatting away on the streets and in line, these show people are as inspiring as the surrounding mountain landscape. Access to discussions with great filmmaking minds — what could be better?

Then there’s the wild card. Each year, we recruit a different film enthusiast to act as Guest Director. We’ve invited both filmmakers and savvy film lovers in the arts to indulge their passions and enact their wish lists. In short, to help create their dream festival. Guest Directors such as Salman Rushdie, Buck Henry, B. Ruby Rich, Bertrand Tavernier, Laurie Anderson, Stephen Sondheim, Peter Sellars, Edith Kramer, Slavoj Žižek, Alexander Payne, Michael Ondaatje, Caetano Veloso, and Geoff Dyer have all left their mark. The Guest Director, the three tributees, the Special Medallion recipients, fantastic re-discoveries and an amazing group of guests energize each and every Telluride Film Festival. Gathered here are distinguished intellects making for lively discussion…all part of The Show.

Our audiences were the first in the world to laugh with JUNO, to observe THE LIVES OF OTHERS, to visit BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, to learn the secret of THE CRYING GAME, to experience BLUE VELVET, and to witness THE CIVIL WAR. We resurrected the silent epic NAPOLEON, and highlighted the genius of animator Chuck Jones. We take great pains to remain not a competition, but a celebration of the best in film — past, present and future — from all around the world. This is one weekend immersed in an unabashed carnival of film: viewing, breathing, eating, and talking cinema. This is The SHOW.

Program Guide of TFF

What’s playing in the Telluride program is not revealed until you reach the mountains. In what has become our tradition, three distinguished artists will be honored with a silver medallion, one presented each night of the Festival. We sometimes honor the well-known: Francis Coppola, Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, Daniel Day-Lewis, Penelope Cruz, Catherine Deneuve. But more often than not, we also like to spring a real surprise and pay tribute to those you may have forgotten, or never even knew: Abel Gance, D.A. Pennebaker, Harriet Andersson, Alexander Sokurov, Philip Glass, Joel McCrea, Andrei Tarkovsky. And then, picture seeing a movie before anyone else…before the ubiquitous critics, the in-laws, your local film snobs. Imagine viewing a new film without an ounce of prejudice because it is the first screening and you are its first audience. Telluride movies are always discoveries. BLUE VELVET, STRANGER THAN PARADISE, EL MARIACHI, CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, EL NORTE, TALK TO HER, BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, CAPOTE, THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND, JUNO, THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, THE LAST STATION, UP IN THE AIR, and THE KING’S SPEECH all debuted to the surprise and delight of Festival-goers. We also like to rediscover the treasures of cinema’s past: the pioneering works of the Lumière Brothers, the restored GREED, a range of newly restored silents with live orchestral accompaniment, the unseen films of Walt Disney, a cache of Cinerama, of 3-D classics… that’s the modus operandi of Telluride, the past bumps up against the present as the Festival provides a context for current cinema from what’s gone before. Trust us. When the secret’s unveiled, there’s no program anywhere quite like The SHOW.

Education Programs, 50th Telluride Film Festival
31st Student Symposium

31 years the Telluride Film Festival has presented students with the opportunity to experience the Festival as it was initially intended—a celebration of film as an art, a festival of discovery and rediscovery, and a place to share your love of film with others who feel just as passionately as you do. You don’t need to be a film student. All you need is a consuming passion for film. Seize the opportunity to immerse yourself in a direct and intimate dialogue with some of the greatest filmmakers out there, joined by peers that share your enthusiasm.

The goals of the Festival’s education programs are as follows:

Expand participants’ worldview through film screenings and discussions with filmmakers
Develop participants’ ability to become more thoughtful and discriminating media critics
Assist participants’ growth into more thoughtful and active cultural participants and leaders for the future. Broaden participants’ knowledge and understanding through learning of other students’ backgrounds and lifestyles. Provide participants with the opportunity to become lifelong friends with peers from divergent backgrounds. Imagine being a part of an exclusive give and take with such filmmakers as Werner Herzog, Kelly Reichardt, Barry Jenkins, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Todd Haynes, Joshua Oppenheimer, Francis Ford Coppola, Errol Morris, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Karyn Kusama, David Fincher, Trey Edward Schults, Wim Wenders, Agnieszka Holland, Tilda Swinton, Mike Leigh, Lynne Ramsay, Walter Murch, Michael Haneke, Xavier Dolan, Chloé Zhao, Asghar Farhadi, Guy Maddin, Luc & Jean-Pierre Dardenne, and Volker Schlöndorff, to name just a few of the past participants in the Telluride Film Festival Student Symposium. Don’t just imagine it – be there. It all happens Labor Day Weekend in the Colorado Rockies at the Telluride Film Festival Student Symposium. The Symposium is open to 50 college and university students, no matter what your major. We’re looking for some inspired students to screen the year’s best films and have in-depth discussions with some of the greatest names in cinema. Yes, there’s an official application but the primary requirement is a love of film. All participants in the Symposium will receive a Student Festival pass and a modest travel stipend—the rest is up to you.

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