Telluride Film Festival: Sibley's educational initiatives

Telluride Film Festival: Sibley's educational initiatives

[for Kate Sibley’s conversation with Susan, click “Play”]

IMG_6722 The Telluride Film Festival is renowned as much for what it is not as what it is.

The Telluride Film Festival is not about prizes or juries or press screenings or booty or paparazzi or yachts or swag. No one wins, so everyone wins.

The Telluride Film Festival is a celebration of the art of filmmaking, not the Industry. It is also the great equalizer: everyone talks to everyone on the streets and in the lines. And it is about location: Telluride has to be one of the greatest sets in the world. The Telluride Film Festival’s education initiatives also put it at the head of class among the roughly 2,000 film festivals around the globe.

The Telluride Film Festival features seven initiatives under “Education,” a number of which run year ’round.

The Telluride Film Festival’s first formal education program, the signature initiative in the category, the Student Symposium, opened for business in 1989. The idea was and is to provide undergraduate and graduate college students with a weekend of immersion in film and film discussion. Fifty students are given an opportunity to experience the unique atmosphere of the Festival, screening films and programs that would likely not be available to them elsewhere, even in their studies.

The City Lights Project is much like the Symposium, but for high school students.

Filmmakers of Tomorrow, FOT, is really three separate programs – Student Prints, Calling Cards, Great Expectations – featuring debut works of filmmakers whose names we should see again in years to come. Whether students or non-students, these beginning filmmakers represent some of the best emerging talent found anywhere in the world.

Sunday at The Palm is a collaboration among the Telluride Film Festival, the Telluride R-1 School District, and The Telluride Foundation. The film series, free and open to the public, give students and locals an opportunity to see great films once a month at the Michael D. Palm Theatre. Local teachers are given monthly curriculum ideas should they choose to incorporate the films’ themes into lesson plans.

The Telluride Film Festival Presents is also designed to give back to the Telluride community. Once a month, the Nugget Theatre hosts a “one night only” screening of a current, Festival-quality film.

The Telluride Film Festival Cinematheque is a collaboration between the Festival and the five-star Wilkinson Public Library. This “film club” caters to the local Telluride cinephiles who want access to Festival quality cinema year round — for free. All films are hosted by a moderator and are always accompanied by lively discussion and from time to time, a themed dining experience as well.

Kate Sibley is the Telluride Film Festival’s Education Programs Dean. And she considers the job “a plum.”  Sibley handles all paperwork, logistics and staff members for all the student programs and also for Talking Heads, the seminars and conversations.

For ongoing coverage of 2010 Telluride Film Festival, see Catalog of 2010 Stories.

To learn more about the objectives of the Telluride Film Festival’s education initiative and Sibley’s history with the event, click the “play” button and listen to her interview.

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