Telluride Film Fest: Josh Oppenheimer is 2017 Guest Director

Telluride Film Fest: Josh Oppenheimer is 2017 Guest Director

Telluride Film Festival, presented by National Film Preserve LTD., is proud to announce its 2017 Guest Director, Joshua Oppenheimer. The award-winning documentarian is set to select a series of films to present at the 44th Telluride Film Festival running over Labor Day Weekend, September 1-4, 2017.


Telluride Film Festival organizers annually select one of the world’s great film enthusiasts to join them in the creation of the Festival’s program lineup. The Guest Director serves as a key collaborator in the Festival’s programming decisions, bringing new ideas and overlooked films to Telluride. In keeping with Telluride Film Festival tradition, Joshua Oppenheimer’s film selections, along with the rest of the Telluride lineup, will be kept secret until Opening Day.

“The Guest Director program is one of the most essential and wonderful parts of our festival,” said Telluride Film Festival executive director Julie Huntsinger. “Joshua has been a part of the SHOW with several of the incredible films he has made in the past, and now as our Guest Director. His rare combination of intelligence and down-to-earth understanding of humanity will make for a remarkable presentation of films our audience will not want to miss. Further gilding the lily, FilmStruck has joined us as the sponsor of this selection. We are beyond fortunate with this terrific combination of cinematic genius.”

Filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer was born in the US in 1974 and studied filmmaking at Harvard University. Oppenheimer is best known for “The Act of Killing” (Telluride 2012) and “The Look of Silence” (Telluride 2014).

“The Act of Killing” (2014 Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary) was named Film of the Year in 2013 by The Guardian and the Sight and Sound Film Poll. It won 72 international awards, including a BAFTA, a European Film Award and an Asia-Pacific Screen Award.

“The Look of Silence” (2016 Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary) premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize and the FIPRESCI award and went on to receive another 70 prizes, including an Independent Spirit Award, the IDA Award for Best Documentary Feature, a Gotham Award, and three Cinema Eye Honors.

Oppenheimer’s early shorts have recently been re-released online and on DVD, including “The Entire History of the Louisiana Purchase,” which premiered at Telluride in 1997.

Joshua Oppenheimer was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2014. Her is a partner at Final Cut for Real in Copenhage, and Artistic Director of the Centre for Documentary and Experimental Film at the University of Westminster in London.

“You stumble from a cinema into Telluride’s thin air, touched in ways you never imagined possible,” commented Oppenheimer. “You turn to a total stranger to share a thought unthinkable only two hours before. What happened? In the mirror of a great film, you confronted truths from which you normally avert your eyes. You recognised yourself in those delicate, mysterious moments that defy words yet make us human. Telluride’s movies are empathy machines, inviting us to find ourselves in people we’d never otherwise know. Julie Huntsinger and Tom Luddy’s annual selection is driven by such curiosity and humanity that you cannot leave Telluride without feeling the responsibility and pain and love that comes with compassion. We emerge connected, reminded that self-absorption ultimately leaves us isolated and fearful. There is no greater privilege than joining Tom and Julie as this year’s guest director, sharing with Telluride’s audience the films that give me the greatest courage, and teach me to practice the widest empathy.”

Past Guest Directors include Volker Schlöndorff, Rachel Kushner, Guy Maddin, Caetano Veloso, Michael Ondaatje, Alexander Payne, Salman Rushdie, Peter Bogdanovich, B. Ruby Rich, Phillip Lopate, Errol Morris, Bertrand Tavernier, John Boorman, John Simon, Buck Henry, Laurie Anderson, Stephen Sondheim, G. Cabrera Infante, Peter Sellars, Don DeLillo, J.P. Gorin, Edith Kramer and Slavoj Žižek.

For more information about Telluride Film Festival, visit

About Telluride Film Festival:

The prestigious Telluride Film Festival ranks among the world’s best film festivals and is an annual gathering for film industry insiders, cinema enthusiasts, filmmakers and critics. TFF is considered a major launching ground for the fall season’s most talked-about films. Founded in 1974, Telluride Film Festival, presented in the beautiful mountain town of Telluride, Colorado, is a four-day international educational event celebrating the art of film. Telluride Film Festival’s long-standing commitment is to join filmmakers and film connoisseurs together to experience great cinema. The exciting schedule, kept secret until Opening Day, consists of over two dozen filmmakers presenting their newest works, special Guest Director programs, three major Tributes to guest artists, special events and remarkable treasures from the past. Telluride Film Festival is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational program. Festival headquarters are in Berkeley, CA.

About TFF Sponsors:

Telluride Film Festival’s Guest Director program is generously supported by FilmStruck, a new subscription on-demand service that offers film aficionados a comprehensive library of films including an eclectic mix of contemporary and classic art house, indie, foreign and cult films. Developed and managed by Turner in collaboration with the Criterion Collection, FilmStruck is the exclusive streaming home for the critically acclaimed and award-winning Criterion Collection, including the Criterion Channel, a new premium service programmed and curated by the Criterion team.  FilmStruck is Turner’s first domestic direct-to-consumer offering launched in November 2016.

Telluride Film Festival is supported by Turner Classic Movies, EY, Amazon Studios, FilmStruck, Participant Media, ARRI, National Endowment for the Arts, Delta Air Lines, Meyer Sound, Universal Studios, Tesla, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, Dolby, Criterion Collection, The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills, Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association, Telluride Alpine Lodging, DELL, and New Sheridan Hotel.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.