44th Telluride Film Festival

The annual Labor Day weekend festival features a bevy of high-profile films from UCLA TFT alumni

As the 44th edition of the Telluride Film Festival gets underway today in Telluride, Colo., UCLA TFT celebrates its alumni with films screening there. They include writer-director-producer Alexander Payne (M.F.A. ’90) with his social satire Downsizing, starring Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz and Kristin Wiig; writer-director Francis Ford Coppola (M.F.A. ’67), whose 1984 musical The Cotton Club, starring Richard Gere, Gregory Hines and Diane Lane, returns in a new cut entitled The Cotton Club Encore; writer-director Paul Schrader (M.A. ’70), who has the dramatic thriller First Reformed, starring Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried; filmmakers Jonathan Dayton (B.A. ’80) and Valerie Faris, who bring the true story of the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs to the screen in Battle of the Sexes, starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell; and Julio Ramos (M.F.A. ’12), who returns to the festival with his short film Debris. Ramos, whose first short film, ¡Una carrerita, Doctor! screened at the festival in 2011, was also a FilmLAB fellow that year. FilmLAB is UCLA TFT’s multi-faceted partnership with Telluride, created by Dean Teri Schwartz in conjunction with Telluride Film Festival co-director Julie Huntsinger, focused on the art and industry of filmmaking. It is custom-designed for select UCLA TFT graduate film students who are invited to attend the festival. While there, students learn from the greatest filmmakers in the world in a workshop/lab setting, enjoy exclusive sessions with world-renowned writers, producers and industry leaders, and experience the festival in a VIP fashion. UCLA TFT Executive board member Frank Marshall (B.A. ’68) was the symposium's founding sponsor and continues to be a strong supporter.

This year, 10 M.F.A. students were invited to the festival. They include screenwriting students Cooper Abedin, Elizabeth Buda, Margaret Maloney and Guido Segal; Producers Program students Ceren Bulca and Griffith Rhys Jones; directing students Daniel Lafrentz, Ronak Shah and Brooks Stephanie Yang; and animation student Bijiao Liu.

The 44th edition of the Telluride Film Festival takes place Sept. 1-4, 2017.

Posted: September 1, 2017