Badgers at the 2016 Telluride Film Festival

The Department of Communication Arts had a strong presence once again at the 2016 Telluride Film Festival. Professors Kelley Conway and J. J. Murphy and students from the Department of Communication Arts travelled to Telluride, Colorado in early September to attend the prestigious festival, which is celebrated for its well-curated program of contemporary world cinema and restored classics. Unlike larger festivals such as Cannes and Toronto, Telluride is not a market; its goal is simply to bring North American premieres of good films to dedicated viewers and to celebrate the achievements of filmmakers.

Along with the two faculty members, three undergraduate majors and six graduate students from the department attended the festival. Additionally, two graduate students worked for the festival:  Chelsea McCracken managed one of the screening venues and Amanda McQueen directed an educational program for high school students.

From left to right: Zachary McDowell, Evan Watters, Roxanne Connor.

Highlights this year included Moonlight, Barry Jenkins’ moving portrait of a young black man; La La Land, Damien Chazelle’s musical set in contemporary Los Angeles; Maren Ade’s droll Toni Erdmann; and Errol Morris’ charming The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography, a documentary about the photographer who created giant polaroids of writers and artists. Our graduate students relished the chance to sit down for lengthy small-session chats with filmmakers Errol Morris and Barry Jenkins and to have dinner with George and Pamela Hamel, whose generosity made the trip possible for the second year in a row.

Pictured above, grad students and professors from left to right: Tim Brayton, Leo Rubinkowski, Hamidreza Nassiri, Trace Palmer, JJ Murphy, Kelley Conway, Jacob Mertens, and JJ Bersch.