By Peter Knegt | Indiewire June 11, 2012 at 10:44AM
The Telluride Film Festival has announced that award-winning writer Geoff Dyer will be the Guest Director at the 39th edition of the festival, which runs this August 31-September 3.
The Guest Director serves as "a key collaborator in the Festival’s programming decisions, bringing new ideas and overlooked films to Telluride." Dyer follows last year's director, Alexander Payne, as well as long line of esteemed people from around the world. Past Guest Directors include Caetano Veloso, Michael Ondaatje, 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 Zizek.
More information and the full press release below.
BERKELEY, CA – Telluride Film Festival, presented by National Film Preserve LTD., is thrilled to announce its 2012 Guest Director, Geoff Dyer. The award-winning writer is set to select a series of films to present at the 39th Telluride Film Festival running over Labor Day Weekend, August 31 – September 3, 2012. The Guest Director program is sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Festival directors Julie Huntsinger, Tom Luddy and Gary Meyer 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.
“I’ve always been a fan of Geoff’s writing,” said Tom Luddy, co-founder and co-director of Telluride Film Festival. "He and I were introduced while he was writing his book Zona, an in-depth exploration of Andrei Tarkovsky’s film Stalker. Around that time Sight & Sound asked Geoff what his five favorite books on film were. His top choice was David Thomson’s A Biographical Dictionary of Film in its first edition. The revised second, third, fourth and fifth editions were picks two, three, four and five. His answer convinced me that he and I are on the same wavelength film-wise. Zona is, in my opinion, one of the best books ever written on a single film. I’ve had a wonderful time dialoguing with him about his film selections and know we have another winner in our series of Guest Directors.”
British writer Geoff Dyer is the author of four novels: Paris Trance, The Search, The Colour of Memory, and, most recently, Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi; two collections of essays, Anglo-English Attitudes and Working the Room; and five genre-defying titles: But Beautiful, The Missing of the Somme, Out of Sheer Rage, Yoga For People Who Can’t Be Bothered To Do It and The Ongoing Moment. A collection of essays from the last twenty years entitled Otherwise Known as the Human Condition was published in the US in April 2011 and won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism in March 2012.
Dyer’s new book Zona: A Book about a Film about a Journey to a Room, was published in February 2012 by Canongate, UK and in March 2012 by Pantheon, US. The book takes the reader through the film Stalker by the great Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky, and, like the film itself, confronts the most mysterious and enduring questions of life and how to live. Dyer guides his readers on a 200-page shot by shot exploration of the film and his own personal obsession with cinema.
“I'm very conscious of the honour of being the latest in a long line of very distinguished guest directors at a great festival, but I'm even more conscious of the pleasure I'm already having (discovering new films, re-watching old favourites and discovering if they have stood up to the test of time),” said Dyer. “Even more than the honour and the pleasure, though, I'm glad finally to be putting an end to the envy I felt whenever I met people who'd just come back from Telluride and insisted on telling me that they'd had the most wonderful time of their lives. I'm no stranger to having a good time over the Labour Day weekend: I used to go to Burning Man and was quite evangelical about it. I fully expect to be as passionate a convert to Telluride.’”
Dyer’s awards are as follows: But Beautiful winner of the 1992 Somerset Maugham Prize and shortlisted for the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize; Out of Sheer Rage finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award, US; Yoga For People Who Can’t Be Bothered To Do It winner of the 2004 W H Smith Best Travel Book Award; The Ongoing Moment winner of the ICP Infinity Award for Writing on Photography; Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi winner of the 2009 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Best Comic Novel; Otherwise Known as the Human Condition winner of the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism
Other honors include the Lannan Literary Fellowship, 2003; Winner of the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, 2006; GQ Writer of the Year Award, 2009
In keeping with Telluride Film Festival tradition, Dyer’s film selections, along with the rest of the Telluride lineup will be kept secret and unveiled on Opening Day, August 31, 2012.
Past Guest Directors include 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 Zizek.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has provided continued generous support to Telluride Film Festival’s Guest Director series making 2012 the fifth consecutive year the Academy has awarded a $50,000 grant to underwrite the program. The Academy Foundation – the Academy’s cultural and educational wing – annually distributes more than $1 million to film scholars, cultural organizations and film festivals throughout the U.S. and abroad. The Foundation also presents the Academy’s rich assortment of screenings and other public programs each year.
For more information or to download an image of Geoff Dyer, please visit: www.geoffdyer.com.
39th Festival passes are now available at www.telluridefilmfestival.org.
Next year Telluride Film Festival will be celebrating its 40th Anniversary, scheduled for August 29 – September 2, 2013. To commemorate this special occasion an additional day has been added to the usual four-day Festival, making room for a five-day bounty of special programming and festivities. Passes will be available for purchase beginning in March, 2013.