Education Programs

There were some truly magical moments. I’ve never met such a great and enthusiastic group of people. This love of film is apparent and truly infectious. This helps fan the flames of my desire to work in this industry. It was close to a religious experience at times."
– Symposium Student

For over 20 years the Telluride Film Festival has presented students with the opportunity to experience the Festival as it was initially intended—a celebration of film as an art, a festival of discovery and rediscovery, and a place to share your love of film with others who feel just as passionately as you do.

You don't need to be a film student. All you need is a consuming passion for film. Seize the opportunity to immerse yourself in a direct and intimate dialogue with some of the greatest filmmakers out there, joined by peers that share your enthusiasm.

The goals of the Festival's education programs are as follows:

  • Expand participants' worldview through film screenings and discussions with filmmakers
  • Develop participants' ability to become more thoughtful and discriminating media critics
  • Assist participants' growth into more thoughtful and active cultural participants and leaders for the future
  • Broaden participants' knowledge and understanding through learning of other students' backgrounds and lifestyles
  • Provide participants with the opportunity to become lifelong friends with peers from divergent backgrounds

Student Symposium

The Student Symposium is designed for college undergraduates and grad students; all majors are welcome. Fifty students, from around the globe, are chosen to participate in a rigorous five days of screenings and cloistered seminars. Participants receive a special festival pass, a travel stipend and special access to the likes of David Fincher, Danny Boyle, Laura Linney, Sean Penn, Ken Burns, Gus Van Sant, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Mike Leigh, Diablo Cody, Todd Haynes, Wayne Wang, Tamara Jenkins, Bertrand Tavernier, David Lynch, Im Kwon Taek, and Daniel Day Lewis.

City Lights Project

The City Lights Project invites high schools to participate. Two dozen students and teachers attend the event and gain exposure to great films and filmmakers in a life-changing experience similar to the Student Symposium.

Student Prints

Student films are a part of every Telluride Film Festival. New student directors are given the opportunity to have their works shown in the company of other great talents and emerging artists.

Student Prints was the original Filmmakers of Tomorrow program, initiated in 1993. In that first year's program were included films by actress Daryl Hannah, former TFF Student Symposium attendee Simeon Hunter, and four other student directors. Since that time, the program has expanded considerably. In 2008, 300 films were submitted from such countries as South Africa, Hong Kong, Poland, Sweden, Bulgaria, Denmark, and the Netherlands, as well as the United States.

Interesting films, dynamic filmmakers, and the Colorado Rockies - can you beat this classroom?

Who Makes These Programs Possible?

YOU do. It is only through generous, continued support from our sponsors that we are able to keep these transformational educational experiences alive. Please consider a contribution toward the Telluride Film Festival Educational Programs so that we can guarantee these life-changing opportunities for generations to come. For more information, please contact sponsorship@telluridefilmfestival.org.


In five days, I saw the magic and the promise of the cinema, not only in the movies themselves, but also in the people around me."
– Symposium Student
I was a tad worried that I’d be surrounded by pretentious film snobs all weekend, but boy was I wrong!
– Symposium Student