Student Symposium

I've worked in film for nine years, and I've been at USC for two semesters, but I learned more about why we make movies in my five days with [the Symposium] than in all of that time put together...
– University of Southern California Student, 2002
I was afraid I'd stick out like a sore thumb since I don't have any experience in film studies, but all of the students were very welcoming and willing to share their knowledge. I feel like everyone learned a lot from each other. I've never been around so many people who love film as much as I do, and I can't even begin to describe how grateful I am for that experience.
– Princeton University Student, 2011
41st Telluride Film Festival
26th Student Symposium
August 28 - September 1, 2014

Imagine being a part of an exclusive give and take with filmmakers like Errol Morris, David Fincher, Danny Boyle, Alexander Payne, Werner Herzog, Michael Haneke, Agnieszka Holland, Laura Linney, Tilda Swinton, Ken Burns, Gus Van Sant, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Mike Leigh, Diablo Cody, Lynne Ramsay, Todd Haynes, Wayne Wang, Tamara Jenkins, David Lynch, Im Kwon Taek, and Daniel Day-Lewis, to name just a few of the past participants in the Telluride Film Festival Student Symposium.

Don’t just imagine it—be there. It all happens Labor Day Weekend in beautiful Telluride, Colorado. The Symposium is open to 50 college and university students, no matter what your major. Yes, there’s an official “application,” but the primary requirements are to love film and be truly fascinated by it. All selected participants will receive a special Festival pass, free meals while in Telluride, and a travel stipend—the rest is up to you.

If you’re chosen, the Symposium begins Wednesday afternoon and ends Monday night.


  • View at least a dozen film programs over four days.
  • Interact with filmmakers, actors, and other film artists including screenwriters, musicians, and producers.
  • Have the time of your life in one of the most majestic and beautiful places on the planet – Telluride, Colorado.
  • Live, breathe, eat, sleep film with other students and two of the best film faculty leaders you could ever wish for
  • Share your experience with other passholders and film lovers from around the world.
  • Make lifelong friends

And in keeping with TFF’s focus on providing a celebration of film for all people who love the movies, non-film majors are encouraged to apply.

Applications will be reviewed immediately following the March 23rd deadline, initial e-mail notification of acceptance will be sent by May 1st, and all final results will be mailed by mid-May. Please do not call before May 1 for results. Due to the volume of applications, the March 23rd deadline will be strictly adhered to, and incomplete application packets may be immediately precluded from consideration. Travel and lodging - which can be quite expensive - are solely the student’s responsibility.

For more information about the Telluride Film Festival Student Programs, please contact Austin Sipes at 310.570.3294 or at

For general questions about any of our Education Programs please email

For more information about sponsorship of TFF and its programs, check our sponsorship page, or contact our development department:

The Symposium does a great job of facilitating the social experience of cinema, especially for students who are becoming more accustomed to internet streaming and home viewing in the digital age.
– University of Edinburgh, Scotland Student, 2011
I found it thought-provoking and moving to discuss films with individuals who were all coming from such different walks of life in terms of age, education, film knowledge, geography, and interests.
– University of California, Berkeley Student, 2011