“There are other film festivals that are aesthetically interesting, but no others that I know of are so politically, socially, culturally and environmentally important. I wish that every moviegoer in America could find his way to Telluride.”
—Andre Gregory, actor, playwright
Travel to Telluride, Colorado for a behind the scenes, up-close experience of the inner workings of one of the nation’s most prestigious documentary film festivals. Telluride, a former Victorian mining town in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, is set in a box canyon amid forested peaks at the base of a popular ski-and-golf resort. The town’s historic district houses landmarks like the Sheridan Opera House, a performing-arts venue originally built in 1913, and the Telluride Historical Museum, which showcases local history in a converted hospital built in 1896. Mountainfilm is a dynamic organization and festival of films, people, stories, and ideas that celebrates indomitable spirit, educates and inspires audiences, and motivates individuals and communities to advance solutions for a livable world.
WSU’s Film Studies program and the Frozen River Film Festival are collaborating on this three-credit week-long travel study at the Mountainfilm Festival in beautiful and historic Telluride, Colorado. Join us and volunteer at the Mountainfilm festival; attend screenings, events, and lectures; and learn first-hand from filmmakers about their work. You’ll earn three credits in FILM and enjoy a lifelong learning experience!
are there any prerequisites?
Nope! You can register for FILM 240, Film Genres: Indies Shorts Docs Etc., which has no prerequisites and counts for our General Education Program Goal 6: Humanities. (FILM 240 may be repeated if you have already taken the course with a different topic.) There are no prerequisites for FILM 240. Alternatively, you may elect to register for FILM 450, Topics: Film Festivals, an advanced elective course in the Film Studies major and minor.
what will I do?
Before the trip, you’ll complete some selected readings (via D2L) in documentary film form and festival history and theory. During the trip, you’ll be volunteering at and attending the festival events, participating in group meetings and activities, and blogging about your experience. After the trip, you’ll complete a final project based on your interests and expertise.
what’s Telluride like?
Telluride is a beautiful mountain resort town with a rich cultural history! It’s home to both Mountainfilm and the world-renowned Telluride Film Festival. Mountainfilm in particular endorses a “close-to-zero-waste” policy and a focus on humanitarian, environmental, social, and cultural causes. The festival programming is relatively self-contained, with venues all in walking distance—and a free shuttle and gondola! Even so, you can expect to walk up to five miles per day from lodging to various venues and to perform light physical duty in the course of required volunteering activities. You’ll want to hydrate, avoid caffeine and alcohol, apply sunscreen, and bring protective headgear and clothing, including boots, a rainjacket, and umbrella.
where will I stay?
You’ll stay on-site in Telluride in comfortable condominium lodging with your faculty and trip leader. Lodging is within walking distance of all of the festival programming. We’ll provide a breakfast and evening meal together each day.
who’s leading the trip?
Dr. J Paul Johnson, Professor of English and Film Studies, is the faculty leader. Professor Johnson teaches courses in film theory, criticism, and genres, including documentary and nonfiction. Crystal Hegge, Executive Director of the Frozen River Film Festival, is trip leader. Ms. Hegge partners with the Mountainfilm Film Festival as the primary provider of FRFF content.
who can go?
The travel study is open to almost anyone! You may be seeking an engaging General Education: Humanities elective, or you might simply be a film aficionado. Or you might have an interest in marketing, advertising, event planning, arts administration, social justice, environmental studies, philosophy, media studies, business, or art and design. The travel study is limited to students with a cumulative WSU gpa of 2.5 or above, and priority will be given to declared majors and minors in Film Studies.
when does this happen?
May 2017! We will meet on campus for two pre-travel orientation sessions in late April or early May. The course begins with reading and response assignments on D2L starting May 15. Our travel to Telluride is scheduled for May 24-31, 2017.
how much will it cost?
Half that of what most international programs cost! The exact final cost will depend upon the number of students enrolled, but our preliminary budget estimates your costs at $2100-$2500. The cost will include your airfare and travel from MSP to Telluride and return; lodging; two meals each day; tuition and fees; and all festival admittance costs.
how do I register?
Contact Dana Engel, Travel Study Coordinator, 507.457.5081, email@example.com to register. A deposit of $500 is required by January 31, 2017, to secure your registration. Enrollment is limited to 20 students.