Film Finances supports Telluride student symposium

29 August, 2014 by Press Release

Film Finances Inc. is proud and excited to sponsor the Student Symposium at the 41st Telluride Film Festival (TFF) for the second year in a row.

As a part of this immersive film program, Australian filmmaker Nikki Tran is among the four overseas students and recent grads to be selected to attend TFF with support from Film Finances and the festival. The others are Gasan Sallies from South Africa, and Xixi Wang and Yu Xie from China.


They will have a chance to experience the leading U.S. film festival, surrounded by top film professionals as well as stunning mountain scenery. The Symposium students will follow a special curriculum of workshops and discussions with film creatives and executives over the festival’s long Labor Day-weekend run. The group also will screen new films from some of the world’s best filmmakers.

“We are very pleased to support the various film communities where Film Finances operates,” says Film Finances co-CEO Kurt Woolner. “Sponsoring young filmmakers from several of these countries to attend the Telluride Festival, to meet established filmmakers and their peers, is a powerful way for us to fulfill this important mission.”

The Victorian College of the Arts and The Australian Film Television and Radio School, along with Film Finances Australia managing director Anni Browning, helped field the Australian candidates. The finalists were chosen by Telluride’s Student Symposium.

Born and raised in Melbourne, Tran received her Bachelor of media and communications degree from RMIT University in 2011, with a major in cinema studies and production. She followed it by completing a Masters degree in producing this year at the Victorian College of the Arts. In 2013, she was named VCA’s Producer of the Year for work on two graduating short films, “In Dust and Ashes” and “Smash the State.” More recently, Tran has been developing projects of her own, including a dark comedy short, “Love & Tolerance,” which she also is writing. Says Tran: “Cinema is at its best when art, imagination and social observation intersect in a way that entertains but also reveals truth about
ourselves and the world around us. I’d love to write and produce stories for screens — big or small — that do the same.”

TFF’s Student Symposium was launched 1989 to give undergraduate and graduate students the chance to participate in an immersive film experience of discussions and screenings. The only prerequisite for participation is a passionate love of film and an ability to make it through the long weekend on little more than personal stamina and inspiration. From early morning to past midnight, the group of approximately 50 students talk, live, eat, breathe, and view films. They begin their days with a breakfast discussion with the faculty (Howie Movshovitz, critic for Colorado and National Public Radio and Director of Education for the Starz Encore Film Center at the University of Colorado, Denver; and Linda Williams, Professor of Film Studies and Rhetoric at University of California, Berkeley), and they continue nonstop through the day, going from film to discussion to more film.

Guest speakers at the Symposium in recent years have included George Lucas, Werner Herzog, Ang Lee, Tilda Swinton, Gus Van Sant, Tom Shadyac, David Lynch, Salman Rushdie, Nicole Holofcener, Peter Bogdanovich, Errol Morris, Kathy Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Barry Sonnenfeld, Stephen Sondheim, Jean- Claude Carriere, and Buck Henry.

The 41st Telluride Film Festival runs from August 29 through September 1, 2014.