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Production Designer Dean Tavoularis Designs 40th Anniversary Telluride Film Festival Poster

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood May 30, 2013 at 3:53PM

Yes, I have acquired my pass for the celebratory 40th Telluride Film Festival, which adds an extra day to its usual four-day Labor Day weekend festivities (August 29 – September 2, 2013). This year the fest, which is presented by National Film Preserve LTD., gave the design of its 2013 poster to Oscar-winning production designer Dean Tavoularis, who will attend the fest to sign posters for attendees.
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Telluride 40th poster

Yes, I have acquired my pass for the celebratory 40th Telluride Film Festival, which adds an extra day to its usual four-day Labor Day weekend festivities (August 29 – September 2, 2013).

This year the Rocky Mountain fest, which is presented by National Film Preserve LTD., gave the design of its 2013 poster to Oscar-winning production designer Dean Tavoularis, who will attend the fest to sign posters for attendees. “The 40th edition will be a remarkable celebration of TFF’s past and present," said Executive Director Julie Huntsinger, "and Dean’s work with Telluride is a wonderful parallel. He was a part of Telluride in its very early years when he designed a poster for a TFF celebration called the ‘Spirit of Zoetrope.’ We are excited to have him back and to present his vision for this special year. ”

Explaining his design concept, Tavoularis pondered on Telluride’s past, he says, "and in fact all film festivals. Like the word implies, a festival is a fair; people gathering to show their films. It just as well could be their tomatoes. It’s an exchange. I wanted a poster that was simple and joyful, that looked homemade with pure colors in shapes that symbolize a 1:85 screen and an audience. One cannot exist without the other. I am very happy to be a small part of Telluride’s history.”

Tavoularis bio:

As a student, Dean Tavoularis studied painting and architecture at different art schools and went on to work at Disney Studios as an in-betweener in the animation department where he worked on the 1955 film “Lady and the Tramp.” He then transitioned to the live-action department where he worked on the 1954 film “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.” His career as a production designer began in 1967 when filmmaker Arthur Penn asked him to lead the artistic direction for “Bonny And Clyde.” Three years later, he and Penn teamed up again on “Little Big Man.” He began working with Francis Ford Coppola in 1972 on “The Godfather”, which was the beginning of much collaboration including the latter two films in “The Godfather” trilogy and “Apocalypse Now.”

Tavoularis has spent the last ten years focusing on his work as a painter. His return to film came in 2012 when he was the production designer on Roman Polanski’s “Carnage.” He has worked on over thirty films spanning four decades, landing five Academy-Award nominations and one win for “The Godfather Part II.” Tavoularis lives in Paris and Los Angeles with his wife, actress Aurore Clément.


Other poster designers include Ed Ruscha, Julian Schnabel, David Lance Goines, Chuck Jones, David Salle, Alexis Smith, Jim Dine, Dave McKean, Gary Larson, John Canemaker, Laurie Anderson, William Wegman, Ralph Eggleston, Maira Kalman and Dave Eggers.

View and download the full-size 40th Telluride Film Festival poster art here ; 40th Telluride Film Festival posters will be available for purchase throughout the five-day Festival or at the TFF website.

This article is related to: Festivals, Telluride Film Festival


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.