TELLURIDE – Producer/director Ken Burns will premier his upcoming PBS documentary series, The Dust Bowl, at Mountainfilm in Telluride, May 25-28.
The Dust Bowl examines the decade-long, manmade ecological disaster that began in 1930 and nearly ruined America’s breadbasket. Intensive agricultural cultivation had displaced the natural grasses and rich topsoil of the southern plains and, coupled with severe drought, produced enormous dust storms that blackened the air and eventually forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee from the region.
The series, narrated by Peter Coyote, relies on Depression-era footage and first-person interviews with those who lived through the devastating crisis that destroyed millions of acres of once-fertile lands. The 34th Annual Mountainfilm in Telluride will screen both of the two-hour films in the series.
Burns, known for historical documentaries, including The Civil War (1990), Baseball (1994), Jazz (2001) and The War (2007), no stranger to Mountainfilm, has described the festival as “both dazzling to the eye and richly layered with ideas. It reminds us of the force of filmmaking, about things that matter, worlds worth exploring, and conversations worth sustaining,” an endorsement that the organization adopted as part of its mission statement. Last at Mountainfilm in 2009 with The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, Burns returns this year to both screen and discuss his latest work to audiences who gather in Telluride from around the globe.
“Ken is, without a doubt, America’s leading documentary filmmaker,” said David Holbrooke, Mountainfilm in Telluride’s festival director. “His work is so often aimed at educating and inspiring audiences that it’s a natural fit for us. What really sets Ken apart, though, is his chemistry with audiences. He is so brilliant and articulate and so genuinely intrigued by the opinions and questions of the audience that having him in the house is an unrivalled and electric experience. We’re thrilled to welcome him back.”
Early Bird passes to the 2012 Mountainfilm in Telluride festival are available now at http://www.mountainfilm.org/festival-passes-tickets.