Oscar-winning production designer Dean Tavoularis has designed the poster for the 40th annual Telluride Film Festival. Tavoularis will attend the festival over Labor Day weekend to present his poster design to the public and hold a poster signing for festival guests.
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.
Tavoularis 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 joins a prestigious list of artists who have shared their talents with Telluride Film Festival. Past poster artists include Ed Ruscha, John Mansfield, Julian Schnabel, Dottie Attie, Doug and Mike Starn, David Lance Goines, Chuck Jones, David Salle, Alexis Smith, Jim Dine, Seymour Chwast, Frederic Amat, Francesco Clemente, Dave McKean, Gary Larson, Chip Kidd, John Canemaker, Mark Stock, Laurie Anderson, William Wegman, Ralph Eggleston, Maira Kalman and Dave Eggers.
“We are thrilled Dean agreed to do the poster art for the 40th anniversary,” said Executive Director Julie Huntsinger. “The 40th edition will be a remarkable celebration of TFF’s past and present, 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. ”
“When I was asked by Tom Luddy and Julie Huntsinger if I would design the poster for the 40th Telluride Film Festival, I was first flattered and then thoughtful of being part of the Telluride film history, Tavoularis said. “In my own way I pondered Telluride’s past 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 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.