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Mountainfilm: Ken Burns to Premier New Film at Mountainfilm in Telluride

 Ken Burns to Premier New Film at Mountainfilm in Telluride


“The Dust Bowl” Explores One of the Most Profound Man-Made Disasters in History


Telluride, Colorado (January 17, 2012) – Producer and director Ken Burns will premier his upcoming PBS documentary series, “The Dust Bowl,” at Mountainfilm in Telluride. The production is due for television release in the fall of 2012, but Mountainfilm will offer an early showing of the series during its 34th annual festival, May 25-28. 


“The Dust Bowl” examines the decade-long, man-made ecological disaster that began in 1930 and nearly ruined the breadbasket of the nation. 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 project, 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. Mountainfilm in Telluride will screen both of the two-hour films in the series.


Ken Burns — known for historical documentaries, such as “The Civil War” (1990), “Baseball” (1994), “Jazz” (2001) and “The War” (2007) — is no stranger to Mountainfilm in Telluride. He 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, Colorado, 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



About Mountainfilm in Telluride: Established in 1979, Mountainfilm in Tellu­ride is dedicated to educating, inspiring and activating audiences about critical environmental, cultural and social issues. Working at the nexus of filmmaking, adventure and activism, its flagship program is the legendary Mountainfilm Festival—a one-of-a-kind combination film festival, ideas summit and jamboree. Mountainfilm also reaches audiences year round through its worldwide tour, on Outside Television, with its online Minds of Mountainfilm interviews and in classrooms through its educational outreach initiative, Making Movies that Matter. Mountainfilm has the power to change lives. To learn more, visit the website. To join the conversation, please visit the blog, follow us on Twitter, and become a fan on Facebook.