Telluride Names 'The Flamethrowers' Author Rachel Kushner as Guest Director

Rachel Kushner H 2015
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A National Book Award nom is Telluride's latest literary big hitter named as guest director.

The Telluride Film Festival announced Tuesday that Los Angeles author Rachel Kushner has helped choose its top-secret film lineup as guest director of the 42nd TFF held on Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 4-7, 2015. The selections will be announced Sept. 4. 

"Rachel was a natural choice as the 42nd TFF Guest Director,” said TFF executive director Julie Huntsinger. “It still feels a bit dreamlike to me that I have been given this privilege," said Kushner. “We actually owe a huge debt of thanks to our past guest director Michael Ondaatje for urging us to work with her," Huntsinger added.

Her selection represents Telluride's increasing clout at the intersection of film and literature. Kushner, a Guggenheim and California Book Award winner, is the only writer ever nominated for a National Book Award for a first novel (Telex from Cuba) and a second (The Flamethrowers).

Ondaatje is a colossus of both fiction and film (The English Patient, The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film), and prior writers turned TFF guest directors include Salman Rushdie (who went to Telluride during his fatwah hideout years), Don DeLillo, Phillip Lopate, Slavoj Žižek, Guy Maddin, Kim Morgan, B. Ruby Rich, G. Cabrera Infante and Errol Morris.
Also, in a rare co-presentation between Telluride Film Festival and San Francisco International Film Festival, Kushner will present Barbara Loden's 1970 Wanda (DeLillo's choice as Telluride guest director) on Sat., April 25 at the Castro Theatre.