August 12, 2015

Mountainfilm to present special screening of The Diplomat

Two screenings of film set for Aug. 26 at The Nugget

Telluride Mountainfilm will present two special late-summer screenings of The Diplomata feature-length documentary that tracks the career of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke through the eyes of his son, Festival Director David Holbrooke — on Aug. 26 at the Nugget Theatre.

The back-to-back screenings are slated for 6 and 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children and will be on sale 30 minutes before showtime at the Nugget’s box office.

David said Mountainfilm organized the event in response to requests from the community.

“Ever since we screened The Diplomat at Mountainfilm, I’ve had repeated conversations with people in town who missed the screening and have asked when we were going to screen to again,” David said. “It makes sense to show it on the big screen in Telluride one more night before it airs on HBO Nov. 2.”

David added that it’s a good opportunity for Mountainfilm to reach people who aren’t typically in town for the Memorial Day festival.

In the documentary, David attempts to get to know his father — who passed away in December of 2010 after a storied career in diplomacy — better in death than he did in life. The Diplomat traces the diplomat’s career — from his early days as a foreign service officer in Vietnam through his success in securing peace between Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia to his work as the U.S. point man for Afghanistan and Pakistan. The film also delves into his private life, examining him through the lens of David and his brother Anthony, who struggled to know a father who was often absent.

David tells the story of his father’s career through archival footage and photographs, as well as interviews with a deep roster of political figures and journalists that includes Hilary Clinton, Roger Cohen, Kofi Annan and Christiane Amanpour.

The HBO documentary premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April before screening at San Francisco Film Festival and Mountainfilm, where it played to packed audiences and enjoyed a warm reception. Since then, The Diplomat has been on a non-stop tour of festivals and screenings.

“It’s gratifying that the film we set out to make seems to resonate with audiences,” David said. “I wanted to tell a big story of my father’s remarkable career that would capture the history of five decades of American foreign policy yet also convey what our relationship was like as father and son. Judging from what people have said to me in Telluride and beyond, that seems to have worked.”

Following the Telluride screening, The Diplomat will tour film festivals throughout the fall before being aired on HBO in early November, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the Dayton Peace Accords.

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