FEATURED ARTIST: David Holbrooke


David Holbrooke has been in and around Telluride since 1988 when he first came to visit with his father and brother. He recalls, ”We drove through a snowstorm from Grand Junction in a Buick LeSabre on Christmas night pulling in around 3am without our luggage since it was lost. Loved this place ever since…”
 
Many of us know David as Festival Director for Mountainfilm or that tall guy riding around on his fat bike. But you should also know David as a filmmaker, and for his new documentary, The Diplomat. Currently, he is busy getting the film out on the festival circuit. After he gets the documentary out to the world, he plans to see what it would be like to have just one job for a while.  

But for now, let’s dig a little deeper into Mr. Holbrooke’s past and present.
 
For the FIRST AND LAST TIME! With David Holbrooke...
 
Met one of your idols.
First: I grew up in DC and was a big fan of the Washington football team. One summer when I was probably about ten, I went to some DC summer sports camp and Mark Moseley, the team's great place kicker came by for pictures and autographs. It was rad. 

Last: Jon Stewart was in town screening Rosewater at Telluride Film Festival and I said hello to him. I told him about The Diplomat as my father had been a guest on The Daily Show. Stewart expressed gracious interest and said, “Your father was a great man.” He did this while never breaking stride as he headed to the G and into the night.

 
Cried during a film.
First: The first time I remember was watching Sounder… so damn sad.

Last: The last time was watching the new Vacation with Ed Helms. I had dropped off my daughter Kitty at boarding school in Maine where she is attending a semester school focused on science and experiential learning, which will be a great experience for her but it just crushed me. That night, her older sister, Bebe, and I were in Portland for the night and went to see this remake/reboot/sequel of the Chevy Chase original, which was funny as hell (just one man’s opinion…). At some point, there is a nice speech about Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) being a good father and trying to bring his family closer. To my surprise, I found that it moved me and while I wouldn’t call it a full on cry, my eyes were slightly but certainly moist. 

 
Ate something unusual.
First: My wife Sarah and I took our son Wiley to a famous Jewish diner in LA called Nate and Al’s that she loves. He was still very young and not on solid food yet so we didn’t order anything for him. The attentive waitress had a different idea and brought him a bagel necklace - a bagel with a string through it. We repeated to her that he wasn’t on solid food yet but she wasn’t interested in hearing that and draped it over his neck. He gummed the hell out of it, happy as could be.
 
Last: We filmed in Vietnam for The Diplomat and on our last night in country, we went out for a few drinks in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). Rather late into the night, we realized some food would be good to offset the beers so our local crew took us to a banh mi stand run by a lesbian couple. My middle daughter Kitty was our PA on the shoot and is averse to spicy food (I also want to make clear that my then 14-year old wasn’t drinking but was still hungry) so we asked about making her sandwich less hot but were warned that the proprietors were ornery and didn’t take kindly to special orders. When the sandwiches arrived, we dug in and I saw Kitty’s face go red and her eyes bulge a little but to my eternal paternal pride, she kept it cool (best she could) in front of the crew, not an easy thing to do when your face is on fire.
 
 
Learned a new skill.
First: I am not really sure but I'd imagine the first skill I learned was how to poop.
 
Last: I am trying to learn to meditate. Slow going but think that’s the point.

 
Played a prank on someone.  
First: Can’t remember the first time but bet a whoopee cushion was involved. 
 
Last: I don’t do a lot of pranks now as it seems the whole concept is to embarrass someone and who likes to have that done to them?
 
 
Where out of your element.
First: I went to a summer camp in West Virginia and whenever there was free choice for activities, most of the kids would head to the archery and rifle range. These were two activities that never interested me so I’d head to the dirt basketball court. Before long, I’d be joined by the only two African-Americans in the camp who worked in the kitchen and would often spend their break on the court playing hoop with me.
 
Last: As I write this, I am preparing to go to Burning Man for the first time. I turn 50 on August 31st and am spending my birthday in Black Rock City, which should be awesome. However a lot of elements of Burning Man aren’t really my thing starting with costumes. I never loved Halloween and while I consider myself a creative fellow, my imagination when it comes to getting dressed up isn’t particularly fertile. Plus I don’t love super hot climates or sand or giant crowds but am so psyched to go and be the hell out of my element for this milestone birthday.


David is one of the many talented artists that live and create in the Telluride Arts District.

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