Films / Programs

Contemporary World Cinema

Take a whirlwind world tour in just 11 days—without leaving your seat. This year’s selection of Contemporary World Cinema whisks you from Ireland to Italy, Canada to Korea, the tip of Argentina to the fjords of Iceland and beyond. As you broaden your horizons and soak up some local color, you’re bound to rediscover yourself—right here at SDFF35.

  • Paradise: Faith

    Paradise: Faith

    Austria , 2012 , 113 min. ENDING Thursday, September 19th at the Sie FilmCenter Anna Maria, a single woman in her 50s, devotes her summer to missionary work in an effort to return Austria back to the path of virtue. Carrying a foot-high statue of the Virgin Mary, she goes door-to-door preaching Catholicism. One day, ... more
  • Alps


    Greece , 2011 , 90 min. A paramedic, a nurse, a gymnast, and her coach provide the service of standing in for the recently deceased. In this darkly comic, existential tale, director Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth) employs intertwining plots and striking camerawork.... more
  • Barbara


    Germany , 2012 , 105 min. An East German doctor who has been banished from 1980s Berlin finds comfort in her skills and her patients. She must weigh her dedication to her patients when given the chance to reunite with her West German lover.... more
  • Believing


    Netherlands , 2011 , 40 min. Martine is a successful doctor who champions emancipation, of women and immigrants. But her self-determination and worldview are challenged when her daughter decides to become a Muslim. Elsie de Brauw delivers a tour-de-force performance.... more
  • The Birds

    The Birds

    USA , 1963 , 119 min. Join us in welcoming Tippi Hedren to the 35th Starz Denver Film Festival. We are proud to present a special screening of The Birds, where Ms. Hedren will be presented with the Mayor’s Award for Career Achievement.... more
  • Bitter Moon

    Bitter Moon

    France , 1992 , 139 min. On his second honeymoon, a sedate Englishman gets caught up in sex games with an S&M dominatrix and her angry, disabled husband. Roman Polanski’s twisted psychological thriller features standout performances by Hugh Grant and Peter Coyote.... more
  • Caesar Must Die

    Caesar Must Die

    Italy , 2012 , 76 min. Incarcerated mafiosi stage Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in this documentary by the legendary Taviani brothers. The film finds deep pleasure in impassioned performances, and in the effect they have on the audience and on the prisoners themselves.... more
  • Camion


    Canada , 2012 , 94 min. When widower Germain, an experienced truck driver, gets into a horrific accident, his life changes dramatically. His two grown sons return home to help him deal with his ensuing depression, and the time together has unforeseen consequences for all.... more
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    USA , 1977 , 137 min. 35th anniversary! In Steven Spielberg’s classic, a simple power-line worker’s world is thrown into disarray when he becomes obsessed with a place where something spectacular is about to happen.... more
  • Color of the Ocean

    Color of the Ocean

    Germany , 2011 , 95 min. Writer/director Maggie Peren weaves the lives of her three main characters—a disgruntled cop, a benevolent tourist, and an illegal immigrant—into a story of intrigue set in the Canary Islands. In Color of the Ocean, no good deed goes unpunished as their fates intertwine.... more
  • The Enigma of Frank Ryan

    The Enigma of Frank Ryan

    Ireland , 2012 , 90 min. Believing that his enemy’s enemy is his friend, IRA hero Frank Ryan took root in Berlin, only to find at a later date that his Nazi hosts’ hospitality came at the cost of his own integrity. Archival footage enriches this dramatization of Ryan’s war years.... more
  • Fear of Water

    Fear of Water

    Canada , 2011 , 122 min. A rural Quebec police sergeant comes up against a nasty detective from Montreal and a host of aberrant locals when he tries to investigate the rape and murder of the daughter of a small-town mayor.... more
  • Flower Buds

    Flower Buds

    Czech Republic , 2011 , 91 min. The characters in Zdenek Jiráský’s unblinking vision of small-town Czech Republic life face tedium and depression in the uncertain aftermath of Stalinist totalitarianism. Vladimír Javorský stars as a defeated railroad worker and slot-machine junkie.... more
  • Ginger & Rosa

    Ginger & Rosa

    United Kingdom , 2012 , 90 min. NOW PLAYING through April 11th at the Sie FilmCenter Digital presentation - London, 1962. Two teenage girls—Ginger and Rosa (Elle Fanning and Alice Englert)—are inseparable; they play truant together, discuss religion, politics and hairstyles, and dream of lives bigger than their moth... more
  • Grand Illusion

    Grand Illusion

    France , 1937 , 114 min. MUST END Thursday, December 20th! Brand NEW 35mm presentation! - WWI, and it’s a POW camp for French man-of-the-people flyboy Jean Gabin and aristocratic staff observer Pierre Fresnay after they’re shot down by equally aristocratic German Erich von Stroheim. But meanwhile there are ... more
  • Guilty


    France , 2011 , 101 min. This fact-based story of a man incarcerated nearly four years for horrific crimes he didn’t commit grippingly shows just how far awry the judicial process can fall. Viewers feel Alain Marécaux’s predicament with stunning immediacy.... more
  • The Happiness of Others

    The Happiness of Others

    Canada , 2011 , 101 min. A May-December pairing throws two families into chaos when the young woman becomes pregnant by her 50-year-old boyfriend. His grown children are envious of their father’s love for the unborn child, while her parents see in him a grandfather.... more
  • Here and There

    Here and There

    Mexico , 2012 , 110 min. In director Antonio Méndez Esparza’s Cannes award winner, Pedro returns to Mexico after working in the U.S. But family struggles force him to make a decision: stay and be the man of the family, or return north as an absentee provider.... more
  • I, Anna

    I, Anna

    United Kingdom , 2012 , 93 min. A troubled detective becomes obsessed with a woman he meets near a murder scene. He eventually begins to see the connection between her and the crime, but his own desperation keeps him from pinpointing her as a suspect.... more
  • In Another Country

    In Another Country

    South Korea , 2012 , 89 min. Hong Sang-soo’s amusing cross-cultural character study stars Isabelle Huppert, times three, as different French tourists in a triptych of scenarios exploring the ways Koreans interact with visitors and with one another.... more
  • Kill Me

    Kill Me

    Germany , 2012 , 90 min. A depressed teenager lives on a bleak farm with her emotionally distant parents after her brother’s death. One night, an escaped killer winds up in her room and asks her to help him get away. She agrees, on the condition that he kill her once he’s safe.... more
  • Lena


    Netherlands , 2011 , 119 min. Overweight and lonely Lena, 17, lives with her passive-aggressive mother. Lena thinks that by having sex, boys will like her. She winds up in an unlikely relationship with the handsome Daan, who’s got a secret that threatens her idyllic new life.... more
  • Lore


    Germany , 2012 , 109 min. NOW PLAYING through April 4th at the Sie FilmCenter Official Selection of the 35th Starz Denver Film Festival Digital presentation - Left to fend for themselves after their SS officer father and mother, a staunch Nazi believer, are interned by the victorious Allies at the end of Worl... more
  • Lotus


    Netherlands , 2011 , 102 min. Bonds of love are tested to humorous and sorrowful effect as couples and families tackle issues of suicide, injury, and infidelity. Five interwoven stories about need and desire create a rich tapestry of life-changing moments that happen within 24 hours.... more
  • Love Is Love

    Love Is Love

    Czech Republic , 2012 , 108 min. Czech filmmaker Mila Cieslar explores all kinds of love—gay, straight, parental, rekindled, and blind—in all kinds of weather. A brilliant ensemble cast mixing old and young enlivens this wry, observant comedy written by veteran Martin Horský.... more
  • Marie Krøyer

    Marie Krøyer

    Denmark , 2012 , 103 min. Based on the life of artist Marie Krøyer, this tragic costume drama is suffused with the beautiful light that drew Marie and her famous husband to live and work on Denmark’s beautiful northernmost promontory, Skagen. But something’s rotten in Denmark.... more
  • My Name Is Ki

    My Name Is Ki

    Poland , 2011 , 93 min. Ki is a twentysomething free spirit with a two-year-old boy by her deadbeat boyfriend. She loves her son dearly, but chooses to pawn him off on friends so she can party and drink. She dumps her boyfriend and finds a new place to live for her and her son... more
  • Paradise: Love

    Paradise: Love

    Austria , 2012 , 120 min. MUST END Thursday, May 30th at the Sie FilmCenter Digital presentation - Teresa, a 50-year-old Austrian hausfrau, travels to the beaches of Kenya as a sex tourist or “Sugar Mama”. There, she moves from one Beach Boy to the next, buying their love only to be disappointed and quickly le... more
  • Paris Under Watch

    Paris Under Watch

    France , 2012 , 85 min. Shades of Orwell’s Big Brother are in play as a mysterious person tracks a group of suspected terrorists after a bombing. Sitting behind rows of monitors and computer equipment, he follows each suspect’s every move. Who is he and why is he spying on them?... more
  • Pearblossom Hwy

    Pearblossom Hwy

    USA , 2012 , 78 min. Small-town friends Anna and Cory drift into lives they had not foreseen as they try to connect with those they love. SDFF alum Mike Ott combines a feature-film narrative with his actors’ personal journals for a story with a strong sense of disconnection.... more
  • Polite People

    Polite People

    Iceland , 2011 , 90 min. Hapless engineer Larus enters a farce of small-town bedlam when he flees his wife’s infidelity, his disastrous career, and his loopy parents. Backing an effort to revive a slaughterhouse, he must gather his own resources to rescue the town and his life.... more
  • Polski Film

    Polski Film

    Czech Republic , 2012 , 113 min. Four famous Czech actors join forces to make a film that could boost their careers, but they quickly run into all manner of absurdist obstacles on the way to success in director Marek Najbrt's mock documentary.... more
  • Rose


    Poland , 2011 , 94 min. In Wojciech Smarowski’s award-winning, haunting tale, Rose, a Pole, faces brutal persecution after WWII when Poland, Germany, and Russia all lay claim to the Masuria region. Tadeusz escapes his own violent past, and the two develop a deep and mature love.... more
  • Shanghai Calling

    Shanghai Calling

    USA , 2012 , 100 min. This cross-cultural romantic comedy features an international cast in a magnificent setting. When his firm sends him to Shanghai for three months, high-powered American attorney Sam Chao thinks he’s in control, but his new home holds many surprises.... more
  • A Shape of Error

    A Shape of Error

    USA , 2011 , 65 min. Abigail Child creates an experimental Super-8 montage dramatizing the life of author Mary Shelley. Layering it with excerpts from Shelley’s diaries and her husband’s poetry, Child poses the events of their lives against the dangerous ideas of their time.... more
  • Shun Li and the Poet

    Shun Li and the Poet

    Italy , 2011 , 100 min. Shun Li bartends in a sleepy fishing village to pay off a debt that will enable her son to join her in Italy. When she meets Bepi, a retired Slavic fisherman who is also a poet, their unlikely friendship is met with disapproval by locals.... more
  • Silver Linings Playbook

    Silver Linings Playbook

    USA , 2012 , 117 min. David O. Russell explores the dysfunctional family in his darkly comic adaptation of Matthew Quick’s novel. Released from a psychiatric facility into the care of his not-so-sane parents, Pat Solatano finds solace in the company of a psychotic young widow.... more
  • Sister


    Switzerland , 2012 , 97 min. A lower-class Swiss boy steals from the wealthy patrons of luxury ski resort in order to support himself and his older sister. He handles the risky lifestyle well until family matters threaten to take away what stability he’s been able to create.... more
  • Snackbar


    Netherlands , 2012 , 83 min. In this docudrama, a group of displaced Moroccan boys habituate a Rotterdam snack bar owned by a likable Turk named Ali. These “lost” boys rob, steal, do drugs, and beat one another up, all while Ali tries to be an uncle to them.... more
  • So Long, Stooge

    So Long, Stooge

    France , 1983 , 93 min. French director, screenwriter, producer, and actor Claude Berri (Jean de Florette) directed this gritty crime drama. Ex-cop Lambert has bottomed out but finds a new reason to live when he decides to avenge the murder of a young drug dealer.... more
  • Somebody Up There Likes Me

    Somebody Up There Likes Me

    USA , 2012 , 75 min. NOW PLAYING through April 4th at the Sie FilmCenter Director Bob Byington (SDFF 32 People’s Choice Award-winning Harmony and Me) creates an offbeat energy by brilliantly pairing established actors and non-actors in this comedic fable about a man watching his life fly by. Max (Keith Po... more
  • Stages


    Netherlands , 2007 , 80 min. Intimacy, isolation and their strange correspondence are at the heart of Stages, which gauges the ambivalence of a middle-aged ex-couple as they meet to dwell on the circumstances both of their divorce and of their deeply withdrawn 17-year-old son.... more
  • Starlet


    USA , 2012 , 104 min. Unsettling and riveting, Starlet follows a young woman’s progress through aimless, druggy days as she navigates a highly questionable career choice and a moral dilemma. Dree Hemingway delivers a standout performance.... more
  • SuperClásico


    Denmark , 2011 , 99 min. Passion, love, wine, soccer and divorce are the subjects of Danish director Ole Christian Madsen’s dramatic comedy, set in Buenos Aires. With a lively cast of Danes and Argentinians, the film delves into their souls while finding laugh-out-loud humor.... more
  • Surviving Life

    Surviving Life

    Czech Republic , 2010 , 105 min. Now 78, the “Animator of Prague,” Jan Svankmajer, uses an innovative mixture of live action and cutout photo animation to explore the vivid fantasy life of a middle-aged clerk who dreams constantly of a beautiful woman dressed in red.... more
  • Teddy Bear

    Teddy Bear

    Denmark , 2012 , 92 min. Painfully shy competitive bodybuilder Dennis (an understated Kim Kold) yearns for love. He follows his uncle’s lead and travels to Thailand to find a bride, but when his domineering mother finds out, she rages against his betrayal.... more
  • Time of My Life

    Time of My Life

    Belgium , 2012 , 118 min. Belgian politician Mario Verstraete’s fight to legalize euthanasia takes on profound meaning when he suffers a debilitating disease. This fact-based film shares both the joy of his life and his decision’s shattering effects on friends and family.... more
  • To Kill a Beaver

    To Kill a Beaver

    Poland , 2012 , 100 min. A combat burnout and a love-starved teenager form an odd alliance in this noirish story set in the Polish countryside. Eryk returns from the Chechen war to find a waif living in his family’s ruined home.... more
  • Violeta Went to Heaven

    Violeta Went to Heaven

    Chile , 2011 , 110 min. Chilean singer-songwriter Violeta Parra became an international sensation with her passionate songs about love and oppression. This dramatization of her life depicts this talented, volatile woman’s sorrows and triumphs as she seeks her place in the world.... more
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