Festival News

34th Starz Denver Film Festival Announces Line-Up with Record Number of Films


34th Starz Denver Film Festival Announces Line-Up with

Record Number of Films


The Starz Denver Film Festival (SDFF), presented by the Denver Film Society (DFS), announced today its full line-up of films to screen over twelve days throughout downtown Denver, including the DFS's year-old cinematic home, the Denver Film Center/Colfax. The 34th SDFF rolls out on November 2nd with the Opening Night premiere of Like Crazy, followed by additional red carpet screenings of Melancholia, Wish Me Away,The Descendants, and celebrates Closing Night on November 12th with The Artist.


This year, the SDFF will debut a record number of films representing over 47 countries. "With more than 250 films screening in this year's festival, SDFF34 is the largest program we've ever produced-and perhaps the most eclectic. We're extremely pleased with the incredibly diverse mix of recognizable masters and young talents that will be on display and look forward to showcasing their work." said Brit Withey, Artistic Director


Recognized as the region's leading event, SDFF brings the "glitz and glam" of Hollywood to Denver, giving over 50,000 movie-goers the unique opportunity to participate in the best of international and independent cinema.  


"We are excited to "roll out the red" and welcome over 150 filmmakers and industry professionals to Denver for our annual cinematic celebration," said Britta Erickson, Festival Director. "This year's Festival also marks two significant milestones for the Denver Film Society, the first anniversary of the very successful opening of the Denver FilmCenter/Colfax, which proved to be the right move at the right time for our organization, and the last time the Festival will unspool at the Starz FilmCenter at the Tivoli."





Like Crazy

Opening Night Presentation

Director: Drake Doremus

Drake Doremus fashions the heartbreaking tale-already dubbed the "Love Story for a new generation"-of a British college student (Felicity Jones) and an American classmate (Anton Yelchin) whose passionate love affair is put to the test when she violates her visa and gets deported.

Wednesday November 2, Ellie Caulkins Opera House, 8pm



Opening Night Denver Film Center/Colfax

Director: Lars von Trier

Danish auteur (and provocateur) Lars von Trier opens this meditation on depression, death, and the end of the world at a sun-splashed wedding in a beautiful castle and finishes with a huge planet called Melancholia hurtling straight toward the earth.

Thursday November 3, Denver Film Center/Colfax, 7pm


Wish Me Away

Special Red Carpet Presentation

Director: Bobbie Birleffi, Beverly Kopf

This intimate documentary, which took the jury prize at the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival, follows chart-topping country singer-songwriter Chely Wright through weeks of inner turmoil as the date she has set for coming out draws near. Tearful yet resolute, the star now uses her fame to lend support to gay youth.

Friday November 4, L2 Arts & Culture Center, 7:30pm


The Descendants

Big Night Presentation

Director: Alexander Payne

Superstar George Clooney's new vehicle is this comedy-drama from director Alexander Payne(Sideways, Election) about a baffled husband and father in Hawaii who discovers his wife is having an affair-and takes action.

Saturday November 5, Ellie Caulkins Opera House, 8pm


The Artist

Closing Night Presentation

Director: Michel Hazanavicius

French director Michel Hazanavicius has dared to make a silent film in black and white. Set in Hollywood in 1927, it echoes Singin' in the Rain and A Star Is Born as a matinee idol on the wane falls for a female extra destined for stardom in talkies.

Saturday November 12, Ellie Caulkins Opera House, 8pm




During the course of the 12-day celebration, the Starz Denver Film Festival highlights some of this year's best cinematic, Oscar-worthy films with Special Presentations at the Denver FilmCenter/Colfax, King Center, and L2 Arts & Culture Center, including:



DirectorJim Field Smith

British director Jim Field Smith's clever (and unmistakably metaphorical) comedy stars Jennifer Garner as a ruthless Iowa housewife who will do anything to win the annual butter-carving contest-enlisting the help of her dumb ex-boyfriend (Hugh Jackman) to pull off her dirty tricks.

Sunday November 13, King Center, 12pm



Director:Ralph Fiennes

Making his directorial debut, Ralph Fiennes stars as Shakespeare's deeply flawed Roman military hero in a disturbing update now set amid 21st-century guerilla insurgencies and the incessant blare of cable TV news.

Wednesday November 9, King Center, 6pm


A Dangerous Method

DirectorDavid Cronenberg

The famous rift between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung has fascinated psychiatrists and historians for decades-not least because they shared a patient who was also Jung's lover. The ever-provocative David Cronenberg (The Fly) brings it all to life, with Viggo Mortensen as Freud, Michael Fassbinder as Jung, and Keira Knightley as their "hysteric."

Sunday November 13, King Center, 2:30pm


Jeff Who Lives at Home

Reel Social Club Presentation

Director: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass

Mumblecore masters Jay and Mark Duplass set their new comedy about two mismatched brothers in Baton Rouge. Upstanding Pat (Ed Helms) suspects his wife of cheating, so he brings Jeff (Jason Segel)-the dreamy pot smoker living in Mom's basement-along for some goofy detective work. Susan Sarandon, as Mom, is in scene-stealing form.

Friday November 11, Denver Film Center/Colfax, 6:30pm



Director: Steve McQueen

Handsome matinee idol Michael Fassbinder portrays a helpless Manhattan sex addict in director Steve McQueen's disturbing (and unblinkingly graphic) study of a man being destroyed by his own desire. Carey Mulligan is his needy sister, who comes complete with some serious baggage of her own.

Wednesday November 9, King Center, 9:15pm


We Need to Talk About Kevin

Director: Lynne Ramsay

Oscar winner Tilda Swinton stars in Lynne Ramsay's harrowing adaptation of a novel-part horror movie, part psychological thriller-about a guilt-ridden wife and mother trying to cope after her son commits a terrible act. John C. Reilly costars as the mild husband, Ezra Miller the bad seed.

Friday November 11, L2 Arts & Culture Center, 7pm





The Krzysztof Kieslowski Award for Best Feature Film  

The Turin Horse (A torinói ló)

Director: Béla Tarr

In the strangely hypnotic, metaphorically rich film Hungarian director Belá Tarr says will be his last, a weather-beaten 19th-century farmer and his daughter struggle against the elements for survival, bedeviled by an enigmatic horse that just may have once encountered Friedrich Nietzsche.


The Day He Arrives (Book chon bang hyang)

Director: Hong Sang-soo

South Korean director Hong Sang-soo provides a self-referential, seriocomic portrait of a brawling, drunken, desperate film director in crisis, combining elements of 8 1/2 with the man-in-a-wheel repetitions of Groundhog Day.    


The Fairy (La fee)

Director: Dominique Abel, Bruno Romy, Fiona Gordon

Featuring slapstick and sparse dialogue, this engaging frolic stylistically resembles the greats of the silent-film era. Dom, a hotel night clerk, finds himself granted three wishes by newly arrived guest Fiona, a self-proclaimed fairy. He asks for a scooter and enough petrol for life-but then what?



Director: Paddy Considine

In actor Paddy Considine's impressive filmmaking debut, an angry widower tangles with a vulnerable Christian woman, who mees his violent outbursts with compassion. Stellar performances anchor this gritty, character-driven drama


Le Havre

Director: Aki Kaurismäki

Le Havre looks like a 1960s B-movie, but its storyline is wholly contemporary. Finland's official entry for best foreign-language film at next year's Academy Awards offers a light-hearted look at shoeshine man Marcel's efforts to provide safe harbor for a young African immigrant


The House (Dom)

Director: Zuzana Liová

The crusty Slovakian father in Zuzana Liová's satirically laced drama debut dreams of building a house for each of his two daughters on the family's plot of land-but the girls, of course, have other plans. Leading man Miroslav Krobot is simultaneously a pain in the neck and a joy to behold



Director: Rúnar Rúnarsson

Writer-director Rúnar Rúnarsson describes his feature debut as a "coming-of-age story about a 67-year-old man." Against the backdrop of an Icelandic coastal town decimated by a volcano in the 1970s, this understated but moving drama examines existential loss and familial reconnection



The New Directors Award

American Animal

Director: Matt D'Elia

Jimmy is sick. But Jimmy is tired of being sick, so this morning, Jimmy decides he is no longer sick-he's happy. An existential fantasy set in a downtown LA loft, Matt D'Elia's debut feature walks the line between silliness and madness, all the while nodding to classic cinema. Jimmy, it's showtime!


Bad Fever

Director: Dustin Guy Defa

Dustin Guy Defa's dramatic feature debut is a wrenching portrait of lonely souls roaming an empty city in desperate need of connection. Kentucker Audley is astonishing as true antihero Eddie, a would-be stand-up comic attempting to win the heart of a drifter.


The Destiny of Lesser Animals

Director: Deron Albright

Part crime drama, part personal quest, Deron Albright's first feature focuses on a Ghanian police inspector whose fondest wish is to return to the United States a decade after being deported. First, however, he'll need to extract himself from the series of intrigues in which he's entangled.


The Dish and the Spoon

Director: Alison Bagnall

In Alison Bagnall's often humorous, always poignant indie drama, a hysterical wife seeks revenge on her straying husband by forming an unlikely friendship with a vulnerable British boy she finds asleep in an abandoned lighthouse. Rising stars Greta Gerwig and Olly Alexander turn in utterly luminous performances.


The Dynamiter

Director: Matthew Gordon

In rural Mississippi, teenaged Robbie cares for his elderly grandmother and young half-brother while his absentee mother sends the occasional postcard. The return of older brother Lucas threatens the little stability this makeshift family has-and it's up to Robbie to defend it in this intensely moving snapshot of a forgotten America.



Director: Sophia Takal

Writer-director-costar Sophia Takal's unflinching exploration of triangulated romance follows Genevieve and Sebastian from Brooklyn to a remote farm in the South, where they form an easy friendship with their neighbor, Robin. But when Genevieve begins to suspect Robin and Sebastian are falling for each other, the pastoral landscape grows dark.


Maria My Love

Director: Jasmine McGlade Chazelle

Jasmine McGlade Chazelle's witty feature debut examines the unlikely friendship between a young café waitress who's grieving the death of her mother and a strangely insightful maternal figure (Hollywood veteran Karen Black)-who also happens to be a compulsive hoarder.



The Maysles Brothers Award for Best Documentary


Director: Kim Ki-duk

In 2008, the once-prolific Korean director Kim Ki-duk watched as his leading actress suffered a near-fatal on-set injury. Traumatized, the devout Buddhist went into hiding and has not re-emerged-except in the form of this raw, corrosive, self-critical video diary that addresses life, death, and the purposes of art.


The Bengali Detective

Director: Phil Cox

Rajesh is a private investigator in Kolkata who's passionate about his family, his job-and fancy footwork. This one-of-a-kind documentary follows the chubby detective as he tries to crack murder, counterfeiting, and adultery cases as well as win a national TV dance contest.

The Green Wave

Director: Ali Samadi Ahadi

Using a compelling combination of cellphone and online footage, animation, and first-person interviews, The Green Wave documents Iran's 2009 Green Revolution-from the movement's sweeping hopes for a liberated Iran to the violence protestors faced following the re-election of conservative dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.   


Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians

Director: Bryan Storkel

Holy Rollers chronicles the ups and downs of Churchteam, a group of card-counting Christians trained to beat the casinos at blackjack. The obvious moral conflict becomes the focus of this amusingly revealing documentary: how does a group of true believers come to worship at the altar of the almighty dollar? The answers may surprise you.    


One Night Stand

Director: Elisabeth Sperling, Trish Dalton

One Night Stand joyfully documents the anxiety, camaraderie, and artistry that unfold when Broadway's best actors, writers, composers, and directors collaborate to create and perform four mini-musicals in 24 hours for an annual fundraiser in New York City.   


You've Been Trumped

Director: Anthony Baxter

When business tycoon Donald Trump decides to build his next luxury golf resort on the environmentally pristine coast north of Aberdeen, Scotland, local residents rise up in protest. You've Been Trumped documents the Goliath's sword they take to corporate America in all its greed and denial.


Wish Me Away

Director: Bobbie Birleffi, Beverly Kopf

This intimate documentary, which took the jury prize at the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival, follows chart-topping country singer-songwriter Chely Wright through weeks of inner turmoil as the date she has set for coming out draws near. Tearful yet resolute, the star now uses her fame to lend support to gay youth.

Sunday November 6, Denver Film Center/Colfax, 11:30am




Women+Film is a year-round program of the Denver Film Society that not only celebrates the art and achievements of women filmmakers around the world but also brings together an array of scholars, civil and human rights advocates, community leaders, and concerned members of the public to shine a spotlight on social issues through cinema and the dialogue it stimulates.


The Starz Denver Film Festival is proud to present and array of candid, thought-provoking, and often iconoclastic works by women-the likes of which aren't often available or obvious to mainstream audiences.


Please see individual listings for full details.


The Dish & The Spoon

Directed by Alison Bagnall


Maria My Love

Directed by Jasmine McGlade Chazelle


One Night Stand

Directed by Elisabeth Sperling


One. Two. One.

Directed by Mania Akbari



Directed by Dee Rees


The Price of Sex

Directed by Mimi Chakarova


Staging Hope: Acts of Peace in Northern Uganda

Directed by Bil Yoelin


The Water at the End of the World

Directed by Paula Siero


We Need to Talk About Kevin

Directed by Lynne Ramsay


Wish Me Away

Directed by Bobbie Birleffi, Beverly Kopf


Do Ask. Do Tell: A Panel




Each year the festival shines the spotlight on one particular country in order to illuminate its range of cinematic treasures. Though still a stranger to the multiplexes and only an occasional visitor to arthouses, South Korean cinema is (and has been for decades) a staple in film festivals around the world. And while what we get here in the States tends toward the outrageous (The Host; The Good, The Bad, The Weird; I Saw the Devil), the industry is wildly diverse. Im Kwon-taek has been making beautifully poetic films since the early 1960s (we'll be screening 1993's Sopyonje);Kim Ki-duk was recognized as the enfant terrible of the Korean New Wave until he hit a creative block-Arirang is his self-reflective return. Hong Sang-soo, the newest and youngest hit on the festival circuit, churns out two to three films a year. His 2010 film Ha Ha Ha won the top prize of the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes last year; we'll be showing his 2011 film, The Day He Arrives. Also, screening for the first time stateside, is the complete Town Trilogy by Jeon Kyu-hwan.


Please see individual listings for full details.


Animal Town

Directed by Jeon Kyu-hwan



Directed by Kim Ki-duk


Dance Town

Directed by Jeon Kyu-hwan


The Day He Arrives

Directed by Hong Sang-soo



Directed by Kim Min-suk


Mozart Town

Directed by Jeon Kyu-hwan



Directed by Im Kwon-taek


A United Korea

A Panel




Queer voices. Queer visions. Queer lives. Experience the best in films that cover every angle of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer rainbow through our Cinema Q program. These stories reveal the loves and losses of individuals who have been coloring the edges of cinema since its inception.


Please see individual listings for full details.


Adam's End

Directed by Richard Wilhelmer


The Green

Directed by Steven Williford


Tales of the Waria

Directed by Kathy Huang


Time to Spare

Directed by Job Gosschalk


Wish Me Away

Directed by Bobbie Birleffi, Beverly Kopf




Colorado's filmmaking scene continues to grow at an unprecedented pace. More often than not, filmmakers are choosing to stay and work in the state rather than moving to Los Angeles or New York. This year's Starz Denver Film Festival features numerous locally produced, feature-length films and shorts-films we can't even claim as premieres. Several of these films screened earlier this year at other highly acclaimed festivals prior to their Denver dates.


Please see individual listings for full details.


Feature Length Films


Directed by Brian Malone



Directed by Josh Hyde


The Sacred Science

Directed by Nick Polizzi



Directed by Aime Knox


Short Films

8 Second Dance

Directed by Trey Moya


13th and Pearl

Directed by Darin Foat


The Dust Machine

Directed by Damon Mohl


Four Cubic Feet of Space

Directed Tony Gault


HRK (Home Run King)

Directed by Matthew Nelson



Directed by Jimmy Weber


Making Molehills Out of Mountains

Directed by Max Greenwald


The Movement

Directed by Kurt Miller


New Broken Calculator

Directed by Brandon Luck McDuffey


Rocky Flats: Legacy

Directed by Scott Bison


A Stan Needs a Maid

Directed by Anna "Scout" Wise


Susan's Horses

Directed by Elizabeth Henry


Vending for Change

Directed by Frazer Lockhart


Web of Lies

Directed by Kathryn Gould




The World Through 3-D Glasses: A Panel

Long gone are the days when 3-D was associated with cheap movie thrills; the eye-popping gimmicks of the 1950s have given way to a more encompassing 3-D environment, be it live-action or animation. We'll consider whether 3-D is here to stay while analyzing what works and what doesn't from both an aesthetic and a commercial perspective. Ultimately, we're interested in determining whether 3-D enhances the moviegoing experience to the extent that it boosts revenues. Along the way, we'll speculate as to why some of our best filmmakers-Martin Scorsese, Wim Wenders and Werner Herzog among them-have made use of 3-D technology.

Moderator: Robert Denerstein

Saturday November 5, Gallery 30 in the Starz FilmCenter, 4pm


Do Ask. Do Tell: A Panel

Sponsored by Barbara Bridges/WildBlue Entertainment, One Colorado Education Fund

Sunday November 6, Denver Film Center/Colfax, 1:30pm


Double Vision: A Panel

This panel focuses on two sets of fraternal filmmakers: the Duplass brothers and the Zellner brothers. The Duplasses are veterans of the mumblecore movement; early successes such as The Puffy Chairand Baghead have given way to bigger-budget comedies such as Cyrus and this year's festival entry,Jeff Who Lives at Home, which stars Ed Helms, Jason Segel and Susan Sarandon and qualifies as the brothers' biggest production to date. Meanwhile, the films of the Zellner brothers (includingSasquatch Birth Journal 2, also screening at SDFF34) exude both experimental flair and keen comic sensibilities. Mark Duplass and David Zellner join us to discuss how they remain true to their distinctive visions in a business that is too often driven by formula.

Moderator: Robert Denerstein

Saturday November 12, Gallery 30 in the Starz FilmCenter, 12pm


On Controversy and Character: A Panel

Scottish director Lynne Ramsay (Ratcatcher, Morvern Callar) has made one of the year's most controversial films, an adaptation of Lionel Shriver's 2003 novel about a mother attempting to cope with a "bad seed" son. Tilda Swinton stars in We Need to Talk About Kevin, a provocative movie thatGuardian critic Peter Bradshaw has called "a skin-peeling, intimate character study." We'll talk to Ramsay about adapting novels for the screen, dealing with dark and difficult subject matter, and making movies that can divide audiences. Ramsay will be joined by Rory Kinnear, her husband and the coauthor of the screenplay, adding extra punch to what promises to be a highly stimulating discussion.

Moderator: Robert Denerstein

Saturday November 12, Gallery 30 in the Starz Film Center/Colfax, 2pm


Life in the World's Most Secretive Country-North Korea: A Panel

Tuesday November 8, Recital Hall at the King Center, 7:30pm




Get ready, constant watchers, to venture to a place where cinema cracks open to reveal its hidden core. A primal place where the fantastic meets the terrifying, where you'll see things you thought existed only in your wildest dreams and your sweetest nightmares. This is The Watching Hour.


Please see individual listings for full details.


Beyond the Black Rainbow

Directed by Panos Cosmatos


The FP

Directed by Brandon Trost, Jason Trost



Directed by Michael Dowse



Directed by Kim Min-Suk



Directed by Takeshi Kitano



Directed by Michael Steiner



Directed by Zach Clark







ASSOCIATE: Anna & John J. Sie Foundation, AOR Marketing & Advertising, Barbara Bridges, CEAVCO Audio Visual, Liberty Global


SUPPORTING: Argonaut Wine & Liquor, Art of Gold, Ciroc Vodka, Four Seasons Hotel, Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado, Mike's Camera, Moët & Chandon, Newmark, Rocky Mountain College of Art+Design, Stella Artois, Three Tomatoes Catering, The Westin-Denver Downtown


PATRON: 2127 Larimer Presents, Basil Doc's, Butler Rents, Caz Matthews, The Hall, Harmonic Media, Kentwood City Properties, Larimer Square, Photo: Laszlo, Pura Vida Fitness and Spa, The Queen Anne Urban Bed and Breakfast, Redshift Framing, Sterling Vineyards, Teatulia, UC Denver Live!, Wells Fargo


MEDIA: Fox31/Ch.2, IMDb, InFocus TV, KBCO, Meltwater News, Metromix, OutFront Colorado, Postmodern Company, Vista TV, Westword


GOVERNMENT: City and County of Denver, Colorado Creative Industries Division, Colorado Office of Film Television & Media, Consulate General of Canada in Denver, Consulate General of Japan at Denver, Consulate General of Mexico in Denver, Denver Office of Cultural Affairs, Embassy of the Federal Republic Germany Cultural Affairs Department, The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles Film and TV Office-French Embassy, Mexican Cultural Center, National Endowment for the Arts, Québec Government Office in Los Angeles, Scientific & Cultural Facilities District


CONTRIBUTING: Beta Nightclub, Coohills Restaurant, Courtyard by Marriott, Deal Show, Denver Chapter of the National Unification Advisory Council, Fine Arts Foundation, GHP Horwath, Happy Cakes BakeShop, High Noon Entertainment, The Lobby American Grill, Machete Tequila + Tacos, Novo Coffee, One Colorado Education Fund, Open Media Foundation, Residence Inn-Denver City Center, Rocky Mountain PBS, Strings Restaurant, Sunset Limo, Tiffany & Co., Trudy Fruity, Zerosun


FESTIVAL FRIENDS: Anthology Fine Art Custom Framing & Portraits, Arlyn Petrie Photography, Asian Art Coordinating Council, Auraria Higher Education/Tivoli Student Union, Avenue Grill, Blake Street Tavern, Brooklyn's at The Pepsi Center, Bulleit Bourbon & Rye, Cake-Bubbles, Captain Morgan,  Chances Grill, Cherry On Top wine, CityGrille, Crêpes 'n Crêpes, Croc's Mexican Bar & Grill, Crowne Plaza Denver, Crown Royal, Cuervo Tradicional Tequila, Dancing the Soul, Danny Graul-Black & Read, Denver ChopHouse and Brewery, Denver Pizza Company, Eldorado Natural Spring Water, E.&J. Gallo Winery, Ergun Tercan European Salon, Fox and Hound, Freshies Food Corporation, Goosetown Tavern, Hapa Sushi,  Hard Rock Café, Hummel's B&B Automotive, Izze Sparkling Juice, Johnnie Walker Red, Linditas' Salsa, The Melting Pot,  Mountain High Tree, Lawn and Landscape Co., Love Hope Strength Foundation, milkhaus, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, SAGIndie, Schneids' Smoke Stack BBQ Grill & Catering, SpaVital, Spicy Pickle, Sprint, Tanqueray, University of Colorado at Denver- College of Arts & Media, Wazee Supper Club, Withoutabox


SPECIAL THANKS: Denver Film Society's Alumni Board, Denver Film Society's Board Members, Volunteers of the Denver Film Society


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