C R E A T I V E  C O N V E R S A T I O N S
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Creative Conversations

Join our panels for insightful conversations on film, culture, and challenging contemporary issues.

Denver Film Members: FREE | Non-members: $10


Chicanas: Nurturers and Warriors

Chicanas: Nurturers and Warriors Screening and Panel

Sat, Nov. 6 · 1:00pm · 150min
at the Festival Annex (144 W. Colfax Ave.)

What does it mean to be Chicana? The Denver Office of Storytelling asked activist Nita Gonzales, former City Council President Ramona Martinez, and others including State Historian Nicki Gonzales and performer Yolanda Ortega to discuss what it is to be a woman born in this country with strong Mexican and Indigenous roots and a life dedicated to social justice.

This sweeping history spans centuries and is told like never before in the latest #IAmDenver film: Chicanas: Nurturers and Warriors.

In Partnership with:
I Am Denver
History Colorado
El Movimiento Community Advisory Committee
Sponsored by:
US Bank

On a folk horror film set, five cast members in raggy clothes gather in an old stable with printed pages all over the floor.

Gather ‘Round For A Fearful Tale – A Folk Horror Conversation

Tue, Nov. 9 · 6:00pm · 45min
at the Festival Annex (144 W. Colfax Ave.)

DFF is excited to host Kier-La Janisse — the director of the epic folk horror documentary WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED and acclaimed author of the foundational horror cinema text THE HOUSE OF PSYCHOTIC WOMEN in a spirited conversation with Theresa Mercado, curator and host of Denver Film’s celebrated quarterly Scream Screen series.

The two will discuss how Janisse’s expansive film came together, the global reach of folk horror and its rightful place in cinema, and why viewers should make sure to check out three newly restored greats of the genre — EYES OF FIRE, CLEARCUT, and ALISON’S BIRTHDAY — during their rare and restored screenings during the festival.

Kier-La Janisse (filmmaker)
Theresa Mercado (Scream Screen Curator)

Elizabeth Warren looks on while journalist Art Cullen reads aloud.

What We Lose When We Lose Local News

Sun, Nov. 7 · 2:00pm · 45min
at the Festival Annex (144 W. Colfax Ave.)

A conversation with Art Cullen, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and small-town Iowa newspaper editor, and Jerry Risius, Co-Director and DP of DFF44 Official Selection Storm Lake, about the importance of supporting our local news outlets, moderated and sponsored by Colorado Public Radio.

Sponsored by:
Colorado Public Radio
Art Cullen – Subject
Jerry Risius – Co-Director


F*ck the Norm: Forging New Disability Representation in Media

Sun, Nov. 7 · 4:00pm · 45min
at the Festival Annex (144 W. Colfax Ave.)

Disability is the “OG” version of living and creating outside the box. Yet, disabled artists have historically been excluded from mainstream media and the arts. Join disabled artists who are upending stale approaches and building new movements for disability as a new frontier of artistic innovation.

Regan Linton is an actor, writer, director, and theatre artist from Denver, CO, whose feature-length documentary imperfect is an Official Selection of the 44th Denver Film Festival.
Kalyn Heffernan is the wheelchair-using, rap-heavy, beat-making, advocate/educator/foul-mouthed rebel-rousing artist and founding front member of the experimental hip-hop group Wheelchair Sports Camp.
Visual artist Javier Flores was born and raised in Denver, and received his B.F.A. in painting from the Metropolitan State University of Denver and his M.F.A. in printmaking from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.


Visible: The Story of arc
Screening and Panel Discussion

Mon, Nov. 8 · 6:00pm · 90min
at the Festival Annex (144 W. Colfax Ave.)

Join the filmmakers of Visible: The Story of arc to discuss the incredible story of arc Thrift Stores and their mission of advocacy for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In conversation with arc Thrift Stores CEO Lloyd Lewis, arc Thrift ambassador Seth Weshnak; Donald Zuckerman, Film Commissioner for the Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media; the film team from CU, and moderated by Jim Phelan.

In Partnership With:
arc Thrift
CU Denver
Lloyd Lewis (arc CEO)
Adam Horney (arc Ambassador)
Emily Waldo (arc Ambassador)
Anthony Battaglia, director/editor (CU Denver)
Caitlin Bassolino, producer (CU Denver)
Cruz Garcia, Producer, editor (CU Denver)
Donald Zuckerman (Film Commissioner, Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media)
Jim Phelan, moderator

The movie poster for Pure Grit, featuring a Native American woman in red regalia ride a horse.

Indigenous Perspectives

Sat, Nov. 13 · 12:00pm · 45min
at the Festival Annex (144 W. Colfax Ave.)

Join the filmmakers of DFF44 Official Selections Only the Earth And The Mountains and Pure Grit and local American Indian community leaders for a conversation about the filmmaking process, highlighting Indigenous culture, and facing our local history.

In Partnership:
Only the Earth and the Mountains (Doc Short in CO Shorts Package)
Pure Grit (doc feature)

Get Money / Make Movies

Wed, Nov. 10 · 5:00pm · 90min
at the Festival Annex (144 W. Colfax Ave.)

An in-depth discussion of the mechanisms, practicalities, and legalities of financing a movie — from crowdfunding, to grants, to senior debt and investment, and everything in between. Produced by cooperation between the Colorado Bar Association’s Entertainment and Sports Law Section and the Colorado Film and Video Association.

In Partnership With:
Colorado Bar Association’s Entertainment and Sports Law section
Donald Zuckerman, Colorado Film Commissioner and Member, Producers Guild of America
Rehan Hasan, Partner, Hasan Legal (corporate, securities and tax law)
Zach Warkentin, Warkentin LLC (entertainment and business law)



Sat, Nov. 13 · 3:00pm · 45min
at the Festival Annex (144 W. Colfax Ave.)

Denver Film proudly awards finishing funds for filmmakers through the MOFFOM (Music on Film // Film on Music) grant program. Join us for a roundtable conversation from the industry leaders that comprise our MOFFOM evaluation jury. Winners of the 2021 grant to be announced at the DFF44 Awards Brunch!

Jonathan Palmer, BMG Rights Management
Heather Guibert, indie music supervisor
Joel C. High, President of Guild of Music Supervisors
Caryn Capotosto, indie film producer, Museum and Crane
Loretta Munoz, ASCAP executive, Sundance ASCAP Music Cafe
Jill Sobule, Denver native, recording artist and songwriter

Two little blond girls stand about an arm's length apart and look past the camera.

Our Opioid Epidemic: A Colorado Story

Fri, Nov. 12 · 5:00pm · 45min
at the Festival Annex (144 W. Colfax Ave.)

Leaders of the local and national efforts to end the opioid epidemic will come together on a panel hosted by the team behind the documentary film, Anonymous Sister. Featuring preeminent voices from the Colorado state government, renowned healthcare organizations, community activist groups, and those directly affected, this conversation will kick off a nationwide campaign to deepen the understanding of the opioid epidemic, reduce opioid prescribing, and strip away the harmful stigma associated with substance use disorder.

Opening Remarks – Attorney General Phil Weiser

Moderator – Robert J. Valuck, PhD, RPh, FNAP


Jamie Boyle, Director, and Producer, Anonymous Sister

Jane Ballantyne, MD FRCA, President, Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP)

Tracey Ritter, Peer Recovery Support Counselor

Executive Director, Colorado Consortium on Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention

In Partnership:
Harm Reduction Action Center

A well-dressed couple hold hands and dance in a field.

D-phi Conversation: Ahed’s Knee

Wed, Nov. 10 · Film at 7:00pm, Panel at 9:00pm
45min (panel)
Post-Screening at the AMC 9 + CO 10

Ahed’s Knee, the fourth film from the Israeli firebrand director Nadav Lapid (Synonyms), offers an unflinching rumination on the moral challenges of creating art amidst complex political turmoil. Join D-phi for a lively discussion of this powerful, politically-charged film.

In Partnership With:

D-Phi Conversation: A Night Of Knowing Nothing

Mon, Nov. 8 · Film at 7:00pm, Panel at 8:45pm
45min (panel)
Post-Screening at the AMC 9 + CO 10

Winner of the Oeil d’Or (Golden Eye) award for best documentary at The Cannes Film Festival, Payal Kapadia’s oneiric first feature, A Night of Knowing Nothing, fuses an intensely personal meditation on love and isolation with social reflections on caste and contemporary Indian politics. D-phi has assembled a group of scholars to help us unpack the multiple layers of this intriguing breakthrough film.

In Partnership With:
Denver Film