F I L M  S E C T I O N

Colorado Spotlight

Ever more diverse and collaborative, Colorado’s filmmaking scene continues to grow, producing works that screen in both film festivals and theaters around the country. The Denver Film Festival is proud to present outstanding local talent.

Features

Anonymous Sister

in-person & VIRTUAL • USA • Dir. Jamie Boyle

When a young woman turns to the camera for refuge, she ends up with a firsthand account of what will become the deadliest man-made epidemic in United States history. Filmed over thirty years, Anonymous Sister is director Jamie Boyle's chronicle of her family's fall into opioid addiction, providing a poignant and timely study of what it means to experience life in all its beauty and pain.

Cosmic Dawn

in-person & VIRTUAL • Canada • Dir. Jefferson Moneo

After witnessing an alien abduction as a child, Aurora (Rowe) joins the UFO cult Cosmic Dawn after discovering a book written by the group’s leader, Elyse (Zegers). Aurora's time at the cult’s remote compound is marked by miraculous revelations, consciousness expanding flowers, and a burgeoning friendship with Natalie (Chriqui) and Tom (Burge), the resident cook.

A Decent Home

in-person & VIRTUAL • usa • Dir. Sara Terry

A Decent Home is a character-rich documentary about the uniquely American phenomenon of mobile home parks, and the nation’s critical affordable housing crisis. The film examines urgent issues of class and economic (im)mobility – the growing flaws of a faltering system and a widening wealth gap – through the lives of residents in mobile home parks across the country.

imperfect

in-person • usa • Dir. Brian Malone, Regan Linton

imperfect follows a company of actors with all nature of disabilities as they attempt an unprecedented version of Kander, Ebb, and Fosse’s beloved musical Chicago. Capturing the raw, honest stories of the actors inside the production process and outside the theatre in their everyday lives, imperfect reveals a rare behind-the-scenes look at talented artists who push to succeed as professional performers, no matter the obstacles.

Pure Grit

In-person • ireland • Dir. Kim Bartley

Pure Grit is both a thrilling tale of extreme bareback horse racing, and an intimate love story. Chronicling three years in the life of a young Native American bareback horse racer, her unwavering determination, and the relationships that sustain her.

Revolution From Afar / ثورة من بعيد

In-person • usa, sudan • Dir. Bentley Brown

Sudanese-American poets and musicians grapple with the question of belonging to Sudan against the backdrop of the 2019 revolution.

Running With My Girls

in-person & VIRTUAL • USA • Dir. Rebekah Henderson

Taking on the entrenched political establishment in Denver, Colorado, five female activists decide to run for office as part of a grassroots movement to take back their city.

The Sleeping Negro

in-person & VIRTUAL • usa • Dir. Skinner Myers

Confronted with a series of racially charged incidents, a young black man must overcome rage, alienation, and hopelessness in order to find his own humanity.

The Taking

in-person • usa • Dir. Alexandre O. Philippe

A radical examination of Monument Valley’s representation in cinema and advertising since John Ford’s Stagecoach (1939), The Taking scrutinizes how a site located on sovereign Navajo land came to embody the fantasy of the “Old West,” replete with self-perpetuating falsehoods, and why it continues to hold mythic significance in the global psyche.

Shorts

Cold Feet

in-person & VIRTUAL • USA • Dir. Hawk Zindell

Needy bridesmaids, DIY nightmares, an ongoing guestlist battle with her future mother-in-law... Bride-to-be Olivia is hanging on by a thread when a sinister bridal gown appears on her doorstep and threatens to push her over the edge. Will Olivia make it to her wedding day?

Dear Jason

in-person & VIRTUAL • USA • Dir. Kate Lowell

It’s estimated that 2% to 5% of people in prison in the United States are serving time for crimes they didn’t commit. Once convicted, it is next to impossible to get an innocent person out of prison.

Document Ed.

in-person & VIRTUAL • USA • Dir. Alan Dominguez

This short documentary, made by Denver high school students, shows vignettes of undocumented women living in sanctuary in churches in order to avoid deportation. The film was made by a group of Denver high school students, some of whom are undocumented themselves.

Embers

in-person & VIRTUAL • USA • Dir. Bruce Tetsuya

A woman’s memory and reality become blurred after running away from a toxic relationship.

Ghost Dogs

in-person & VIRTUAL • USA • Dir. Joe Cappa

A rescue pup discovers that its new home is possessed by the family's deceased pets in this mind altering horror.

Haunted Junkyard

in-person & VIRTUAL • USA • Dir. Liang Ce

While many people in the U.S. suffer from economic depression, 60-year-old Gene living in Colorado opens a self-made haunted house which not only provides himself a job, but also gives some troubled teenagers and former convicts a sense of belonging to the society.

If I Tell Them

in-person & VIRTUAL • USA • Dir. Oliver Sutro

James Sampsel, a plein air painter and fly-fishing guide, comes to terms with his past and a bi-polar diagnosis that hangs over his future.

Only The Earth and the Mountains

in-person & VIRTUAL • UsA • Dir. Elleni Sclavenitis

Only the Earth and the Mountains interrogates the narrative of settler colonialism in the American West by white pioneers and its implications to society today by examining the repercussions of the Sand Creek Massacre.

Re Entry

in-person & VIRTUAL • USA • Dir. Adam Bove

An astronaut makes a perilous journey back to Earth and his family.

These Are Not Oranges

in-person & VIRTUAL • USA • Dir. Adam Bove

An astronaut makes a perilous journey back to Earth and his family.

Thunder Rises

in-person & VIRTUAL • usa • Dir. Evan Curtis

The conflict between wilderness and civilization, and the expectation that wild creatures obey human laws is displayed through The Hunter, the Wolf, and its domesticated descendant, the Dog.

Until Our Last Breath

in-person & VIRTUAL • usa • Dir. Ashlynn Hideman, Ky Hanchett

When 17-year-old Mia meets Luke in the hospital undergoing treatment for the same type of cancer she has, they click instantly and become inseparable. Mia learns that she only has a small amount of time left to live, so Luke creates a special "last dance" for her.

upekkhā

in-person & VIRTUAL • usa • Dir. Darren Alberti

Deep in the mountains, in winter, two seeking souls have an unexpected encounter.

Winter Glass Glare / 寒窗暖阳

in-person & VIRTUAL • usa • Dir. Zhuolin Hong

A Chinese international student has to break a years-long secret a day before graduation when his father comes to the U.S.

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