P R O G R A M  S E C T I O N S
44th Denver Film Festival Logo in purple.

Program Sections

The 44th Denver Film Festival program is filled with exceptional content. Scroll down to browse the program by section.

Beyond the Screen


VIRTUAL REALITY

Virtual Reality

Explore the best of new-cinema storytelling with twelve incredible virtual-reality experiences curated from all over the globe.


IMMERSIVE

Immersive Experiences

Augment your reality with interactive experiences designed to challenge your senses.


CREATIVE CONVERSATIONS

Creative Conversations

Join our panels for insightful conversations on film and culture.


SPECIAL EVENTS

Special Events

Take your experience to the next level with these one-of-a-kind special events.

Films


AMERICAN INDIE SHOWCASE

American Indie

Featuring established and up-and-coming voices in the American indie-filmmaking community, these narrative features boldly step outside the studio system to offer unique stories in an unconstrained spirit.


CINELATINX

CineLatinx

Highlighting cinema from the Americas, including Indigenous cultures, as well as Spain and Portugal.
CineLatinx celebrates the diversity of storytelling within the Latinx community.


CINEMAQ

CinemaQ

Queer voices. Queer visions. Queer lives. Experience the best in films that highlight LGBTQ+ community with the DFF44 CinemaQ program.


COLORADO DRAGON BOAT FILM FESTIVAL

Colorado Dragon Boat Film Festival

Two of Colorado’s leading nonprofits, Denver Film and Colorado Dragon Boat, have partnered to showcase the best in contemporary Asian and Asian American cinema.


CULINARY CINEMA

Culinary Cinema

The Culinary Cinema series, a year-round program, serves up not only food-focused films but receptions, Q&As, and other attendant events that reflect the topics onscreen.


COLORADO SPOTLIGHT

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.


ITALIAN SHOWCASE

Italian Showcase

Italy is the longtime home of a diverse and vibrant filmmaking community. The 44th Denver Film Festival is pleased to present eight new Italian works—six narrative features and two documentaries—from established and emerging directors.


J'ADORE

J’adore

A selection of French language films presented by TV5MONDE.


LATE NIGHT SHOWCASE

Late Night Showcase

Go to the outer limits of cinema with the Denver Film Festival’s Late Night Showcase.


RED CARPETS

Red Carpet Presentations

Join us for an elegant evening out at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.


SERIESFEST

SeriesFest

SeriesFest is a non-profit organization dedicated to championing artists at the forefront of episodic
storytelling.


SHORTS

Shorts Packages

This year’s program includes a mix of narrative, documentary, and musical shorts from emerging artists.


SPOTLIGHT ON SOCIAL JUSTICE

Spotlight On Social Justice

Spotlight on Social Justice aims to create an inclusive environment to highlight social issues and the people fighting for progress.


SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

Special Presentations

A selection of some of the most anticipated films of the year.


U.K. / IRELAND

Sheila K. O’Brien Spotlight on U.K./Ireland Cinema

Take a look at the diverse and compelling cinematic works of our country’s closest allies across the Atlantic.


WOMEN+FILM

Women+Film

Women+Film showcases documentaries, narratives, and short films celebrating the best in women-centric programming: both by and about women.

Awards

Photo of Clifton Collins Jr. in the film JOCKEY.

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD

Clifton Collins Jr.

The prestigious John Cassavetes Award was established in collaboration with Gena Rowlands in 1989. It is presented annually to a film artist who has made a significant contribution to the world of filmmaking and whose work reflects the spirit of the late John Cassavetes—his unique vision, his maverick sensibility, his unwavering integrity and his tenacious ability to survive as an artist against difficult odds. The festival is honored to award Clifton Collins Jr. the 2021 John Cassavetes Award.

2021 is off to an explosive start for Clifton, who reunited with writer/director duo Clint Bentley and Greg Kwedar. The three developed and shot the independent film Jockey. The film premiered in competition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival to widespread praise. Clifton’s moving performance was loved by fans and critics alike, ultimately earning him the coveted Best Actor award. Jockey will screen as the festival’s Big Night Red Carpet presentation on Thursday, November 11th at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

In addition to Jockey, Clifton will be seen in the highly anticipated film After Yang, from visionary director Kogonada, alongside Colin Farrell for A24, which premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Collins follows this with a turn in Guillermo Del Toro’s Nightmare Alley for Fox Searchlight, alongside the all-star cast of Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Toni Collette, Michael Shannon, and Willem Dafoe.

Playing everything from policemen to boxers to serial killers, and working with illustrious industry vets including Guillermo del Toro, Terrence Malick, Quentin Tarantino, and Steven Soderbergh, Clifton can easily lose himself in the life of his film and television characters. His film credits include Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time In Hollywood, Transcendence, Honey Boy, Waves, The Mule, The Hughes Brother’s Dead Presidents, Bennett Miller’s Capote, Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups, Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim, HBO’s Westworld, and more.

Photo of Italian filmmaker Stefano Cipani.

MARIA & TOMMASO MAGLIONE ITALIAN FILMMAKER AWARD

Stefano Cipani

Established in 2008, the Maria & Tommaso Maglione Italian Filmmaker Award recognizes the best in Italian cinema. Past recipients include Francesco Falaschi (As Needed), Paolo and Vittorio Taviani (Caesar Must Die), Paolo Sorrento (The Great Beauty), and Nanni Moretti (Mia Madre), among others.

Each year, the Italian Filmmaker Award recipient is honored at the Denver Film Festival with a screening of the selected film in the Maglione Theater at the Sie FilmCenter and an honorarium of $10,000. The Italian Filmmaker Award is made possible thanks to a generous endowment from the Anna & John J. Sie Foundation and is named in honor of Anna’s parents, Maria and Tommaso Maglione.

We are pleased to present the 2021 Italian Filmmaker Award to Stefano Cipani. Cipani’s charming film, My Brother Chases Dinosaurs, was a box office hit when released in its native Italy in 2019. Sensitively depicting a child with Down Syndrome and his family, the film highlights the central initiative of the Anna & John J. Sie Foundation. Though My Brother Chases Dinosaurs is Cipani’s feature-length directorial debut, he is a seasoned filmmaker working as a cinematographer, editor, producer, and writer, in addition to directing. The festival is thrilled to be hosting Stefano Cipani in person to receive the Award.

In Competition

Denver Film