Denver may not be a city that attracts the amount of movie industry buzz that centers around our Western neighbors of Telluride, Sundance and Austin, but we do have a solid and fervent community of film lovers here. We don't have a ton of film events, but what we do have is cherished and obsessed over enough to rival the Alamo Drafthouse.
One of these events is the Starz Denver Film Festival, which is going strong in its 32nd year. After partnering with Starz, over the years, we've played host to Crispin Glover, Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy, Will Smith, Ang Lee, and enjoyed every on-the-cusp-of-Oscar movie of the past three seasons. This year is no exception as the festival kicks off this week with Precious, which was produced by the Denver-based Sarah Siegel Magness and Gary Magness. Denver will also get a chance to "meet" the film's buzzed about star, Gabourey Sidibe. Three legendary actors will be receiving the spotlight while enjoying our thin air: Ed Harris and his latest film, Touching Home will be the focus of a special evening, and will receive the Mayor's Achivement Award. Hal Holbrook will be receiving the Excellence in Acting Award, and be on hand with his new film, That Evening Sun. Last but not least, J.K. Simmons will be receiving the Cassavetes Award, and be presenting his new film, The Vicious Kind.
But hey, that's the glitzy statuette stuff. If you're a Colorado native, you need to check out the impressive schedule which includes big films such as Leaves of Grass, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, The Last Station, The Young Victoria, and Best Worst Movie with special screenings of its star, Troll 2. If you want to avoid the buzz, there's enough intriguing indies, documentaries, and foreign film selections to make your eyeballs fall out.
I'll be covering the festival for Cinematical and I have to say, it's a daunting task. Despite being a Denver local, I've never actually attended the festival thanks to Novembers filled with school (the saddest thing is, the festival takes place on my old college campus) and travel, and I've never covered a film festival before. Comic book conventions are one thing but festivals are a different sort of beast, and I hope I can do justice to our community here. I'm particularly excited to catch The Young Victoria and Turtle, am hoping for a time turner so I can see Bad Lieutenant and The Last Station on the same night, and can't even begin to describe how thrilled I am to be able to see Best Worst Movie with an enthusiastic crowd.
Cinematical's scary sister site Horror Squad will also have a man on the ground in Brad McHargue, so be sure to pop over there and visit his Twitter to read his coverage of all things bloody. His enthusiasm knows no bounds, so don't be surprised if it spills over on Cinematical.
If you're attending, keep an eye peeled for us (especially in that Best Worst Movie line) and don't be shy. As two souls chained to their laptops, we'll be more scared of you than you are of us. Follow us on Twitter (Mr. McHargue can be found @bradmchargue, I can be found @ElisabethRappe) to find out our knee-jerk reactions to everything as we work to bring you reviews, stories, photos and interviews from our lofty perch in the Rockies.
ETA: Just to clarify, the festival kicks off on November 12, and is going strong for the next two weeks.