Student moviemakers from around the world can bask in the limelight this weekend during the First Look Student Film Festival, a wide-ranging celebration of cinema's bright future. More than sixty short films, including narrative, documentary, animated and experimental works, are set to screen today through Saturday at the Starz FilmCenter, 900 Auraria Parkway. Admission is $5 to $7 at the door; festival passes are also available. For details, call 303-805-7261 or log on to www.firstlookfest.com.
Not seen in these parts for more than ten years, the acclaimed Garth Fagan Dance brings its unfettered brand of choreography and performance style back to the University of Colorado's Macky Auditorium tonight at 7:30 p.m. Wrapping up this year's CU Artist Series, the evening will feature the company's full-length work Griot New York, a Fagan blockbuster. The Wycliffe Gordon Septet will provide live accompaniment, performing music composed by top trombonist Gordon's old boss, Wynton Marsalis. To reserve tickets, $15 to $47, call 303-492-8008 or log on to www.cuconcerts.org.
Friday, April 16
Let your nerd flag fly! Starfest 2004 touches down at the Marriott Denver Tech Center, 4900 South Syracuse Street, tonight for three days of non-stop sci-fi and fantasy immersion. But the fest is more than just a place for folks who like to wander around in Klingon or Darth Vader gear; billed as a multimedia convention, it's also an up-to-the-minute showcase that features film-studio previews of the summer's coming hits, anime screenings, dealer tables, gaming marathons and just about everything else under all the suns in the galaxy. Celebrity guests include Lord of the Rings sidekick Sam (Sean Astin), Chewbacca portrayer Peter Mayhew (out from under all the hair, presumably) and Dominic Keating of Star Trek: Enterprise. Attend Starfest from 6 p.m. to midnight tonight, 8 a.m. to midnight tomorrow or 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Admission ranges from $12 to $75; call 303-777-6800 or log on to www.starland.com.
Give a loud cheer for the new Denver-based National Center for Voice and Speech, a joint venture of University Hospital and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts voice research laboratory. The momentous merge, which endows NCVS with greater clinical capabilities, is the subject of today's World Voice Day celebration and open house, held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the center's offices in the Historic Tramway Building, 1101 13th Street. Visitors will be treated to performances by a talking parrot from the Denver Zoo, a "safe shouting" coach, an auctioneer, a countertenor, a singing robot and local musician Nina Storey. Tours, exhibits and a look-see at the center's Wolf Museum of Voice will also be available. Admission is free; log on to www.denvercenter.org for details.
Saturday, April 17
If you're not accustomed to roaming the halls of mansions, the annual Junior Symphony Guild Showhouse is a real treat. This year's open-door tour, "Mansfield Place: Modern Nostalgia," offers regular folks an inside look at a contemporary Cherry Hills estate redone in clean-edged modernist style by a team of local designers. Take the tour, which benefits Colorado Symphony Orchestra music-education programs, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, through May 9. Lunch (not included with admission) will be available, and a JSG boutique will be open daily. In addition, Meet the Designers evenings are scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. each Wednesday during the Showhouse run. Tour tickets are $16 to $18 ($5 for children ages five to twelve). Mansfield House is at 3703 East Mansfield Avenue, Cherry Hills Village; call 303-355-7855 or visit www.jrsg.org for directions and information.
Sunday, April 18
Yom HaShoah -- the annual Holocaust remembrance observed by Jews worldwide -- carries both grim connotations and a glimmer of hope as part of its overall message, an admonition to never forget that humans are capable of committing grave atrocities against their own kind. In that spirit, synagogues and Jewish organizations throughout the area will hold memorial services and programs this month. In Denver, children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, in conjunction with the DU Holocaust Awareness Institute, will offer reflections during Survivors Memorial: From Generation to Generation, beginning today at 4 p.m. in the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center's Shwayder Theater, 350 South Dahlia Street; for details, call 303-871-3018. The University of Colorado at Boulder begins its Holocaust Awareness Week events, which include an April 21 keynote speech by "Schindler's list" survivor Zev Kedem, with an Interfaith Yom HaShoah Memorial Service today at 2 p.m. in Room 235 of the University Memorial Center; call 303-442-6571 or log on to www.colorado.edu/studentgroups/haw for a complete schedule. And on Monday, the Anti-Defamation League and Governor Bill Owens will host a Governor's Holocaust Remembrance Program, titled "The Power of a Paper Clip," with speaker Sharon Markus, at 6 p.m. in the Buell Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets. The program's focus is the documentary Paper Clips, about Norwegians who wore clips on their lapels in opposition to the Nazis, inspiring modern-day educational programs in the United States. The evening also includes a candlelighting ceremony. Admission is free, but reservations are required; call 303-830-7177.
Monday, April 19