A unique component of the Denver Public Schools, CEC Middle College offers students an opportunity to earn college credits or career-industry certification while still in high school. How well does it work? Pretty well, at least on the filmmaking front. Students in the school's Digital Film Production program will be in the spotlight tonight at the tenth annual Independent Student Film Festival, at 7 p.m. at the Mayan Theatre, 110 Broadway. The fest includes screenings of the collaborative feature film Reach; a documentary about that film's genesis; animation and commercials; several Denver Academy Film Festival for Youth prize winners; and other selections from the CEC archive. Admission is $5 at the door; call 720-423-6609 for details.
Friday, May 20
The world is full of sports autographs -- heroic John Hancocks scrawled on helmets and jerseys, ticket stubs and baseball cards, there for the taking if you can hunt them down and fork over enough dough. Just hit www.naxcom.com -- where detritus left behind by nearly every sports great from Duke Snider and Clint Barmes to Joe Namath and John Elway is available to the highest bidder -- and you'll see what we mean. Now the goods are coming to you, at least to admire, when the sports-collectibles online marketplace hosts the Denver Sports Fair. Dozens of dealers will be there, along with such autograph guests as Broncos running back Tatum Bell, a whole roster of Dallas Cowboys Doomsday Defense team members, professional wrestler The Ultimate Warrior and Negro League stars Dennis "Bose" Biddle and James Cobbins. Wheel, deal and drool from 3 to 8 p.m. tonight, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow or 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Holiday Inn DIA, I-70 and Chambers Road; admission is $5 daily (children ages eight and under admitted free). Call 303-394-7171 or visit www.naxcom.com.
In recent years, the Generations Cancer Foundation abandoned its original alliterative fundraising vision by trying out other fun urban themes such as Blues, Booze and Boxing and Tapas, Tequila and Twister. Not to knock such unfettered creativity, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it. There's still no theme more fun or urban than Sushi, Sake and Sumo, so Generations is bringing the initial crowd-packer back for a fifth-anniversary bash with sushi sampling, a silent auction, music by Opie Gone Bad and, of course, the sizable centerpiece: impromptu sumo-suit wrestling competitions for you and your biggest friends. Eat and fight beginning at 8 p.m. at Invesco Field at Mile High; for tickets, $50 to $65, call 303-592-7660 or go to www.generationscancerfoundation.org. Proceeds benefit the CU Cancer Research Center.
Saturday, May 21
Reverberations of the monumental works of los tres grandes -- twentieth-century socio-political Mexican muralists Jose Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros -- still spread across the American Southwest, evinced by a number of colorful public wall murals spawned during the Chicano movement's rise in the 1960s and '70s. The Museo de las Américas, 861 Santa Fe Drive, will celebrate that ongoing connection by hosting a Denver Mural Tour with local Chicano art historian Mary Motian-Meadows, in conjunction with the exhibit Siqueiros: Spirit of a Revolutionary, on view through May 28 at the Museo. Start off with an exhibit walk-through at 1 p.m. before taking off on a tour highlighting many of Denver's best murals. A reception with several area mural artists wraps things up at the museum at 4 p.m. Admission is $50; for reservations, call 303-571-4401. Go to www.museo.org for more information.
Sunday, May 22
Having a tough time imagining a bunch of lawyers gettin' down in their three-piece suits? Believe it: The local charitable organization Music Lovin' Lawyers is out to prove it can boogie with the best of 'em when it hosts Make a Joyful Noise: A Special Evening of Blues, a benefit for music-education programs at Smiley Middle School and other Denver public schools, tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Swallow Hill Music Hall, 71 East Yale Avenue. On the jazz end of things, you'll get local songstress Teresa Carroll, pianist Michael Pagan and bassist Ron Blanding; the blues will be ably covered by harmonica cat Clay Kirkland and his band, with help from keyboardist Boogie Bob Olsen and singer Tanya Perkins. Tickets, $15, are available in advance at Spinelli's Market, 4621 East 23rd Avenue, and Hot Cakes Diner, 18th Avenue and Humboldt Street; call 303-831-1958 for details.
Monday, May 23
The laughs will come quickly in the name of one of the comedy biz's funniest ladies at It's Always Something...Funny. The annual comedy benefit is held for Gilda's Club of Denver, the local chapter of a national organization founded in memory of Saturday Night Live comic Gilda Radner (who died of cancer in 1989) to provide activities and solace to cancer patients. A gang of local comedy groups, including the Rattlebrain Theatre Company, Buntport Theater, A.C.E., Bovine Metropolis Theater, Chicken Lips and the Traveling Susans, will perform in the Gilda spirit tonight from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Denver Civic Theatre, 721 Santa Fe Drive; admission to the event, which includes cocktails, hors d'oeuvre and a silent auction along with the show, is $125 ($200 per couple), or you can throw in a donation of $75 to sponsor an admission for one cancer patient. Register online at www.blacktie-colorado.com, or call 1-800-316-4660 for information.