The dreadlocked, multicultural hip-hop artist/poet/activist Michael Franti (late of the Beatnigs and now fronting Spearhead) voyaged in recent years to the Middle East to film a visual diary, with music chronicling his travels through Iraq, Israel and Palestine. There, armed with a guitar, he met with people from all walks of life, on both sides of the issues at hand, exposing the human side of conflict along the way. The resulting war indictment, I Know I'm Not Alone, will screen tonight at 8 p.m. at the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th Street in Boulder, as a kickoff event for this weekend's global Bioneers Conference, a combination of dialogue via live satellite and local workshops exploring world topics. After the film, Franti will perform a solo acoustic set; though space is limited for those not attending the conference, tickets are available for $17. Call 303-786-7030 or go to www.bouldertheater.com.
Friday, October 15
A regional event first put together by the GroupMind Foundation, the inaugural Denver Improv Festival is a call to area comedy folk and closet comedians alike to learn new improvisational skills, better themselves and yuk it up at the feet of the pros during a weekend of workshops and performances featuring local and national talent. Seminars on long form, short form, Chicken Lips-form and any other form of improvisation you can think of, as well as skill-builders such as Extreme Voices, with Denver Center Theatre Company voice coach Jenny Thomas, or Physical Comedy, with Second City faculty member Meredith Crosley, take place tomorrow and Sunday on the Auraria campus. Everyone else can just lean back and breathe in the funny during two nights of non-stop who's-who performances by a lineup that includes former Second City guys Mark Sutton and Joe Bill, San Francisco's Oui Be Negroes, Denver's A.C.E. comedy group and many more. The shows are scheduled for 7, 9 and 11 p.m. tonight and tomorrow night at Jazz @ Jack's, 1553 Platte Street. For tickets, $18, or workshop information and registration, visit www.denverimprovfest.com.
Saturday, October 15
How'd they make what looks like a jumble of geometric shapes teeter-tottering over Thirteenth Avenue do that? And how will we be able to walk through its helter-skelter planes when it's done? Answers to questions that have been on everyone's minds since construction began on the Denver Art Museum's much-ballyhooed Frederic Hamilton Building should be forthcoming when the DAM's new exhibit, Building Outside the Box: Creating a New Denver Art Museum, opens with a free Meet B.O.B. community celebration. Along with viewing the interactive show, which explores the project from the inside out, those who visit the museum between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. today will have a chance to speak with people involved in the project, watch documentary films about the building, make expansion-related art with their families, go on art-and-architecture tours and get a behind-the-scenes look at the new Duncan Pavilion space in the old building. Seeing is believing. For details, call 720-865-5000 or log on to www.denverartmuseum.org.
Local teens in trouble have been looking to the Third Way Center for help since 1970, and now the growing nonprofit has new digs in the works at Lowry, where homeless, drug-addicted and/or mentally ill youth can bunk and receive treatment. To raise money for the proposed facility, Third Way will host the True Grit Fiesta 2005, a Western-themed gala with live and silent auctions, food, mariachi music and salsa dancing, tonight from 6 p.m. to midnight at Mile High Station, 2027 West Colfax Avenue. Tickets are $175; for reservations, call 303-780-9191, extension 13 or 16.
Sunday, October 16
Just imagine it: You and a video camera and 24 hours to make a seven-minute film worth watching. That's the challenge taken by dozens, possibly hundreds, of competitors in the annual Shoot Out Boulder, a fast-moving contest that offers a cash award for the best films made under what can only be described as extreme conditions. In addition, actors will have a chance to compete for the Shooting Star award, given to the person who stars in the most quickies made in the allotted 24-hour period. Hopeful filmmakers and performers began this year's quest on Friday; the top ten films in this year's competition will be screened and awards handed out tonight at 6 p.m. at the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th Street in Boulder. For tickets, $14.75, call 303-786-7030 or go to www.bouldertheater.com; visit www.theshootoutboulder.com for contest details.
Monday, October 17
You know the drill: Zombies take over the world, besieged humans make their final standÖ You must be in George Romero country -- or, more specifically, in the Land of the Dead, the creature-feature master's fourth installment of his series about the living dead and the havoc they wreak. In anticipation of tomorrow's DVD release of the film, theaters across the nation will host a one-night-only screening of the unrated director's cut of the film, which stars John Leguizamo and Dennis Hopper, among others, along with a big-screen interview featuring Romero. In these parts, you can catch the gore at 8 p.m. at United Artists Denver Pavilions, 500 16th Street. Tickets are $6.25; go to www.fangoria.com to reserve yours.