The majority of the screenings -- more than 200 films will be shown over ten days -- will take place at the Denver Film Society's home, Starz FilmCenter on the Auraria campus. This year's opening-night film is The World's Fastest Indian, starring Anthony Hopkins as a likable New Zealander who fulfills a lifelong dream of racing his ancient motorcycle across the Bonneville salt flats of Utah; on closing night (November 19) at the Ellie, director Lee will accept the festival's lifetime achievement award following a showing of his new feature, Brokeback Mountain, a tale of forbidden love in the ranchlands of Wyoming, adapted from an award-winning short story by Annie Proulx. Lee, Proulx and screenwriters Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana will attend.
The 2005 festival will include a twelve-film Salute to Japanese Cinema, anchored by Hiroki's appearance; a seminar on page-to-screen adaptation; and a salute to the late gonzo journalist and Colorado resident Hunter S. Thompson. Among the films being shown are Neil Jordan's gender-bender Breakfast on Pluto, with Liam Neeson and Stephen Rea; Lasse Hallstrom's dazzling Casanova, starring Heath Ledger as the legendary lover boy; and Dogville director Lars von Trier's Manderlay, the second installment of his U.S. Trilogy. David Slade's Hard Candy is the harrowing story of an avenging fourteen-year-old who holds a fashion photographer hostage in his home, and Matt Mul-hern's Duane Hopwood features Schwimmer as an alcoholic casino employee facing an uncertain future. Marc Rothemund's Sophie Scholl: The Final Days is a chilling look at the Third Reich, focusing on a courageous student who, after being arrested for distributing anti-Hitler leaflets, defies her Nazi interrogators with brilliant moral arguments.