With 146 feature films and 128 shorts over twelve days, the Starz Denver Film Festival is like Christmas for film nerds. And the stars will certainly be leading the way during the three biggest nights of festival — Opening Night, Big Night and Closing Night — which will high-light films with major award buzz. Like Crazy, a coming-of-age romance, took the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance; The Descendants, starring George Clooney and directed by Alexander Payne, was a hit in Toronto; and The Artist, a silent French film about the end of the silent-film era, picked up a Best Actor nod at Cannes.
The theme of the 34th annual fest is Roll Out the Red Carpet, and more than 120 guests are scheduled to appear, including Like Crazy director Drake Doremus; country singer Chely Wright, who is the subject of the coming-out documentary Wish Me Away; and actress Adepero Oduye of Pariah. “This is the largest program we’ve ever produced — and perhaps the most eclectic,” says Brit Withey, the festival’s artistic director.