Denver Film Society and Sundance Labs Partner to Push Film Forward In Denver

Chuck Norris vs. Communism shows a unique side of the Iron Curtain.
Chuck Norris vs. Communism shows a unique side of the Iron Curtain.
Vernon Films

The world-famous Sundance Film Festival and its film-incubating Sundance Labs are kicking off the sixth year of Film Forward, a touring program of indie films and filmmakers, in Denver with the Denver Film Society, which will host two free screenings on February 22 and 23 at the Sie FilmCenter.

Sundance Film Forward is designed to introduce a new generation of audiences to the power of story through screenings and conversations with filmmakers.  This year the program has selected ten films and their filmmakers to visit prestigious film institutions around the country, working with local schools and other arts organizations to open up that discussion.

Filmmakers Ilinca Calugareneu (Chuck Norris vs Communism) and Bryan Carberry (Finders Keepers) will appear in person at the Sie to present their films; they'll also be part of a free panel at the Clyfford Still Museum on February 24.

Screening on February 22 is Finder’s Keepers, the critically acclaimed documentary chronicling the bizarre story of a recovering addict and amputee who finds himself in a battle for his own mummified leg, which was found in a grill bought at an auction by an entrepreneur who believes the limb is now his rightful property.

Screening on February 23 is Chuck Norris vs Communism, a doc that follows a black-market VHS racketeer and a female translator who helped introduce the magic of film to audiences in 1980s Romania and sparked a revolution by shining a spotlight on the promise of the free world to the Iron Curtain.

This is the first year that Sundance Labs has brought its prestigious program to the Denver film community; over the past five years Film Forward has led 94 trips with 44 films and 66 filmmakers in tow.
"We are thrilled to present the Sundance Film Forward program to Denver,” says Matthew Campbell, programmer for the Denver Film Society. "The Film Forward program aligns perfectly with the DFS mission to engage diverse communities and promote dialogue around film. I am particularly excited to screen what I consider to be two of the best documentaries of the past year for the community. Both are fascinating, stranger-than-fiction crowd-pleasers that will spark engaging discussions."

Sundance Film Forward will host a free screening of Finders Keepers at 7 p.m. Monday, February 22, at the Sie FilmCenter and a screening of Chuck Norris vs Communism at 7 p.m. Tuesday, February 23; the filmmakers will appear in person. A special free panel with both filmmakers will take place at the Clyfford Still Museum, 1250 Bannock Street, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 24. All free events are first come, first seated.

For more info on the screenings go to denverfilm.org, and for more info on the Film Forward program, visit sundance.org.

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