The Denver Film Society, which moved from its longtime home on the Auraria campus to the Denver FilmCenter/Colfax in 2010 will rename the complex in honor of Anna and John J. Sie, whose foundation just donated $2.5 million to the organization.
The money -- which consists of a $1.5 million gift and a $1 million low-interest loan -- will allow the DFS to buy the building and theaters at 2510 East Colfax Avenue; it will be renamed the Anna and John J. Sie FilmCenter. The main theater there will now be called the Maria and Tommaso Maglione Theater, in honor of Anna's parents.
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John Sie is the retired founder of Starz Entertainment Group, which, beginning in the year 2000, donated $5 million over a decade to the DFS and the University of Colorado at Denver to lease the twelve-screen complex at Auraria.
"We're excited to be able to play a part in making Denver a major player in film, a unique American institution. In addition, with our fantastic neighboring enterprises within the complex, we are contributing to the revitalization of the Colfax Corridor that will continue to spread and improve the economy and value of the neighborhood," Sie said in a statement. "Anna and I are very pleased to be able to give back in this way to the film industry that has been very good to us."
In 2003, Sie and his wife created the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation to support their philanthropic endeavors. In 2008, they created the Maria & Tommaso Maglione Italian Filmmaker Award for the DFS, a $10,000 prize that is presented to an outstanding Italian filmmaker each year during the Starz Denver Film Festival.
"We salute the visionary leadership and the incredible generosity of our dear friends, Anna and John Sie," DFS executive director Tom Botelho said in a statement. "Their steady support of our capital campaign, and their major donations at critical times of our existence over the last ten years, has made it possible for the Denver Film Society to thrive and realize our dream of owning our own facility. We can now secure Denver's place as a leader in the world of film for decades to come."
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