More Than 130 Guest Artists, 200 Films at 39th Denver Film Festival Opening November 2

Oscar-nominated actor Demián Bichir is one of dozens of stars powering this year's Denver Film Festival.
Oscar-nominated actor Demián Bichir is one of dozens of stars powering this year's Denver Film Festival.
Courtesy of Denver Film Festival

The 39th Denver Film Festival starts on November 2, and as one more lure for movie-goers, the Denver Film Society has announced that in addition to showing over 200 films, the eleven-day festival will welcome more than 130 talented guests, with some special stars pulled aside for award recognition.

The DFS had already announced that actress Emma Stone will be at the opening night festivities for the screening of her new film, La La Land, and to receive the festival’s Excellence in Acting award. Now it's revealed that Oscar-nominated actor Demián Bichir will be given the George Hickenlooper Honorary Award after the screening of his directorial debut, Un Cuento de Circo & A Love Song. And Hayden Szeto — the young co-star of red-carpet matinee selection Edge of Seventeen — will be given the festival’s Rising Star Award.

“One of the great things about any film festival is the opportunity to interact with filmmakers whose work you’ve just seen, and we’ll have more than 130 guests in town this fall,” says Brit Withey, artistic director for the Denver Film Society. “Directors, actors and producers will be here from Poland, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Mexico, India, Czech Republic, Israel, Argentina, Canada, Lebanon, the U.K. and, of course, all corners of the U.S.”

Still from Folk Hero & Funny Guy.
Still from Folk Hero & Funny Guy.
Courtesy of Denver Film Festival

Filling out the ranks of award winners at this year’s festival, indie actor Alex Karpovsky will receive the Reel Social Club Indie Voice Award after the screening of his new film, Folk Hero & Funny Guy; actor/directors Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon will receive the Rare Pearl Award for their body of work, including their new film, Lost In Paris; and experimental filmmaker Saul Levine will receive the fest’s longstanding Stan Brakhage Vision Award.

Keep reading for the full list of local, national and international guests who'll be honored over the eleven days of the DFF:

Still from Actor Martinez.
Still from Actor Martinez.
Courtesy of Denver Film Festival

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL GUESTS

ACTOR MARTINEZ
Mike Ott / Director / Writer
Lindsay Burdge / Actor
Adam J. Minnick / Cinematography

ACTORS OF SOUND
Gregg Barbanell / Subject
Lalo Molina / Director

AMERICAN EPIC SERIES
Bernard MacMahon / Director
Allison McGourty / Producer
Patrick Ferris / Musician / Subject
Jake Faulkner / Musician / Subject
Zac Sokolow / Musician / Subject

ANGELTOWN
Nancy Liu / Director / Writer

BEAT AROUND THE BUSH
Brianne Kylie Nord Stewart / Director / Writer

BREAK
Tim Rush / Producer / Editor
Adam Chanzit / Director / Writer

CATHOLICS VS. CONVICTS
Patrick Creadon / Co-Director
Christine O’Malley / Co-Director

THE CINEMA TRAVELLERS
Shirley Abraham / Director / Producer

CHECK IT
Trayvon Warren / Subject

CLOUDY ALL DAY
Dylan Pasture / Director

UN CUENTO DE CIRCO & A LOVE SONG
Demián Bichir / Director / Actor / Writer / Producer
Stefanie Sherk / Actor

Still from Death by Death.
Still from Death by Death.
Courtesy of Denver Film Festival

DANNY BROWN - WHEN IT RAIN
Mimi Cave / Director

DEATH BY DEATH
Xavier Seron / Director
Jean-Jacques Rausin / Actor

DEBRIS (ESCOMBROS)
Mary-Lyn Chambers / Director / Writer
Kate Nichols / Actor

DONALD CRIED
Kyle Martin / Producer

THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN
Hayden Szeto / Actor

FOR LOVE – MISSING PERSONS
Joe Stillwater / Director
Thomas Galasso / Actor

FLOWN
Mark Blumberg / Director / Writer

FOLK HERO & FUNNY GUY
Jeff Grace / Director / Writer / Producer
Ryland Aldrich / Producer
Alex Karpovsky / Actor

FRAUD
Dean Fleischer-Camp / Director

GREEN HORSE RUSTLERS
Dan Wlodarczyk / Director

GROWING UP COY
Jeremy Stulberg / Producer / Editor

GUANTANAMO’S CHILD: OMAR KHADR
Michelle Shephard / Director

Still from Hunter Gatherer.
Still from Hunter Gatherer.
Courtesy of Denver Film Festival

HUGO
Theo Pavlou / Director / Writer / Producer

HUNTER GATHERER
Josh Locy / Director / Writer

THE IMPACT POINT
Sydney Guthrie / Director
Sally Shafroth / Producer

THE ITALIAN GAZE
Sandro Del Rosario / Director

THE ITCHING
Adam Davies / Animator / Producer

JACKSON
Jamie Boyle / Producer / Cinematographer / Editor

JIRÍ MENZEL: TO MAKE A COMEDY IS NO FUN
Robert Kolinsky / Directors / Writer

KATIE SAYS GOODBYE
Wayne Roberts / Director / Writer

LA LA LAND
Damien Chazelle / Director
Emma Stone / Actor

THE LAST FAMILY
Andrzej Seweryn / Actor

LIAR
Natalie Neal / Director
Natchez Zan Fowler / Casting Director

LIGHTNINGFACE
Brian Petsos / Director / Writer / Producer

LIVE CARGO
Logan Sandler / Director / Writer

LOST IN PARIS / RUMBA / THE FAIRY
Dominique Abel / Director / Writer / Actor / Producer
Fiona Gordon / Director / Writer / Actor / Producer

LUPE UNDER THE SUN
Rodrigo Reyes / Director / Writer / Producer

Still from Ma.
Still from Ma.
Courtesy of Denver Film Festival

MA
Celia Rowlson-Hall / Actor / Director / Writer

MIDDLE MAN
Jim O’Heir / Actor
Ned Crowley / Director / Writer

MOTHER TONGUE
Nadim Iqbal / Director / Producer
MR. GAGA
Tomer Heymann / Director / Writer

NADIA COMANECI: THE GYMNAST AND THE DICTATOR
Pola Rappaport / Director
Thorsten Thielow / Cinematographer

A NEW CIVILIZATION
Williams Naranjo / Director / Writer / Producer / Editor

THE NINE
Katy Grannan / Director / Writer / Producer

PLEASE HOLD
Jerell Rosales / Director / Writer
Michael Ball / Actor

THE POLAROID JOB
Mike Plante / Director

THE PROMISE
Karin Steinberger / Director / Writer

THE RAIN COLLECTOR
Bella Wing-Davey / Director / Writer / Producer

Still from Score.
Still from Score.
Courtesy of Denver Film Festival


SCORE: A MUSIC DOCUMENTARY
Jonathan Willbanks / Subject
Matthew Schrader / Director / Writer
Kenneth Holmes / Subject
Nathan Gold / Cinematography

THE SEARCH
Melina Tupa / Director / Producer / Cinematographer / Editor

THE SHEPHERD
Jonathan Cenzual Burley / Director / Writer / Producer / Cinematographer

[SOLITARY]
Derek J. Pastuszek / Director / Writer

SOY CUBANA
Robin Ungar / Producer

STAN BRAKHAGE VISION AWARD RECIPIENT
Saul Levine / Director

SUBMARINE
Mounia Akl / Director / Writer / Editor

UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA - FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS
Kiani Del Valle / Co-Director
James Lees / Co-Director
Daniel Kent / Producer

VISITOR’S DAY
Nicole Opper / Director
Kristan Cassady / Producer

WALK WITH ME: THE TRIALS OF DAMON J. KEITH
Jesse Nesser / Director / Producer
Sally Davis / Producer

WINNER GAGNANT
Laura Bergeron / Director / Writer / Producer

A WOMAN, A PART
Elisabeth Subrin / Director / Writer / Producer

WRESTLING ALLIGATORS
James Eowan / Producer

YOU MADE ME LOVE YOU
Nicholas Haefner / Co-Director
Tianyi Yin / Co-Director

Still from Denizen.
Still from Denizen.
Courtesy of Denver Film Festival

 COLORADO GUESTS

ACOUSTIC NINJA
Robert Bevis / Director / Producer / Editor

ACTOR MARTINEZ
Arthur Martinez / Actor
Kenneth Berba / Actor
Britta Erickson / Producer
Katie Shapiro / Producer
Patrick Hackett / Producer

DENIZÉN - DEVAN
Rob Shearer / Director / Editor / Producer / Cinematographer

DOG POWER
Kale Casey / Producer / Co-Director / Narrator
Jordan Schevene / Cinematographer

EDGES
Katie Stjernholm / Director
Jonathan Hiller / Cinematographer

ELEPHANT REVIVAL - PETALS
Laura Goldhamer / Director

ENLIGHTED
Noah Kloor / Director

FERAL
David Liban / Director
Jessica McGaugh / Cinematographer
Caleb Liban / Actor

HAPPY F-ING VALENTINE’S DAY
Jeremy Dehn / Director
Sheila Schroeder / Producer / Co-Writer
Kate Burns / Co-Writer
Frazer Lockhart / Cinematographer

INSTRUCTIONS
Joseph Kolean / Director
Paul Michel / Actor

JONBENET’S TRICYCLE
Andrew Novick / Director
Theresa Mercado / Producer

THE JOURNEY IS THE DESTINATION
Olivia Friedman / Director

KICK ASS KATIE LEE
George Gage / Co-Director
Beth Gage / Co-Director

LESS THAN ANGELS
Christa Nicole Apone / Director
Adam Loehr / Editor

LINGO
Chase Bortz / Director
Robert "Tryke" Roark / Sound Producer

Still from The Places We've Been Have Become All but Ghosts.
Still from The Places We've Been Have Become All but Ghosts.
Courtesy of Denver Film Festival

MA
Karl Kister / Producer

NOVA INITIA
Scott D. Thompson / Director
Aaron Johnson / Sound Designer

ON THE TRACKS
Erik Sween / Director / Editor

PHOBIA
Chris Barron / Director / Producer / Editor
Travis Volz / Producer

THE PLACES WE’VE BEEN HAVE BECOME ALL BUT GHOSTS
Caleb Andrew Ward / Director
Geoff Marslett / Actor
Jamie Bibo / Production Designer
Aaron Hunt / Cinematographer

RATIONS
Alexander Rhodes-Wilmere / Director
Nichole Perlmutter / Writer

RAT NEST
Kelly Spencer / Director
Wen Tan / Producer

REENGINEERING SAM
Brian Malone / Director
Cindy Malone / Producer

SCATTER GATHER - WHAT MORE?
Zachary Antonio / Co-Director
Carmine Gabbianelli / Co-Director

A SONG FOR THE LIVING
Colin James Floom / Co-Director / Producer
Greg Nemer / Co-Director / Editor
Emanuel Isler / Producer
Michael Haskins / Producer

TERRENE
Leigh Ann Kleber / Writer
Bryant Kennedy Tovrea / Producer

VALLEY MAKER - OH LIGHTNING
Joseph Kolean / Director / Producer / Cinematographer / Editor

WANDER
AJ Koch / Co-Director
Will Kingston / Co-Director

AWARD JURORS

KRZYSZTOF KIE?LOWSKI AWARD FOR BEST FEATURE FILM
Patrick Hackett
Adam Kersh
Ula Sniegowska

MAYSLES BROTHERS AWARD FOR BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY
Chiké Okonkwo
Kevin Polowy
Kaily Smith Westbrook

AMERICAN INDEPENDENT NARRATIVE AWARD
Jasmine McGlade
Jefferson Moneo
KJ Reith

SPIKE LEE FIRST LOOK STUDENT FILM AWARD / LIBERTY GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL STUDENT FILM AWARD / BEST ANIMATED STUDENT SHORT FILM AWARD
Diana Reichenbach
Chris Robinson
Kelly Sears

SCREENWRITING COMPETITION WINNERS

EVELYN X EVELYN
Eric Pumphrey / Writer

THE SILENCE
Thomas Thonson / Writer


The 39th Denver Film Festival begins Wednesday, November 2, and runs through Sunday, November 13, with screenings at the Sie FilmCenter, the Ellie Caulkins Opera House and the UA Denver Pavilions. For tickets and the full film schedule, go to denverfilm.org.

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