Fort Collins's three-day TriMedia Film Festival showcases a handful of movies featuring recognizable faces, including Trucker, co-starring Michelle Monaghan and Nathan Fillion, and Broken Hill, with Timothy Hutton. But the curators also serve up a potpourri of more obscure offerings that encourage, and frequently reward, cinematic spelunking. Documentaries include Blue Gold: World Water Wars, which undermines terrifying information about H²O shortages and resource privatization via a hectoring tone, while shorts range from Common Practice, a gentle meditation on the power of music, to Next Floor, a hilariously disgusting satire of modern gluttony marred only by its overly accusatory final image. However, my favorite among the batch that I had an opportunity to sample was Australia's Miracle Fish, recently screened at Sundance. In the beginning, the tale, about a put-upon lad whose tormentors suddenly vanish from school, leaving him happily on his own, seems like a predictable blend: Home Alone with Twilight Zone flavoring. But a startling twist transforms the piece into a suspenseful shocker. Not bad for being only eighteen minutes long.
The fest runs from Friday, September 11, to Sunday, September 13, at four different Fort Collins venues. All-festival passes go for $100, and tickets for five-packs or individual films are available. Get directions, details and more at www.trimediafestival.org.