Cine City

This year’s Starz Denver Film Festival, subtitled “Destination: Anywhere,” promises to generate the usual high level of excitement, from this evening’s opening-night red-carpet screening of Precious to official closing festivities with The Young Victoria on November 21, both at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. But it’s often the little things on the periphery of those splashy parties and premieres that are the real meat of any fest and, rest assured, the SDFF is on firm ground in that category as well.

First, there’s variety: “The films in this year's festival represent diverse topics, ranging from women's issues to political struggle and environmental consciousness,” notes festival director Britta Erickson of the eleven-day program, which includes the new Festival de Cine Mexicano fest-within-the-fest, winning entries from numerous film competitions, special presentations, celebrity events showcasing the likes of actors Ed Harris and Hal Holbrook, Animation Station workshops, panels and more. And beyond the serious ones, there are some events to look for that will be just plain fun: for instance, the roving Love Hope Strength Music Lounge, featuring the headlining Gin Blossoms at the Hard Rock Cafe and local bands and entertainers at the Walnut Room and Meadowlark Lounge throughout the festival. If you’re a horror-movie fan, try the Watching Hour series, featuring a fabulous heap of cult classics and zombies, (one of those films, Troll II, is also the subject of a fest documentary, Best Worst Movie).

Plan your festival now: Most screenings are at Starz FilmCenter, in the Tivoli building on the Auraria campus (or other downtown satellite locations); tickets range in price from $8 to $13 for individual screenings and presentations. Admission to red carpet events are $30-$35 for the film only, with party packages available. Get tickets and information at www.denverfilm.org/festival.
Nov. 12-22, 2009

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd