Happy Festivus!

Not religious but like to mooch occasional holiday cheer in the form of Christmas music and fuzzy lights? The 2009 Festivus Film Festival, which opens tonight and continues through January 11, provides a similar outlet: No need to follow independent films religiously to enjoy what this festival has to offer.

For the second year running, the creators of Festivus have included something for everyone -- perhaps even managing to convert the devout documentary zealot to a comedy fan, or even an admirer of action flicks. In a span of four short days, Festivus will show approximately 56 films ranging in budget from a single Benjamin to thousands of them. The fest kicks off with Opening Night Shorts, tonight at 7 p.m. at the Bug Theatre, followed by Placebo at 9 p.m. and an after-party at Forest Room 5.

Festival director Jonathan McFarlane takes pride in this broad spectrum of budgets and film concepts. He explains that Festivus strives to be a film festival that is specifically Denver, not Hollywood: “We do things our way, and that’s what sets us apart; we are more party and less red carpet.” McFarlane further believes that the directors involved present viewers with a uniquely local experience: More than half of them will attend the festival and will be available to talk with the audience after their film’s showing.

This week’s films will screen at the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo Street, and the Oriental Theater, 4335 West 44th Avenue. Nightlife events will be at Forest Room 5, Lure and the Oriental Theater. For more information, visit www.festivusfilmfestival.com.
Jan. 8-11, 2009

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