Longmont's Front Range Film Festival returns for a second run this weekend

Coloradans like to celebrate their state almost as much as they like to live in it. Longmont's second annual Front Range Film Fest, running Thursday through Saturday, "Connects the Front Range to Film," with three feature-length films and a series of shorts, most of which are by local filmmakers.

"Our main priority as a film festival is showcasing films that have a connection to Colorado," Jessica Kooiman, the festival's organizer, says.

See also: The Colorado Theatre Guild announces this year's Henry Award nominations

Some are new submissions and some have been shown before at another local film fest. Most were made locally, while others were made elsewhere but have ties to Colorado, either becuse the filmmakers are from Colorado of because the film deals with local issues.

The festival is still small, but the encouraging response from last year and in anticipation of this year is a sign of progress, Kooinman says. "Film is becoming more and more of an interest for people in our audience and in Longmont and beyond."

Last year, the Firehouse Art Center, which hosts the festival, stuck to only local films and filmmakers.Though locality is still the focus, they have been able to expand to include other films, like DamNation, an official film at other festivals like South by Southwestern. Kooiman says it is harder to get those bigger films, especially as a nonprofit, so they partnered with Habitat for Humanity to bring in the film.

Kooiman says that though all of the films are worth seeing, the one to get out to is the feature film, The Forgotten Kingdom. The film was shot in Lesotho, Africa, by Colorado College alumnus Andrew Mudge, and it has received several African and international awards. Mudge will be available in person for a question and answer session after Saturday night's screening.

Tickets to The Forgotten Kingdom, DamNation and the series of shorts each run for $10. There is also a free presentation of Beer Culture on Friday night, a film about craft breweries in Colorado. The festival runs through Saturday and tickets are available day of. Venues include the Firehouse Art Center, Left Hand Brewery and Thompson Park.

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