Public Spectacle

“Aspen is a wonderful, crazy circus at the holidays,” says Laura Thielen, co-director of Aspen Film, which will kick off its 23rd annual Academy Screenings Festival today at the Wheeler Opera House, 320 East Hyman Street. “It’s a great time to come up and see the heart and soul of Aspen, beyond the resort experience, and we’re really proud that our Academy Screenings have become an integral part of that tradition.”

The festival opens with a 5:30 p.m. screening of Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods and concludes on January 2 with screenings of Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler and Alejandro Iñárritu’s Birdman. With many of the most promising candidates for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress in the mix, you can expect to rub elbows with voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

“The primary reason that we do this festival is to create an opportunity for members of the film industry to see these films on a big screen with a great audience before they cast their votes,” Thielen says — but she emphasizes that the festival is very much open to the public. “I really don’t think that aspect can be overemphasized, because films are meant to be public spectacle, and you just don’t have the same effect if you’re screening them at home.” For the full program and ticket information, visit aspenfilm.org.
Dec. 21-23; Dec. 26-30; Thu., Jan. 1; Fri., Jan. 2, 2014

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