Film and TV

Starz Denver Film Festival 2014: Previewing Red Carpet Events, Focus on Brazil

Again this year, Starz Denver Film Festival artistic director Brit Withey is offering his must-see picks for each day of the fest -- including many flicks that movie lovers might otherwise miss amid the flood of silver-screen goodies.

Today, he spotlights three red carpet presentations -- 5 to 7, The Imitation Game and Like Sunday, Like Rain -- and the festival's focus on the films of Brazil, including Futuro Beach.

See also: The Ten Best Movie Events in Denver in November

Brit Withey is at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to describing the red carpet presentations for this year's Starz Denver Film Festival. Turns out he's been so busy helping to select the more than 250 features, shorts, student films and music videos that make up the massive program that he hasn't gotten a chance to see the flicks slated to unspool for Opening Night, Big Night and Closing Night events at the time of his interview with Westword. But he's looking forward to each.

First up, on Wednesday, November 12, is 5 to 7, co-starring Anton Yelchin, Bérénice Marlohe, Glenn Close and Frank Langella. "It's got a great cast," notes Withey, who cites the principals as well as Jocelyn DeBoer, "who was a guest of ours at the Stanley Film Festival earlier this year. She was great then," and he's looking forward to seeing her in what he describes as "a love-story-gone-wrong film."

This year's Big Night presentation, on Saturday, November 15, is The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch. "The film's gotten great reviews," Withey points out. "It's a war film, although not a shoot-'em-up film. It's about a group of people who crack the German code during World War II. I can't wait to see it." The Closing Night film, slated for Saturday, November 22, is Like Sunday, Like Rain, directed by Frank Whaley and headlined by Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester. According to Withey, "It's a story about a young musical prodigy who's not really forming bonds with people his own age and is sort of isolated. But then he meets a young teacher, and the movie looks at their relationship as he's coming out of his shell." Each year, the festival takes a closer look at the films of one country, and this time around, the nation in the spotlight is Brazil. "It's an incredibly strange and diverse collection of twelve films," Withey points out. "Brazil is a huge country, and it has these giant metropolises. But there is also a big section of the country that's dominated by the Amazon and rain forests and is practically uninhabited by people. And that diversity is really well-reflected in these films. None of them is similar to any of the others, and I found all of them," including Futuro Beach, about a romance that grows out of a swimming tragedy, "to be really interesting."

Below, see an interview with Anton Yelchin about 5 to 7, a Q&A with Like Sunday, Like Rain's main cast members and trailers for The Imitation Game and Futuro Beach, supplemented with showtime information. . To access all the film festival's selections and purchase tickets, click here -- and be sure be to visit our Show and Tell blog each day during the fest for more of Brit's picks.

5 to 7 Directed by Victor Levin Wednesday, November 12, 8 p.m. Buell Theatre

The Imitation Game Director by Moretn Tydlum Saturday, November 15, 8 p.m. Buell Theatre

Like Sunday, Like Rain Directed by Frank Whaley Saturday, November 22, 8 p.m. Buell Theatre

Futuro Beach Directed by Karim Ainouz Saturday, November 15, 11:15 AM Monday, November 17, 8:45 PM SDFF Sie FilmCenter

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts