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DENVER FILM SOCIETY – 37th Denver Film Festival



Joycelyn DeBoer, Michael Beugg, Daniel Junge, Tom Bower, Lawrence Jordan, Roberto Andò, Bruce Greenwood, Nathan Zellner, David Zellner in-person to receive prestigious Festival awards

– Piano Prodigy and Keep On Keepin’ On Subject Justin Kauflin to Perform –

The Starz Denver Film Festival (SDFF), sponsored by Starz Entertainment and produced by the Denver Film Society, announced today its films in competition and award recipients. The complete lineup of films for the 37th edition, which runs November 12-23, is available at denverfilm.org/festival.

SDFF will also welcome 23-year old blind piano prodigy Justin Kauflin for a live performance following the Red Carpet presentation of Keep On Keepin’ On. Directed by first-time filmmaker Alan Hicks, a drummer who was a student of jazz legend Clark “CT” Terry and played in his band, the film tells the story of the moving relationship between Kauflin and Terry, who is losing his sight. This inspiring documentary is written and edited by Colorado’s leading editor, Davis Coombe. Saturday, November 22, 2:00pm, Buell Theatre

Recognized as the Rocky Mountain Region’s premier film event, SDFF attracts nearly 58,000 filmgoers and is widely recognized for presenting Academy Award® and Independent Spirit Award-winning films, such as The Artist, Black Swan, Brokeback Mountain, Nebraska, No Country for Old Men and Silver Linings Playbook – well before their collective accolades.

SDFF will screen more than 250 features, shorts, student films and music videos representing over 40 countries along with selections under Denver Film Society’s signature programs such as Cinema Q, Stanley Film Festival and Women+Film. This year, SDFF shines a spotlight on cinema from Brazil, known for its widely diverse range of cinematic treasures. The annual “Focus On a National Cinema” program features 14 Brazilian films. Foxcatcher directed by Bennett Miller and Wild directed by Jean-Marc Vallée were added as Gala Presentations. As previously announced, Red Carpet Presentations are 5 to 7, The Imitation Game, Keep On Keepin’ On, Like Sunday, Like Rain and Touch the Wall. Special Presentations include: ’71, Clouds of Sils Maria, Little Accidents, The Look of Silence, Red Army, Seymour: An Introduction, Two Days, One Night and WildLike.



August Windsdirected by Gabriel Mascaro (Brazil)

Free Fall (Szabadesés), directed by György Pálfi, Gergely Pohárnok, Zsófia Ruttkay (Hungary)

Stations of the Crossdirected by Dietrich Brüggemann (Germany)

The Tribe (Plemya), directed by Miroslav Slaboshpitsky (Ukraine)

Tu dors Nicoledirected by Stéphane Lafleur (Canada)
directed by Maya Vitkova (Bulgaria)


I Believe in Unicornsdirected by Leah Meyerhoff

Lake Los Angelesdirected by Mike Ott

The Menddirected by John Magary

The Midnight Swimdirected by Sarah Adina Smith

Thou Wast Mild and Lovelydirected by Josephine Decker

Wild Canariesdirected by Lawrence Michael Levine


The Life and Mind of Mark DeFriestdirected by Gabriel London (USA)

The Look of Silencedirected by Joshua Oppenheimer (USA)

The Overnightersdirected by Jesse Moss (USA)

Tomorrow We Disappeardirected by Jimmy Goldblum, Adam Weber (India)

Watchers of the Skydirected by Edet Belzberg (USA)

When Under Fire – Shoot Back!directed by Marc Wiese (Germany)



Rising Star Award

As a special guest of the 2014 Stanley Film Festival with Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead and as a participant in the Festival’s live radio play Tales from Beyond the Pale, Jocelyn DeBoer returns to Colorado – this time as SDFF’s Rising Star. The actress kicked some Nazi Zombie ass in Dead Snow 2: Red Vs. Dead, the zombie comedy from Hansel and Gretel helmer Tommy Wirkola, which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. DeBoer takes a romantic turn featured opposite Anton Yelchin in 5 to 7 from Mad Men co-executive producer Victor Levin. Also making the festival rounds this year is Thank You, Cabbage, a short film starring DeBoer written and directed by HBO’s Mitch Magee. DeBoer is originally from Illinois where she completed Second City’s training program and graduated from the University of Illinois with a BFA in Acting. She is a regular performer of both sketch and improv at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and has been featured in sketches on Late Show With David LettermanInside Amy SchumerComedy Bang! Bang! and The Pete Holmes Show. DeBoer also stars in the series That Couple You Know on Lorne Michaels’ Above Average. SDFF Festival Director Britta Erickson will present her with the Rising Star Award at the premiere of 5 to 7 on the Opening Night stage at the Buell Theatre.

Wednesday, November 12, 8:00pm, Buell Theatre

Honorary George Hickenlooper Award

Years before the Billy Bob Thornton-directed feature film, George Hickenlooper directed Thornton and Molly Ringwald in the short that introduced audiences to the iconic character of Karl Childers. Childers, on the verge of being released from an insane asylum after 25 years, tells a reporter the story of what caused his lockup since the age of thirteen. As moviegoers, we often forget that every movie represents the expression of many talents-not all of them sufficiently recognized. That’s partly why this year’s George Hickenlooper Honorary Award goes to producer Michael Beugg. Beugg, who often works with director Jason Reitman, has brought his skills to a wide variety of independent and mainstream movies. The list includes He’s Just Not that Into You, Up in the Air, Little Miss Sunshine, Draft Day, Thank You for Smoking, and, most recently, Men, Women & Children. Beugg’s career began in 1994 when he co-produced a Billy Bob Thornton short called Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade, which was directed by George Hickenlooper. He again worked with Hickenlooper in 1998’s Dogtown, a look at a failed actor who returns home. The Honorary George Hickenlooper Award honors the memory of the late director, a longtime friend of the festival and the director of movies such as Casino Jack, The Man from Elysian Fields, and Hearts of Darkness. Michael Beugg will accept the award from Festival Director Britta Erickson at the presentation of Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade followed by an extended conversation with film critic Robert Denerstein. 

Friday, November 14, 8:00pm, UA Pavilions

Hall of Fame Award

The Colorado Film Hall of Fame Award recognizes and honors individuals for their exemplary achievements and leadership within the Colorado film community. This year’s honorees are Daniel Junge, a Colorado-based Oscar® and Emmy®-winning director (Saving Face, They Killed Sister Dorothy, Iron Ladies of Libera, Chiefs) and Tom Bower (Crazy Heart, Razor’s Edge, Apaloosa, Pollack), born in Denver with more than 150 film and television credits to his name.

Private Event


Stan Brakhage Vision Award

Lawrence Jordan is coming home. This year’s Stan Brakhage Vision Award recipient, the acclaimed maverick spirit of avant-garde cinema, is a Denver native who was an honors student at Denver’s South High School, and a friend and classmate of the late Stan Brakhage. After going off to Harvard on a scholarship to major in science, he discovered the works of Sergei Eisenstein and other European experimental filmmakers, and began making films of his own, launching a cinematic passion that spans more than five decades. Jordan has spent most of his adult life in the San Francisco Bay Area, where, along with the filmmaker Bruce Conner, he founded the Camera Obscura film society and, in 1958, established The Movie, San Francisco’s first 16mm experimental cinema. He is a founding director of Canyon Cinema Cooperative. In 1969, Jordan started the film department of the San Francisco Art Institute, where he taught for more than 30 years. Influenced by Maya Deren, Joseph Cornell, and Max Ernest, Jordan has released more than 50 experimental films, including a number of fanciful, filmic animations made from collaged cutouts of Victorian engravings. The animations extend dreamlike imagery of collaged landscape into a cinematic realm of transformation and free-form symbolism. His alchemical approach to imagery creates what he has called the “theater of the mind, which you construct. That is the Underworld … the realm of the imagination.” Jonas Mekas has called Jordan one of the most creative artists working in avant-garde film. “His animated films are among the most beautiful short films made today. They are surrounded with love and poetry. His content is subtle, his technique is perfect, his personal style unmistakable.” Jordan will be presented with the 2014 Stan Brakhage Vision Award by Phil Solomon and a reception in his honor follows in Henderson’s Lounge.

Sunday, November 16, 8:30pm, Sie FilmCenter


The Maria & Tommaso Maglione Italian Filmmaker Award

The Maria & Tommaso Maglione Italian Filmmaker Award, funded through the endowment from the Anna & John J. Sie Foundation and named for Anna Sie’s parents, recognizes the best in contemporary Italian cinema. Filmmaker Roberto Andò is one of Italy’s most distinguished artists. His work in both cinema and literature is influenced by his association with the great novelist Leonardo Sciascia and the film director Francesco Rosi. In addition to his work in film (both narrative and documentary), Andò is an accomplished theatrical director and producer, as well as novelist. His latest film, the comedy Viva la libertà, starring Toni Servillo (protagonist of the 2014 Academy Award winning film The Great Beauty), is based on Andò’s own novel Il trono vuoto (The Empty Throne), and recounts the story of Enrico Oliveri, political leader of the main opposition party, who is very depressed: the election is approaching and current polls suggest things aren’t going his way. Viva la liberta has screened at numerous festivals around the world and has won Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress awards at the David di Donatello awards in addition to numerous other nominations and awards.

Tuesday, November 18, 7:00pm, Sie FilmCenter


Excellence in Acting Award

Attending SDFF with two official selections Wildlike and Elephant Song,veteran actor Bruce Greenwood has over 100 film and television credits spanning his near 40-year career. Greenwood earned the the Independent Spirit Awards inaugural Robert Altman Award in 2007 for his dual role in the unconventional biopic of legendary singer/songwriter Bob Dylan I’m Not There opposite Cate Blanchette and Richard Gere for writer/director Todd Haynes; a Screen Actors Guild Nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for his performance opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote’s partner, writer Jack Dunphy, in Capote; a Golden Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor for his outstanding portrayal of President John F. Kennedy in the riveting drama Thirteen Days; and a Genie Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in Being Julia with Annette Bening. Greenwood’s other film credits include Meeks Cutoff opposite Michelle Williams for director Kelly Reichardt,Dinner for Schmucks opposite Steve Carell and Paul Rudd for director Jay Roach, Barney’s Version, Donovan’s Echo, Firehouse Dog, Hollywood Homicide, The World’s Fastest Indian, Eight Below, Rules of Engagement, Racing Stripes, Here on Earth, The Lost Son, Thick asThieves, Disturbing Behavior, Passenger 57 and Wild Orchid. Greenwood is currently shooting the sci-fi/thriller Lazarus for Legendary/Universal with James Badge Dale and Emily Mortimer for Nic Mathieu and will next be seen in Andrew Niccol’s Military drama-thriller Good Kill opposite Ethan Hawke and the drama Father’s and Daughters opposite Russell Crowe for Gabriele Muccino. Festival Director Britta Erickson will present him with the Excellence in Acting Award at the premiere of Wildlike followed by a conversation with film critic Robert Denerstein.

Thursday, November 20, 7:00pm, UA Pavilions

Reel Social Club Indie Voice Award

Celebrating the spirit of the next generation, the Denver Film Society’s young patrons group Reel Social Club will present its 3rd annual award to Bennett Jones following the screening of I Am a Knife with Legs – a film in which he wrote, directed and stars in and has quickly generated cult status on the festival circuit. After over five years in production, the comedy is Jones’ feature film debut and shows a promising future for him in the independent film scene. The evening will also include a live performance by Jones’ on-screen alter ego, Bené the international rock star.

Friday, November 21, 7:00pm, Sie FilmCenter

Randi Lee Rare Pearl Award

The Rare Pearl Award was established by Lu and Chris Law and Dee Chirafisi and Jim Theye in 2011 to honor the memory of their friend, local jewelry-maker Randi Lee. Past recipients of the award include The Artist, The Sapphires and Nebraska. This year, director/writer/actor David Zellner and writer/actor Nathan Zellner will accept the award for Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, which premiered to acclaim at Sundance earlier this year and is produced by Alexander Payne. The brothers, raised in Colorado and now based in Austin, are known for their distinctive style of filmmaking earning them “indie darling” status following their Sundance debut in 2008 with Goliath and multi-hypenate work in film in their near 20-year careers.

Saturday, November 22, 6:30pm, Sie FilmCenter



Tickets ($12 DFS member/$15.50 non-member) are on sale now online at denverfilm.org or at the SDFF main box office location at the Sie FilmCenter (2510 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO 80206).

Patron Packages are available for advanced ticket selection and to ensure seating at Red Carpet and Special Presentations. Contact Alison Greenberg to purchase a Patron Package at (303) 595-3456 ext. 229 or alison@denverfilm.org.

Red Carpet Presentations will take place at the Buell Theatre. Special Presentations and regular screenings will take place at UA Denver Pavilions Stadium 15 and the Sie FilmCenter.

Press accreditation is closed. For questions, advance screening links, film stills or interview requests email: katie@denverfilm.org.

To keep up to date with the Starz Denver Film Festival on social media: like the SDFF Facebook page, follow @DenverFilm on Twitter and join the conversation by using the hashtags: #SDFF37 and #stepintothestory.

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