Denver Film Festival
The Denver Film Festival is held in November, primarily at the Denver Film Center/Colfax, in Denver, Colorado, now the Anna and John J. Sie FilmCenter (Sie FilmCenter). Premiere events are held in the Buell Theatre and Ellie Caulkins Opera House at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Before 2012, It was held in the Tivoli Union on the Auraria Campus.
The festival features a diverse selection of films, ranging from independent to commercial from all over the world and is well attended by filmmakers. The festival is currently managed by the Denver Film Society and sponsored by Starz.
The first festival was held on May 4, 1978, and featured such films as Annie Hall, The Fury, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Hills Have Eyes and Pretty Baby. The festival kicked off with a 90-minute clip compilation from Warner Bros. titled ‘The Movies That Made Us.’ The festival was originally conceived and founded by Peter Warren, Ph.D., then a professor of mathematics at the University of Denver and by Irene Clurman, then the art critic for the Rocky Mountain News. The first artistic director was Ron Hecht, the manager of the Vogue theatre.
In the early years, Ron Henderson served as marketing director and subsequently as artistic director. Henderson recalls "There were no red carpets and no television cameras out front. We did a ribbon cutting with Dick Lamm (then governor). When we got inside it was a full house at the Old Centre theater, which was demolished before the next year's festival. (The Centre sat 1,200.).
"Most notably, the weather was ominous - cloudy and cool. The opening-night party was at a private house and it was an invitational affair. When we got there, a cold rain was falling. We woke up the next morning, and there was a foot of wet snow on the ground, but it was springtime and by the end of the day, it was beautiful.
"The first festival obviously was very successful, so we decided to take it to a second year. It was really three years before we finally said, 'OK, this is a real thing, let's hire staff and incorporate as a nonprofit.' " Denerstein, Robert (2007-04-28). "Making up a mind-set". Rocky Mountain News.
28th Denver Film Festival
The 28th Starz Denver Film Festival was held November 10–20, 2005.
|John Cassavetes Award||Philip Baker Hall|
|Mayor's Career Achievement Award||Ang Lee|
|Stan Brakhage Vision Award||Robert Breer|
29th Denver Film Festival
The 29th Starz Denver Film Festival was held November 9–19, 2006 and featured 194 titles from 29 countries. 15 films were premiered. The festival was attended by 38,881 film goers and more than 180 filmmakers. The opening night film was 'Breaking and Entering' and the closing night film was Rescue Dawn. "29th Starz Denver Film Festival Jury and Audience Award Winners" (Press release). Denver Film Society. 2006-11-20. Retrieved 2007-10-02.
|People's Choice for Best Feature||The Lives of Others|
|People's Choice for Best Documentary||The Trials of Darryl Hunt|
|People's Choice for Best Short||tie: Painful Glimpse Into My Writing Process (In Less Than 60 Seconds) & Big Girl|
|Emerging Filmmaker Award||The Last Romantic|
|The Maysles Brothers Award for Best Documentary||Kurt Cobain About A Son|
|Krzysztof Kieślowski Award for Best Feature Film||Beauty in Trouble|
|John Cassavetes Award||Tim Robbins|
|Mayor's Career Achievement Award||Anthony Minghella|
|Stan Brakhage Vision Award||George Kuchar|
30th Denver Film Festival
The 30th Starz Denver Film Festival was held November 8 – 18, 2007. The official line-up was announced October 22.
31st Denver Film Festival
|Starz People's Choice Award for Narrative Feature||Katyń|
|Starz People's Choice Award for Documentary Feature||They Killed Sister Dorothy|
|Starz People's Choice Award for Short Film||Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty|
|Spike Lee Student Filmmaker Award||Multiple Choice|
|Maysles Brothers Award for Best Documentary||Another Planet|
|Krzysztof Kieślowski Award for Best Feature Film||Moscow, Belgium|
|Excellence in Acting Award||Richard Jenkins|
32nd Denver Film Festival
|John Cassavetes Award||J. K. Simmons|
|Excellence in Acting Award||Hal Holbrook|
|Mayor's Career Achievement Award||Ed Harris|
33rd Denver Film Festival
Festival was held November 3–14, 2010. It screened over 200 films and included a Focus on Iranian Cinema. Red Carpet Events including a screening of Morning, Rabbit Hole, Casino Jack, 127 Hours and Black Swan. The festival was dedicated to director George Hickenlooper who died in Denver just days before his film Casino Jack screened at the Festival.
|John Cassavetes Award||Elliott Gould|
|Excellence in Acting Award||Aaron Eckhart|
|Mayor's Career Achievement Award||Danny Boyle|
|Stan Brakhage Vision Award||P. Adams Sitney|
|Rising Star Award||Kerry Bishé|
|Starz People's Choice Award for Feature Film||happythankyoumoreplease|
|Starz People's Choice Award for Documentary||Grace Paley: Collected Shorts|
|Starz People's Choice Award for Short Film||Keep Dancing|
|Krzysztof Kieślowski Award for Best Feature||The White Meadows|
|Maysles Brothers Award for Best Documentary||Secrets of the Tribe|
|Emerging Filmmaker Award||Fanny, Annie & Danny|
|Spike Lee Student Filmmaker Award||Dreams Awake|
|ASIFA-Colorado Award for the Best Animated Short||The Cow Who Wanted to be a Hamburger|
34th Denver Film Festival
The 2011 Festival was held November 2–13, with 247 Films programmed, including a Focus on South Korean Cinema. Red Carpet screenings included Like Crazy, The Descendants, and The Artist. This was the last year the festival held screenings at the Starz Film Center on the Auraria Campus. The 2011 Award Winners are listed below.
|John Cassavetes Award||Judy Greer|
|Excellence in Acting Award||Alan Cumming|
|Mayor's Career Achievement Award||James Cromwell|
|Stan Brakhage Vision Award||Abigail Child|
|Rising Star Award||Adepero Oduye|
|Starz People's Choice Award for Feature Film||Kinyarwanda|
|Starz People's Choice Award for Documentary||TBA|
|Starz People's Choice Award for Short Film||TBA|
|Krzysztof Kieślowski Award for Best Feature||Volcano|
|Maysles Brothers Award for Best Documentary||You've Been Trumped|
|New Directors Award||Sophia Takal (Green)|
|Spike Lee Student Filmmaker Award||Huay-Bing Law's Benny|
|Liberty Global International Student Filmmaker Award||Ariel Kleiman's Deeper Than Yesterday|
|ASIFA-Colorado Award for the Best Animated Short||Patrick Doyon's Sunday|
35th Denver Film Festival
The 2012 festival was held November 1–11. It included a Focus on the Cinema of Argentina with 13 Argentine films in the program. Red Carpet events included the opening night film A Late Quartet, Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut, Quartet and the closing night film, Silver Linings Playbook. Special events at the festival included tributes to Dutch filmmaker Mijke de Jong, Argentine filmmaker Daniel Burman, Boulder, Colorado, filmmaker Stacey Steers, and the Colorado filmmaking collective, Milkhaus. Celebrity guests who were present to receive festival awards or for special presentations included, Tippi Hedren, George Romero, Andy Garcia, Vince Vaughn and Jason Ritter. Additional screenings were held at the Denver Pavilions off of 16th Street Mall. The 2012 award winners are below.
36th Denver Film Festival
|John Cassavetes Award||Harry Dean Stanton|
|Excellence in Acting Award|
|Mayor's Career Achievement Award|
|Stan Brakhage Vision Award|
|Rising Star Award|
|Jack Gilford Award for Comedy|
|George Hickenlooper Honorary Award|
|Reel Social Club Indie Voice Award||Leo Fitzpatrick|
|Starz People's Choice Award for Feature Film||One Chance|
|Starz People's Choice Award for Documentary||Code Black|
|Starz People's Choice Award for Short Film||What Do We Have In Our Pockets?|
|Krzysztof Kieślowski Award for Best Feature||A Touch of Sin|
|Special Jury Award||The Fifth Season|
|Maysles Brothers Award for Best Documentary||The Search For Emak Bakia|
|New Directors Award||Daniel Patrick Carbone for Hide Your Smiling Faces|
|ASIFA-Colorado Award for the Best Animated Short||Thomas Stellmach for Virtuoso Virtual|
|Best Actor - Domestic Short||Luzer Twesky for Where is Joel Baum?|
37th Denver Film Festival
|Starz People's Choice Award for Narrative Feature||Viva la libertà directed by Roberto Andò|
|Starz People's Choice Award for Documentary Feature||Capturing Grace directed by Dave Iverson|
|Starz People's Choice Award for Music Video||Irma, Save Me directed by Xavier Maingon|
|Starz People's Choice Award for Short Film||The Bravest, The Boldest directed by Moon Molson|
|Krzysztof Kieślowski Award for Best Foreign Feature Film||The Tribe (“Plemya”), directed by Miroslav Slaboshpitsky (Ukraine)|
|Special Jury Award||August Winds directed by Gabriel Mascaro (Brazil)|
Stations of the Cross directed by Dietrich Brüggemann (Germany)
|Maysles Brothers Award for Best Documentary||The Look of Silence directed by Joshua Oppenheimer (USA)|
|The American Independent Award for Best Feature Film||The Midnight Swim directed by Sarah Adina Smith (USA)|
|ASIFA-Colorado Best Animated Short Award||Salmon Deadly Sins directed by Steven Vander Meer (USA)|
|The Liberty Global International Student Short Award||The Bigger Picture directed by Daisy Jacobs (United Kingdom)|
|The Spike Lee Student Filmmaker Award||A Grand Canal directed by Johnny Ma (USA)|
|Feature Screenplay Award||Little House written by Claire Fowler|
|Short Screenplay Award||Pelham Bay Park written by John Burdeaux|
42nd Denver Film Festival (DFF42)
The 2019 Denver Film Festival was held from October 30th to November 10th, 2019. After conclusion of the Festival, the following films were recognized as the Audience Award winners for the 42nd Denver Film Festival by a tally of ballots.
|Audience Award for Narrative Feature||The Conductor directed by Maria Peters|
|Audience Award for Documentary Feature||3 Days 2 Nights directed by John Breen|
|Audience Award for Music Video||Salvatore Ganacci, The Horse directed by Vedran Rupic|
|Audience Award for Short Subject Film||Palliative directed by John Beder|
|Krzysztof Kieślowski Award for Best Feature Film||Song Without a Name (Cancion Sin Nombre, directed by Melina León (Peru)||The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão, directed by Karim Aïnouz (Brazil)|
|Maysles Brothers Award for Best Documentary||Scheme Birds directed by Ellen Fiske, Ellinor Hallin (Scotland)|
|American Independent Award for Best Feature Film||Swallow directed by Carlo Mirabella-Davis (USA)||Olympic Dreams directed by Jeremy Teicher (USA/South Korea)|
|Special Mention Jury Prize||Midnight Family directed by Luke Lorentzen (Mexico)|
|Marilyn Marsh Saint-Veltri Award for Best Student Animated Short Film||Daughter directed by Daria Kashcheeva||Roadkill, directed by Leszek Mozga|
|The Liberty Global International Student Filmmaker Award||She-Pack directed by Fanny Ovesen|
|The Liberty Global Domestic Student Filmmaker Award||The Clinic directed by Elivia Shaw||Dunya’s Day, directed by Raed Alsemari|
|Short Screenplay Award||Pelham Bay Park written by John Burdeaux|
|Rare Pearl Award||Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de La Jeune Fille en Feu), directed by Céline Sciamma|
Awards previously given or announced:
Maria and Tommaso Maglione Italian Filmmaker Award
THE INVISIBLE WITNESS (IL TESTIMONE INVISIBILE) Director: Stefano Mordini
John Cassavetes Award Recipient:
Stan Brakhage Vision Award Recipient:
Brit Withey Artistic Director Fund Recipient:
- Denver Film Society. "ANNA AND JOHN J. SIE PROVIDE $2.5 MILLION TO DENVER FILM SOCIETY". Denver Film Society. Archived from the original on 22 February 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
- Cangialosi, Jason. "35th Starz Denver Film Festival Award Winners". Mile High Cinema. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
- Cangialosi, Jason. "Starz Denver Film Festival 2013 Award Winners". Yahoo!. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- The 37th Starz Denver Film Festival Award Winners
- The 42nd Denver Film Festival Award Winners