For 2003, the state of Colorado continues to prove that it fosters a legion of talented, homegrown filmmakers. Of 35 total entries for this year’s Starz Denver International Film Festival, October 9 – 19, 2003, 24 films (or 69 percent) have been selected for festival screenings. “We received and are featuring more Colorado-produced films than I can remember in the last decade,” said Ron Henderson, Film Festival Director. “I think it speaks a lot about the expanding interest in the art of filmmaking as well as the increasing quality of material that can be found locally.” Colorado-produced entries span a variety of film genres: dramatic features, documentaries, and shorts. Colorado films in the festival include:
THE TORNADO DREAM – Local musician and filmmaker Davis G. Coombe recorded the unguarded, explicit and unpredictable behavior of three local bands in their pursuit of fame and fortune. The musical groups, Rainbow Sugar, (a punk/rap girl group on tour in France), Orbit Service (alternative rock), and The Czars, (a strange, modern rock mixture of Patsy Cline and The Doors) are in different development stages as they face the personality, political and financial challenges of the music business.
THE RAIN HAS FORGOTTEN US – This 14-minute dramatic short from New Zealand-raised, Denver-based filmmaker Mary Lyn Chambers explores the power of innocence in the face of despair. As the dry wind and drought steal the bounty of her family farm, Maggie abandons the hope that she can save life she loves. But one special child, bestowed with a simple gift, will show her how to believe again.
WE ARE PHAMALy – Presents a portrait of three cast members of Denver’s Physically Handicapped Amateur Musical Actor’s League (PHAMALy) as they put on the kitsch classic musical Once Upon a Mattress. From audition to opening night, we follow their challenges, despair and emotional highs.
CHICK FLICK: THE MIRACLE MIKE STORY – Directed by Alexandre Phillipe, this feature-length documentary tells the true story of Mike the Headless Chicken who avoided becoming an entrée during a misguided axe swing and survived, headless, for 18 months, touring U.S. carnival circuits until his untimely death in an Arizona motel room.
PEACE JAM – First-time director Dennis Flippin and the Peace Jam Foundation of Arvada, Colorado, present a documentary that includes never-before-seen footage of eleven Nobel Peace Prize Laureates who work with teens worldwide to facilitate harmony. Focusing on five American teenagers, including Columbine survivor Richard Castaldo, the film documents the transformation that occurs when their lives are touched by both greatness and evil.
All regular screenings will take place at the Denver Film Society’s permanent home, the Starz Film Center at the Tivoli on the Auraria Campus.
The full film schedule will be available beginning September 22 on the festival’s website.