Our take: Despite a year of turmoil behind the scenes, this year's Denver Film Festival reasserted its position as one of the the top regional festivals in the US and one with terrific and often imaginative documentary programming. With the startlingly fast fade of AFI Fest, Denver now owns the month of November stateside. Hospitality this year seemed slightly reduced (wasn't it everywhere) but the fest's legendary Late Night and Filmmaker Lounges remain a model for the circuit. Denver's drawback? The local audiences aren't quite as taken with the doc slate as they are with the higher profile narratives.
Selection of US films screened at 2009 festival: 45365, BEETLE QUEEN CONQUERS TOKYO, BIG RIVER MAN, CON ARTIST, CONVENTION, FORGETTING DAD, GARBAGE DREAMS, HICK TOWN, THE HORSE BOY, MY NEIGHBOR, MY KILLER, OCTOBER COUNTRY, POLIWOOD, STILL BILL, TRIMPIN: THE SOUND OF INVENTION
Our coverage of Denver here.
Filmmaker: "The bloody nose festival, a mile high in the sky. If you go here, drink plenty of water and prepare yourself for some of the best hospitality CO has to offer. Brit and his team are first rate and the programming selections were really strong stuff. Audience attendance is challenging in terms of crowd size, and the local press is often dismissive of what I though was some really challenging work being presented. The team takes care of you regardless and Denver's a fun party town. Totally worth going."
Filmmaker: "My personal favorite. Centralized festival venue, great audiences, great programming, great parties. The country's best regional festival."
Filmmaker: "Paid $300 toward my travel
expenses and picked me up and returned me to airport and paid three night's
hotel. Nice filmmaker lounge with plenty of free food and drinks - a definite
perk that I greatly appreciated! Hotel fine but not within easy walking
distance of festival center - a bit of a drag. Got a nice mention in the Denver
Post, but that appears to be it for press. Both screenings fairly well attended
with good Q & A's. A bit irked that they didn't include my film in
competition. Good parties. Met some filmmakers worth meeting. All in all, I'd
probably go again if invited. "
Filmmaker: "Liked the vibe of the festival, hated Denver."
Filmmaker: "tied with Cinevegas for best programming and all around good-guy ness"
Filmmaker: "(they paid) for all. well run. good audience. good press."
generously hospitable. Britt's programming (especially for narrative features)
seems to get more exciting every year."
Industry: "Top notch fest in regards to making you feel special. Great programming - more so on the narratives than docs however."
Industry: "Great late nights and awesome programming staff that create a family for the filmmakers."
Industry: "good programming, but not a place I'd look
for premieres. A good place to catch up on great films missed
elsewhere. i like the Starz Film
Center and the Opera House venues. Late night lounge fun. Staff
great as well.