Think of all the movies you’ve seen that took place in Los Angeles or New York, and you’re sure to come up with a pretty lengthy list. Think about the filmmaking scene in these cities, and you’re bound to know actors, writers, and directors from both locations. Colorado, however, isn’t always first on the public’s mind in regards to film. But the Centennial State has plenty to offer for everyone, including filmmakers. Mountains and sunshine, a burgeoning arts scene, affordability, and talented writers and directors–Colorado boasts all this and more. At the 40th Denver Film Festival, let’s take some time to enjoy the films created by our local movie biz movers and shakers.
In what is truly one of the rawest documentaries at this year’s DFF, “Home Truth” follows a tragic story that took place right here in Colorado. Jessica Gonzales is the subject of this film which details what she faced after her three daughters were abducted and murdered by their father, against whom she had a restraining order. Gonzales filed a lawsuit against local police citing negligence in upholding the order, which she took all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in order to seek justice for her daughters and other victims of domestic violence. April Hayes and Katia Maguire directed this important film. Read our full review here.
Showtimes: Saturday, November 4, at 1:45 p.m., Sunday, November 5, at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 8, at 4:00 p.m. All screenings will be at the UA Denver Pavilions, located at 500 16th Street, on the third floor. For ticket information, click here.
Denver-based director Adam Lipsius’ film about the friendship between two women who escape into their imaginations to get away from their troubled pasts is one of the festival’s most incredible selections. Touching on themes of abuse, family, and loss, the script (written by newcomer Emma Raine Walker, who also plays Sophia) carries audiences down some totally unexpected paths. It also stars Sir Julian Glover (“Troy”) and budding actor Ali Rodney.
Showtimes: Friday, November 10 at 6:15 p.m., Saturday, November 12 at 3:30 p.m. All showings at the UA Denver Pavilions. For ticket information, click here.
“Gnaw” follows the story of a woman who attempts to start over after escaping an abusive relationship, only to find that something else is eating at her–literally. Penelope Mitchell (“The Vampire Diaries,” “Hemlock Grove”) shines in this horror film directed by Haylar Garcia, the man responsible for 2014’s “American Terror.” The film blurs the lines between a paranormal and psychological thriller, in only the very best ways.
Based on the book by Henry David Thoreau, “Walden” takes creative license by re-imagining the story set in modern day Colorado. It follows three connected storylines: one about an elderly woman battling dementia, another about her grandson working through self-discovery, and a third about one of the workers at the woman’s nursing home who deals with many of the same trials and tribulations many of our generation face–especially financial struggles and seemingly endless bureaucracy. This spectacular film was shot entirely on location, and was created by a team of passionate locals, including director Alex Harvey, producer Mitch Dickman (“Rolling Papers”), screenwriter Adam Chanzit (“3 Nights in the Desert”), and more. The film’s cast is equally impressive and includes Demian Bichir (“Weeds,” “The Hateful Eight”), Chris Sullivan (“This Is Us”), and T.J. Miller (“Silicon Valley,” “Deadpool”).
Showtimes: Saturday, November 4 at 6:15 p.m., Saturday, November 4 at 6:45 p.m., Monday, November 6 at 1:45 p.m., Friday, November 10 at 1:00 p.m. All showings at the Sie FilmCenter. For ticket information, click here.