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Denver Film Festival full program

The 27th Starz Denver International Film Festival (SDIFF27), produced by the Denver Film Society, rolls-out October 14 - 24, 2004. This year’s festival features a focus on German cinema along with a host of new and returning awards and showcases approximately 200 films, including eighteen premieres, including six World, five North American, and seven U.S. premieres. SDIFF27 will host over a hundred actors, directors, and producers as guests and promises to answer the festival’s theme question, Suchen Nach Filmen? (Looking for Film?)

"We are very excited about the eclectic lineup of the 2004 Denver festival--a lineup that is anchored by a major salute to German cinema, enhanced by an amazing geographic diversity and illuminated by an extraordinary roster of guest film artists. We are very pleased to honor Morgan Freeman, Kevin Bacon, Laura Linney, Bob Rafelson, Margarethe von Trotta and Jerzy Stuhr, and to play host to scores of other filmmakers and industry representatives at our annual 11-day October cinematic celebration,” said Festival Artistic Director, Ron Henderson.

The film/program line-up.

RAY, U.S. Premiere

Thursday, October 14, 2004 at 7:00 PM

RAY is the never-before-told dramatic biographical drama about the American music legend, Ray Charles from Universal. Director and producer Taylor Hackford and actress Regina King will be in attendance to introduce the U.S. premiere of RAY at SDIFF27. The film also stars Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington.



Thursday, October 14, 2004 at 11:30 PM

SDIFF27 is pleased to announce the first-ever Opening Night After-Hours Special Screening. “We are delighted, for the first time ever, to offer a second title to co-open our festival,” said Festival Director Ron Henderson. “And we salute our own home-grown heroes, Mr. Parker and Mr. Stone for putting the “F” back in Festival.”

Paramount Pictures and the creative minds behind SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT have assembled an entirely wooden cast as a daring team of puppets who thwart the world’s evil forces, including every ilk of enemy from terrorists to washed-up celebrities. Trey Parker directed the film which features the voices of Parker and Matt Stone and was written by Parker, Stone, and Pam Brady.



Saturday, October 16, 2004 at 8:00 PM

Actor Kevin Bacon will receive the prestigious John Cassavetes Award during a clips program, highlighting Bacon’s distinguished film career. Following the clips program, noted film critic Elvis Mitchell will interview the actor from the stage. The Denver Film Society created the John Cassavetes Award in 1989 to celebrate a film artist who exhibits unique vision and maverick sensibility in American independent filmmaking. Last year’s Cassavetes Award recipient was actor William H. Macy.

While in town, Bacon will also attend two other screenings held in his honor. On Friday, October 15th at 9:00 PM, he will appear in person for a special 20th anniversary screening of FOOTLOOSE and on Saturday, October 16th at 3:00 PM, Bacon and his actress-wife, Kyra Sedgwick, will also appear in person for the screening of their new work, THE WOODSMAN.



Sunday, October 24th, 2004 at 8:00 PM

Actor Morgan Freeman will receive this year’s Mayor’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Freeman will be honored with an extensive clips program, including fifteen minutes of world-premiere footage from his latest film, AN UNFINISHED LIFE, a Miramax release. He will be interviewed onstage by Robert Denerstein, film critic, Rocky Mountain News. Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper will present Freeman’s award as a part of the closing night program. Last year’s recipient was director Francis Ford Coppola.

Additionally, SDIFF27 is pleased to offer the world premiere screening of two segments of the documentary concert series, BLUES DIVAS, narrated by Morgan Freeman on Saturday, October 23 at 3:30 PM and 9:00 PM. Freeman will appear in person with director Robert Mugge to answer questions after the screenings.


The festival will present several special evenings with salutes and tributes to actors and directors, including:


Thursday, October 21, 2004

SDIFF27 is pleased to celebrate actress Laura Linney with screenings of her two new films, KINSEY and p.s. Linney will appear in person at both screenings and will be interviewed from stage by Lisa Kennedy, film critic for The Denver Post, following KINSEY.


Polish actor Jerzy Stuhr will appear in-person, during the second weekend of the festival, with two of his films, TOMORROW’S WEATHER and LOVE STORIES. In TOMORROW’S WEATHER, Stuhr directs himself as Jozef, a gym teacher who hides from an unfaithful wife and Communism at a monastery, and is expelled 17 years later to a much changed world. In LOVE STORIES, Stuhr directs himself in the lead role in all four of the film’s interwoven stories.


SDIFF27 will fete filmmaker Bob Rafelson with a three-film salute, featuring screenings of FIVE EASY PIECES, MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON and KING OF MARVIN GARDENS over the second weekend of the festival.


SDIFF27 will also enjoy a visit from several other well-known performers: actor Peter Reigert (LOCAL HEROES, ANIMAL HOUSE) will be in Denver with his directorial debut, KING OF THE CORNER; actor Bill Pullman will answer questions about his role as RICK, a beleaguered marketing executive with a grudge against his boss.


SDIFF27 marks four cinematic milestones in this year's festival:

Ø On the 100th anniversary of his birth, SDIFF27 salutes Cary Grant by screening a new documentary about his life, CARY GRANT: A CLASS APART, as well as three of his finest films: HOLIDAY, ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS and THE PHILADELPHIA STORY.

Ø SDIFF27 marks the passing, earlier this year, of one of the greatest actors of the 20th century, Marlon Brando, by presenting three of his films: LAST TANGO IN PARIS, THE WILD ONE, and A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE.

Ø As part of its salute to German cinema and on the eve of his 60th birthday, SDIFF27 salutes one of the great film artists from the German new wave, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, with screenings of newly struck 35mm prints of ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL, AN AMERICAN SOLDIER and EFFI BRIEST.

Ø Twenty-five years after Samuel Fuller's World War II masterpiece, THE BIG RED ONE, based on his experiences as an infantryman in Europe and North Africa, was ruthlessly cut by its distributor, SDIFF27 presents a reconstructed version of the film that comes as close as is possible to the director's original vision.

Ø SDIFF27 is pleased to present a special 20th anniversary screening of FOOTLOOSE. Kevin Bacon and cinematographer Ric Waite will attend the screening.


SDIFF27 is pleased to present a major focus on New German Cinema showcasing more than a dozen new fiction, documentaries and short German films. Numerous guest directors and actors will be in attendance during the festival to present their films to the Denver audiences, and will include a tribute to renowned filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta and screenings of her new films ROSENSTRASSE and THE OTHER WOMAN (direction), and AN AMERICAN SOLDIER (acting).

Additional German titles include:

JESTER TILL by Eberhard Junkersdorf

WHEN THE RIGHT ONE COMES ALONG by Stefan Hillebrand and Oliver Paulus

LEARNING TO LIE by Hendrik Handloegten

OLGA’S SUMMER by Nina Grosse

MIRACLE OF BERN by Soenke Wortmann


FIRST KISS by Kai Wessel

THE NOMI SONG by Andrew Horn

NIGHTSONGS by Romuald Karmakar



HEAD-ON by Faith Akin

Also included in the German Focus is the Rainer Werner Fassbinder sidebar.


SDIFF27 will present the following premieres:

World Premieres

BETWEEN THE LINES, directed by Dirk Simon (Germany/U.S.)

BLUES DIVAS I: Deborah Coleman, directed by Robert Mugge (U.S.)

BLUES DIVAS II: Mavis Staples & Irma Thomas, directed by Robert Mugge (U.S.)

EARTHLINGS: Ugly Bags of Mostly Water, directed by Alexandre Phillipe (U.S.)

FIDEL CASTRO, directed by Adriana Bosch (U.S.)

GOLUB: Late Works Are the Catastrophes, directed by Jerry Blumenthal (U.S.)

North American Premieres

BOLERO, directed by F.A. Brabec (Czech Republic)

FIRST KISS, directed by Kai Wessel (Germany)

THE HUNGARIAN SERVANT, directed by Giorgio Molteni (Italy)

POST COITUM, directed by Jural Jakubisko (Czech Republic)

REBEL FRONTIER, directed by Desmond Bell (Ireland)

U.S. Premieres

BROTHERS, directed by Esa Illi (Finland)

HENRI CARTIER BRESSON: The Impassioned Eye, directed by Heinz Butler (Switzerland)

NEMA PROBLEMA, directed by Giancario Bocchi (Italy)

OLGA’S SUMMER, directed by Nina Grosse (Germany)

RAY, directed by Taylor Hackford (USA)

SUBURBS, directed by Vinko Moderndorfer (Slovenia)

WARSAW, directed by Darius Gajewski (Poland)

The full list of SDIFF27 films can be found at

Panel Discussions/Seminars/Coffee Talks
SDIFF27 will present a panel titled From Shock and Awe to Shocking and Awful: Fear and Loathing in a Post-9/11 World. The creators of three festival films will discuss themes raised in their productions regarding events of the past four years and mainstream media coverage of those events. Joan Sekler, director of UNPRECEDENTED: THE 2000 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION; Danny Schechter, director of WMD – WEAPONS OF MASS DECEPTION; and Brian Drolet, coordinator of the Deep Dish TV project SHOCKING AND AWFUL: GRASSROOTS RESPONSES TO WAR AND OCCUPATION, will discuss the election, the events leading up to the invasion of Iraq and coverage of the war and occupation.

The seminar David Lynch and the Creative Process will lead film buffs, creative thinkers, screenwriters and filmmakers on a journey through the cinematic experience that David Lynch has fostered in his works using a non-linear, gut level approach to creativity.

Over a continental breakfast, film buffs can enjoy two discussions featuring special guests. Making Documentary Films will feature Peter Gilbert (HOOP DREAMS, WITH ALL DELIBERATE SPEED), Jerry Blumenthal (GOLUB, LATE WORKS ARE THE CATASTROPHES) and Gordon Quinn (STEVIE, GOLUB, HOOP DREAMS) – all partners in the Chicago-based Kartemquin Films – for casual conversation about the process of documentary filmmaking. The second Coffee Talk topic is German Cinema, and includes directors Nina Grosse (OLGA’S SUMMER) and Dirk Simon (BETWEEN THE LINES) along with actress Isolde Fischer (WHEN THE RIGHT ONE COMES ALONG) discussing the New German Cinema Movement.


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