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Starz Denver International Film Festival goes live

28th Starz Denver International Film Festival.
November 10 - 20.
SDIFF presents approximately 175 films over 10 days and plays host to more than 100 film artists. New international feature releases, independently produced fiction films and documentaries, animation, experimental works, children's programs and short subjects are included in the festival. In addition, a number of acclaimed international film artists are honored with tributes and special "Evenings with..." Following awards will be given:

Mayor's Lifetime Achievement Award
Presented to a film artist for extraordinary contributions to world cinema
(Presented to Francis Ford Coppola in 2003)
(Presented to Morgan Freeman in 2004)
(To be presented to Ang Lee on Nov. 19th)

John Cassavetes Award
Presented to an American director/actor for unique vision and maverick sensibility in independent filmmaking
(Presented to William H. Macy in 2003)
(Presented to Kevin Bacon in 2004)
(To be presented to Phillip Baker Hall on Nov. 18th)

Krzysztof Kieslowski Award for Best Feature Film
A juried prize honoring the best feature film
(Presented to Dagur Kari for NOI ALBINOI in 2003)
(Presented to Laila Pakalnina for PYTHON (Latvia) and Zrinko Ogresta for HERE (Croatia) in 2004)
(TBA on Nov 19th)

The Stan Brakhage Vision Award
Presented to a film artist whose experimental work pushes the boundries of cinema.
(Presented to Amos Vogel, founder of Cinema 16 and founding director of the New York Film Festival, in 2003.)
(Presented to Ken Jacobs, one of the most visionary and influential artists of film in America, in 2004)
(To be presented to Robert Breer, considered the godfather of animation art, on Nov. 13th )

The festival opened with The World's Fastest Indian. Red Carpet was attended by the film director Roger Donaldson, director of THE WORLD'S FASTEST INDIAN with producer John Kelly; local indian riders and the Denver Chapter of the Indian Riders Group show up with their gang of 25 bikers and 16 classic Indian motorcycles. Among celebrities attending Claude Lelouch...

To be the fastest man on earth, that's what New Zealander Burt Munro dreamed of his entire life. And all the tinkering away on his ancient motorcycle (the Indian Scout of the title) at his small-town, little bunker of a house was aimed toward that goal. Director Roger Donaldson's 1971 documentary, Offerings to the God of Speed, followed the story of the 72-year-old motorcycle enthusiast's trip to America. "Enthusiast" is probably an understatement, by the way. The outgoing wayfarer finally made it to the Salt Flats of Utah, got on that bike and set the land-speed record of 201 miles an hour. To repeat: at the age of 72. In The World's Fastest Indian, Donaldson is finally able to fulfill one of his dreams-to make a feature out of the documentary and Munro's story. And he couldn't do better than to cast Sir Anthony Hopkins as the lively septuagenarian with the infectious laugh and infectious spirit. This are the same spirit and the same laugh that lead all sorts of folk along the way to help Munro attain his goal: a San Fernando Valley car dealer (Paul Rodriquez), a high-spirited desert widow (Diane Ladd) and a driver (Chris Lawford) who helps Munro, who's not even pre-registered for it, get into the speed competition on the Salt Flats (stunningly captured by cinematographer David Gribble). Donaldson's first feature, Sleeping Dogs (1977) was the first New Zealand film to be released in the United States; his following features include Bounty (with Hopkins as Captain Bligh; 1984), No Way Out (1987), Cadillac Man (1990), Thirteen Days (2000) and The Recruit (2003).

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