#SDFF37 with Matthew Campbell

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When he’s not programming films, Matt likes to untangle extension cords.

Denver!  It is day 9 of the Starz Denver Film Festival and I may or may not be on the verge of adult-onset mono.  I had the pleasure of watching Foxcatcher last night and have been haunted by Steve Carell’s prosthetic nose and white sneakers ever since.  Eerie.

To shake myself from these nagging thoughts, I present to you the fourth and final installment of #SDFF37 insider tips!  Although the end of the fest is now in sight, there is still an entire weekend packed with films and parties (and special deals to make it more affordable).  To help guide you through this final frontier is festival programmer, Matthew Campbell.  Aside from being a super nice guy (and a great addition to any dance party), Matt knows what’s up when it comes to movie goodness.  So read on to learn what you can still catch at this year’s fest and where you can grind it out with some foxy filmmakers.

What’s your sign? Virgo

Do you believe in that stuff? Not especially, but I’m sure there is some truth to it.

How are you feeling right now: A lil cold with all this snow, but other than that pretty good.

Favorite memory from last year’s fest: It’s all a blur at this point.  But there was one night at the Late Night Lounge that turned into a topless dance party for the male staff members.  That was fun.  And weird.

Give me five words that explain this year’s festival: Sexy, Super, Smart, Special, Stylish.

There are a lot of well-known film festivals around the globe, what makes Denver’s so special? We are in the great position of being at the end of the festival circuit.  So we can be selective in cherry picking the best films we’ve seen throughout the year to share with our audience.  Plus, there are few other festivals that offer the special events/party aspects to the public.  We are definitely one of the most fun fests (and that is not just me tooting our own horn, filmmakers who constantly travel the circuit always make that statement as well).

If someone has never attended the film fest before, what are they missing out on? Imagine if you only listened to Top 40 radio.  Nothing against Taylor Swift, but you would think all music is pretty lame.  Same goes for films – if you’re only going to Hollywood fare, you’d think movies suck.  But you are not getting the whole picture.  Films for people who want more than Michael Bay explosions are shown at film festivals.  And there are many fantastic ones to choose from each year.

There are so many films programmed for the festival; I’ll admit it can be a little overwhelming.  What advice would you give to newbies trying to select films to attend? On our website we break out the films into programs.  It’s a good way to search for things you’re interested in.  Or just sit down with our printed film guide and see what pops out at you.

Top 5 (or how many you want) movie recommendations at this year’s fest: The Tribe; The Overnighters; The Midnight Swim; My Blind Heart; In Order of Disappearance; White Shadow; and Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

Best movie for a first Tinder date: Well if it were my Tinder date, I would take them to My Blind Heart or Stations of the Cross as a test to see if they could hack it with my fucked up sensibilities and taste.  But for the regular folk I would suggest our Closing Night film, Like Sunday, Like Rain.  Really lovely film and you get the whole elevated festival experience with the red carpet presentation and being at the Buell Theatre.  [Editor’s note: Sweeten the deal even more with this Closing Night dinner and movie deal.  Packages start at just $59, and include free parking, $50 to use at any Larimer Square restaurant, and a ticket to the Closing Night film, Like Sunday, Like Rain.]

Best film to watch after visiting a dispensary: Indica vibe: Norway (that is if you are of the adventurous type with experimental films).  Sativa vibe: I am a Knife with Legs or Music Video Mixtape.

Best movie to attend with your mom: Keep On Keepin’ On.  It’s an afternoon red carpet screening at the Buell Theatre.  A very touching documentary.  Won’t be a dry eye in the house.

Best non-movie event of this year’s festival: The Reel Social Club Arcade Party on Friday, November 21st.  This is part of a fun-filled evening that includes the I am a Knife with Legs screening at the SIE FilmCenter (the less said about this film the better, just go see it, you won’t be disappointed) and then the Arcade Party at the McNichols.  OhHeckYeah will be doing their projection games, we’ll have old school arcade games, a dance party, and open bar of course.

Recommend a pre-movie restaurant/bar to hit up during the fest: Henderson’s Lounge if you’re going to the SIE.  Corner Office if you’re going to the Buell.  And Coyote Ugly if you’re going to the Pavilions. (Wait, scratch that last one!)

Describe the level of eye candy at the Starz Denver Film Festival: Well, I’ll be around the whole time so there’s that.

Festival-going tips: Don’t talk during the movie and keep your phone in your pocket.

What are you looking forward to doing after the festival is over: Immediately working on our Women+Film Festival and Stanley Film Festival.  My life is continuous festival planning.

Any additional thoughts/plugs: #SDFF37 and #STEPINTOTHE STORY