Pro Tip: Come Sit and Be Swept Away
Those of you who know me, know that I would marry the Denver Film Festival if I could. It’s funny, romantic, worldly, exciting, knowledgeable, attractive, and actually encourages you to have a good cry when you need it. Additionally, it’s welcoming, quite stylish, inspires great conversation, and has really cool friends. It is also the same age as me.
It is my impression that a lot of folks in Denver still aren’t quite sure how to participate when the film fest rolls into town. They’re not sure how they can attend, if they can attend, when they can attend, and how much it costs. Since the Denver Film Festival is one of my MOST favorite events in town, I created the below guide for festival newbies who want to take advantage of this world-class festival, perhaps for the first time. [Pssst, and peep this quick promo vid that I created for last year’s fest while you are at it!]
- The 2015 Denver Film Festival runs for 12 days, beginning Wednesday, November 4th through Sunday, November 15th, 2015.
- This year, the festival unveiled a new website, which makes navigating the fest even easier.
- Over 250 films, from all over the world, will be presented at the festival.
- The majority of the films are presented at either the Sie FilmCenter (full bar at this location) or the UA Denver Pavilions, with red carpet events held at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House (full bar at this location).
- All regular screenings are $12 for Denver Film Society (DFS) members, $13 for students/senior/military, and $15 for non-members.
- DFS membership starts as low as $25 for students (!)
- There are five red carpet films this year, which have already generated quite the buzz. These films include Anomalisa, Carol, Coming Through the Rye, and Where to Invade Next.
- There are 11 special presentations this year, including The Boat Builder, Brooklyn, Hitchcock/Truffaut, I Saw the Light, The Lady In The Van, Mediterranea, Mia Madre, My All American, Son of Saul, Suffragette, and Youth. All special presentations are $14 for members and $17 for non-members.
- If a particular film is sold out, there may be a limited number of rush tickets available before the screening for $15, cash only. Lines begin at the venue box office one hour prior to the screening.
- Other events this year include the inaugural Denver Film Festival Awards Brunch at the Curtis Hotel, Double Feature – “Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made” & “Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation”, Reel Social Club Presents “Creative Control” Film and Party, and a FREE family screening of Back to the Future.
- There are also a plethora of film-centric panels to attend, including a One-On-One Conversation with Zoë Bell.
- Audience members have the opportunity to score films nominated for the People’s Choice Award (this is always kinda fun and makes you feel like a real critic).
- The Denver Film Festival is also known for its eye candy!
How to Attend:
- Red Carpet Package – This package is appropriate for those who want to be guaranteed three solid movies and who want to partake in a bit of the glamor and glitz. This year’s red carpet selections include Anomalisa, Coming Through the Rye, and Where to Invade Next. Red Carpet Packages run $60 – $75.
- Opening Night Dinner + Movie – This package is aimed at those individuals who want to go big on opening night. This option includes dinner at any Larimer Square restaurant, free parking, and the opening night screening of Anomalisa at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. This is also your excuse to wear that fancy dress that has been collecting dust in the back of your closet. This package runs $75 – $85.
- Reel Social Club (RSC) Film + Party – Calling all 20ish – 30ish years olds: If you haven’t been to the fest yet (or even if you have), you should plan on purchasing this package. This option includes a screening of the high-tech cautionary tale, Creative Control, followed by a futuristic after-party at Galvanize, which includes drinks, snacks, dancing, and a virtual-reality experience. The Reel Social Club (RSC) Film + Party runs $25 – $35 and will have your Tinder app working in overdrive!
- Closing Night Dinner + Movie – This package is for folks who want to end the festival with a bang. This option includes dinner at any Larimer Square restaurant, free parking, and the closing night screening of Coming Through the Rye at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. This package runs $75 – $85.
- Individual Tickets – Not sure how much you want to partake in the fest? There is always the option to buy individual tickets for any films that might look intriguing. Not sure what to watch? Stay tuned for future blog posts from Denver Film Festival insiders and refer to the tips below. Individual ticket prices run $12 – $15.
- I’ll be the first to admit, the festival guide can be a bit overwhelming. But here are some simple guidelines for choosing a film (or twenty):
- If you really aren’t sure where to begin, look into one of the red carpet screenings or the special presentations. These are usually chosen with a wider audience in mind. You can also refer to the films marked as “Programmer’s Pick” in the festival guide to help steer you to a strong selection.
- If you are feeling somewhat adventurous, pick a few movies that sounds good and check their ratings on either IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes to read how they fared with other audience members and critics.
- If you are feeling more adventurous, simply pick a movie that sounds interesting without doing any other research.
- If you are feeling very adventurous, pick a film that you wouldn’t normally watch and prepare to be pleasantly surprised.
- If you have the chance, attend a film that has the filmmaker in person. (These are denoted in the festival guide.) Being able to ask questions and hear behind-the-scene stories will nearly always increase your enjoyment of a film.
- There are a number of special interest tracks, including CinemaQ, CineLatino, First Look Student Program, Spotlight on Colorado, and Women + Film. These tracks can help further guide you to something of interest.
- This year’s country in focus is Poland (shout-out to the motherland!) Explore the offerings in this track to learn more about this quietly artistic culture.
- If someone invites you to the Late Night Lounge, accept the invitation – no matter what! The LNL is for sure a Denver bucket list experience.
Want more information? Like the Denver Film Festival on Facebook to stay up-to-date on all festival happenings #DFF38