Grab the popcorn and prep the online reviews. It’s film festival season and Colorado is packed with cinematic greatness.
Colorado is surprisingly no stranger to the silver screen. Classics like The Shining, and also more recent favorites. Favorites such as Independence Day, Blades of Glory (Pepsi Center), Furious 7 (Pikes Peak), The Hateful Eight (Telluride) and SO many more were all filmed in our great state. Even Netflix is filming their newest original, “Our Souls at Night,” featuring Jane Fonda and Robert Redford, right outside of Colorado Springs. Starting mid-September through March (also trickling into June) Colorado will be hosting a variety of film festivals for every kind of movie buff. But since they’re are so many we’ll split it up, and stick to the fall events!
Breckenridge Film Festival: Sept 15-18
The Breckenridge Film Festival has been celebrating the cinematic arts since it’s opening in 1981. Every year the BFF brings out unique and varied independent films, premiers, educational programs and honors for featured guests. This year BFF is kicking off with Ron Howard’s Beatles doc. “Eight Days a Week” and wrapping with aptly named “It’s a Wrap” screening and audience awards on the 18th. In the mix of the four days attendees can explore the BFF’s ongoing Women in Film selections, several state premieres, intense adventure films and even the more adult “Popcorn & Prosecco.”
Reel Rock Festival: September 15-18
Denver & Boulder
For ten years Reel Rock Fest has brought the best of climbing and adventure flicks to the masses. Reel Rock is the annual event for climbing communities all around the world. This four-day event is high energy, community driven, and all about the adventure. RR goes far beyond any ordinary film festival. Not only will they be hosting screenings of the best adventure films of the year, they will also be athlete and filmmaker appearances, giveaways, fitness clinics, and a lively atmosphere.
Aspen Film Festival: Sept. 21-25
For 38 years the Aspen Film Festival has sought to enlighten, enrich, educate and entertain through film. Aspen Film features narrative and documentary films while offering an extensive educational program complete with special presentations for approximately 30,000 people each year. Dedicated to original content and one-of-a-kind enrichment, all of the 200+ films are regional debuts. Events and screenings are held in Aspen and Carbondale, varying premieres and showings. If you’re into a weekend of learning, enrichment, and being the first to see some future Oscar nominations (and possible wins) the Aspen Film Fest is for you.
Adventure Film Festival: Sept. 30- Oct. 1
“Raw, gritty, committed, like any good adventurer…” this is the slogan for Boulder’s own homegrown film festival. This film-festival-meets-adventurer-forum showcases some of the most inspiring independent films of the year. Mixing modern exploration and environmental awareness and action from every corner of the Earth. This two-day film festival plans to bring inspirational films, Adventure Filmmaker’s Workshop, a street fair with life music, and tons more. This film festival is a great excuse to visit Boulder and immerse yourself into adventure.
Telluride Horror Show: Oct. 14-16
As Colorado’s first and longest-running horror film festival is back for its 7th installment. Each year since it started the THS has brought the latest and greatest in horror from all over the world. THS brings out horror fans from all over the country to world-famous mountain town Telluride. For three days and three nights you can see everything under the “scary movie” umbrella – horror, suspense, thrillers, fantasy, sci-fi and dark comedies will all be present. Step inside the spooky universe at the Sheridan Opera House and Nugget Theatres, with many of the films premiering for the first time in the US. There will be around 25 feature films and 50 shorts, special programs and guest appearances, and tons of fun events. If you’re a horror movie fan this is the film festival for you.
Denver Film Festival: Nov. 2-13
The biggest film festival in the region, the Denver film festival brings out the best and brightest in cinema. With over 200 guest filmmakers and a diverse selection of films, guests can expect everything from independent to commercial films from all over the world. While they haven’t released their 2016 schedule, you can rest assured the 12-day film festival will be filled with diverse and fantastic films. The full festival lineup will be announced October 10th, with tickets available to the public starting October 14.
Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival: Nov. 11-13
The longest running women’s film festival in North America is back for its 29th year. Meet at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and Colorado College to view screenings and celebrate ladyness! There will also be free community screenings (with registration) at Benet Hill Monastery. This festival showcases documentaries, narrative shorts, and animated films that are not only thought provoking, but also enriching. The goal of the Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival is to encourage awareness and personal growth.
Each film festival will bring their weekends the best in film, forums and education. Definitely a non-miss for film aficionados, so make sure to mark your calendars!