DENVER (CBS4) – The 42nd Annual Denver Film Festival kicks off on Wednesday, October 30th with a tribute to longtime Denver Film Society Executive Director Brit Withey. Withey died unexpectedly in March in a single-car accident. He was a driving force behind the Denver Film Festival and the Society for more than 2-decades.
Festival organizers have planned a screenings of three of his favorite films at the Sie FilmCenter. Those movies are Frownland, Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, and a documentary called American Movie.
“We’re going to celebrate his legacy, and we’re going to give to the community what he’s been giving to the community for many, many years which is his vision, which is a reflection of his very large soul,” said Britta Erickson, Director of the Denver Film Festival.
The festival will hold its traditional Opening Night celebration on Thursday, October 31st. There will be a Red Carpet screening of Rian Johnson’s latest film, Knives Out. Johnson will be in Denver and will receive the Festival’s John Cassavetes Award following the screening.
“He’s the only film maker to open our festival twice, and he’s pretty young in his career, but he’s really the new Hollywood era,” Erickson told CBS4.
Over the course of 12-days, 250 films will play including local, national, and international titles. There will be industry panels, achievement awards, and an International Focus on Brazilian Cinema. The screenings will take place at the Sie FilmCenter and the UA Denver Pavilions. The Red Carpet presentations will be at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.
“Waves, which is our Centerpiece Film on November 7th, is a fantastic, fantastic, powerful film,” Erickson explained.
The McNichols Building at Civic Center Park will serve as the Festival’s annex and host panel discussions, virtual reality, interactive and immersive experiences.
“We’re into story telling in all its form, as long as it’s good story telling, and so it’s been a natural progression for us to kind of step into this new arena, this new way of telling stories,” Erickson said of virtual reality experiences.
Individual tickets are on sale, but the Festival offers ticket packages with discounted ticket pricing.