The Denver Film Festival (DFF) is a highly acclaimed film festival held in Denver, Colorado. Now in its 33rd year, the DFF is organized by the Denver Film Society which aims to promote filmmaking as an art and civic form in the region. The Denver Film Society is a nonprofit organization that also supports the Starz Film Center, a cinematheque which shows the best documentaries and film art movies.
Since its establishment in 1978, the Denver Film Festival has grown into the largest and most successful film festival in Colorado. The DFF attracts around 200 new films from various parts of the globe. In 2009, an estimated 175 filmmakers, artists and producers from both the US and foreign countries participated in the DFF. Most of the entries shown in the Denver Film Festival have never been publicly exhibited in the Rocky Mountain region. The DFF also provides a platform for foreign film artists to exhibit their films while promoting dialogue among cineastes and the movie going public.
The Denver Film Festival gives out both jury and audience awards. The John Cassavetes Award is given to a US-born director or artist for excellence in independent filmmaking, while the Krzysztof Kieslowski Award For Best Feature Film is given to the best film of the festival as chosen by a jury. The DFF also gives out a Lifetime Achievement Award to a filmmaker, producer or actor who has contributed significantly to world cinema, while the Stan Brakhage Vision Award is given to an up and coming American filmmaker and comes with a cash prize of $2500.
The Maysles’ Brothers Award for Best Documentary is given to the best documentary film in the festival and also comes with a cash prize of $2500, while the Maria and Tommaso Maglione Italian Filmmaker Award is given to an up and coming Italian director with a cash prize of $10,000. The Spike Lee Student Filmmaker Award is given to the best short film by a student as chosen by a jury, while the Starz People’s Choice Award is given to the favorite fiction film, documentary and short as chosen by the movie-going audience.
The Denver Film Festival accepts entries in DVD and NTSC/PAL formats. Screening formats may range from mini DV NTSC, DigiBeta NTSC, Beta SP NTSC, 35 mm, and 16 mm. Interested filmmakers may send in their entries through the Withoutabox facility of the DFF’s official website.
Entries submitted during the regular deadline have a fee of $45 for filmmakers and $25 for student filmmakers. During the late deadline, entries of filmmakers are increased to $60 while student filmmakers still pay $25. For the extended deadline, fees increase to $85 for filmmakers and $45 for students.
There are different categories in the Denver Film Festival, including the contemporary world cinema where entries should be more than 60 minutes. Entries under the documentary category should also be more than 60 minutes, while entries of student filmmakers should run for 30 minutes or less.
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