rsz_winterThe Denver holiday season is upon us, a time when the darkest days lean toward the light, and heaven knows we need it. The past month tempts me to turn off the news, flop on the couch and Kurl up with the Kardashians but I’m craving a more fulfilling escape. Something sweet. Something magical. Something with the power to remind me of more innocent times and feel better about the state of mankind. I need a miracle.

Philip Pleasants as Ebenezer Scrooge. DCPA. Photo Credit: Jennifer M. Koskinen

Philip Pleasants as Ebenezer Scrooge. DCPA. Photo Credit: Jennifer M. Koskinen

I’ll start with a stroll through the lights, lots of ’em. Denver Zoo has doubled the size of the Zoo Lights and if the weather allows me to feel my fingers, perhaps my heart will melt a bit, warmed by the artistry and cocoa.

Charles Dickens favorite ghost story, A Christmas Carol, haunts the Denver Center once more. This year’s wassail will be just a bit sweeter as Philip Pleasants takes his bow as Ebenezer Scrooge. Delighting Denver audiences for the past eleven years, Pleasants feels it’s time to put the Ghost of Christmas Past behind him. Now, I’ve seen this show. I’ve read the book, I’ve seen the movies—from Albert Finney to Michael Cain—and I’ve never been more delighted than watching the talented Mr. Pleasants explore the complexities of the human soul. Truly despicable, authentically redeemed, I’m not sure there’s a more apt Christmas story for the 2015 holiday season.

One winter’s tale is sure to sweep me away as Garrett Ammon’s magpie lands on the windowsill once more. Wonderbound’s Winter is a stunning gothic fairytale of love’s loss, the fire of passion and the souls lonely search to find it once more. Performed in their home space, Junction Box, the experience becomes intimate, vibrational as the dancers engage and envelope the audience, just as the fairy cursed into the guise of the magpie wraps true love inside her wings. The original composition, written by Denver Singer/Songwriter Jesse Manley is elegant and haunting, winding you into this sensual allegory of the season. Ammon’s collaborative spirit brings Kristopher Collins to the house to surround the space with a collage of mysterious projections creating a world of layered reality. Scents, curated by Michelle Roark, and flavors provided by local eateries are part of the journey, rounding out the sensory experience. Winter is stunning and unlike anything I’ve seen. This gorgeous, masterful fairytale allowed me the privilege of going deep into the dark of winter, and the hope that spring would come again. Running on December 8-10 & 15-17 with two shows a night, audiences will have the opportunity to choose between an appetizer and dessert show. Tickets here.

If snark and Sedaris is your cup of nog, there’s the Santaland Diaries, a one-man show starring Michael Brouchard as the grumpy Macy’s elf voicing all we hate about the whole affair. An irreverent, hilarious, and somewhat bitter little candy cane, guaranteed to make you smirk.

Another Denver Christmas tradition, Balls! wraps up a six year run as some of Denver’s finest and funniest performers gather their sock puppets for an evening of story, song and Christmas spirit. This year’s beneficiary is The Gathering Place as Balls! rolls into Lannie’s Clocktower Caberet for two nights, Dec. 7th & 14th, doors open at 6:00 to enjoy the food and full bar, show starts at 7:00. Tickets here.

There’s so much more to do in our little postcard, the holidays look good on Denver. But this is my list of the naughty and nice, sure to pull me off the couch.
“God bless us everyone!”

Dana davis 023 Recently I had the chance to sit down with Dana Davis for a talk about the carousel of life and the upcoming Carousel Ball. The youngest daughter of Barbara and Marvin Davis, the family was living in Denver during the 70’s, when Dana was diagnosed with Type I diabetes. This prompted her powerhouse mother, Barbara Davis, to create the Children’s Diabetes Foundation. In the nearly forty years since its inception, The Children’s Diabetes Foundation has raised over 100,000,000 and has provided support for an amazing amount of research into the cause and treatment of diabetes and provided opportunity for excellent care to the children and adults living with Type I.

For decades Barbara Davis and her signature black-tie event, The Carousel Ball, raised the bar on fundraising events, leveraging her vast network of celebrities, politicians and Denver’s crème of the philanthropic set. So when former kindergarten teacher/shoe designer, Dana Davis stepped in to chair this year’s event, she had some big shoes to fill. Barbara Davis

The daughter of a man who owned 20th Century Fox, the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Pebble Beach Corp. and Aspen Skiing Co., Ms. Davis is no stranger to the world’s movers and shakers or the Hollywood celebrity. No stranger to Type I diabetes, she has lived with the disease for forty years and has served on the Children’s Diabetes Foundation’s board of directors for more than a decade; Dana Davis is not stepping into unknown territory. Still, I asked if she was nervous about chairing the legendary event.

“I am excited. It was a logical progression for me to be where I am now, but I didn’t want to come marching in and make anyone, including my mother, feel uncomfortable. My mother created a wonderful event with a history of great success, but fundraising has changed so much. My vision is to build on that success and bring it forward, not just into the present but into the future. We have so many ways of communicating now, with social media and through the Internet; it’s possible to keep getting the word out throughout the year, beyond an annual party. The center and the foundation are her babies, and I would never want to step on her toes.

“When The Children’s Diabetes Foundation started the goal was to raise awareness about the disease, dollars to fund research for a cure and to make life easier for diabetics. Working together with the Barbara Davis Center has enabled so many groundbreaking achievements in the fight against diabetes and ensured that no one who needs treatment is turned away. The Children’s Diabetes Foundation, as I see it, has an opportunity not only to educate about Type I diabetes, but to share the hope these advancements bring and tell the stories of diabetics who are living amazing lives. When I became involved, really involved (for the past six months she’s been serving as CDF’s Interim Executive Director), I had no idea how many inspiring people I would meet, strong, vital people who have changed the face of diabetes.”

Dana shared with me about the event itself. “There will be some of the familiar elements of the Carousel Ball as we know it, with a graceful evolution. We will be much more interactive with more focus on the people who benefit from the great work the Foundation does, the lives we impact. We’ll share the gains and the hope on the horizon. And of course, we’ve got Usher performing and Grammy-winning record producer, David Foster, will be the music director and emcee.”
This year’s 29th Annual Carousel Ball honors Broncos own NFL Hall of Fame quarterback, John Elway and his wife Paige. The event is sold out, so a lucky 1,000 guests will be gala-ing it up at the Hyatt Regency Convention Center on October 2nd. If you’d like to take a chance at some last minute tickets, contact Amanda Garrett, 303-863-1200 or amanda@Children’sDiabetesFoundation.org

Photos courtesy of Silver Spur Marketing.

http://youtu.be/S5CjKEFb-sM

Opening with the usual hoopla, the 37th STARZ Denver Film Festival is well underway. Red carpet screenings at The Buell and their requisite parties ushered in some of the big films, while the 200+ films being screened over the twelve day fete continue to intrigue, provoke, terrify and delight moviegoers.
Opening night brought a very pretty but far too predictable “5 to 7”, directed by Victor Levin and starring the lovely Berenice Marlohe and Anton Yelchin in a rendezvous I never quite believed. Yelchin plays an aspiring, unpublished writer, living in a nice Manhattan flat I kept wondering how he paid for. Nice comic turns by Glen Close and Frank Langella as Yelchin’s parents. I guess they pay for the flat.

The Big Night fared much better, offering The Imitation Game. Benedict Cumberbatch (TV’s Sherlock) leads a spot on cast in this solid biopic about a British mathematician, Alan Turing, who broke the German’s Enigma code, diminishing Nazi power in World War II. I loved how the story marched forward with strength and vitality while never allowing itself to get too showy. Cumberbatch pulled off a very graceful performance full of nuance but with the seams tucked in. Nice to see a leading man lead the story without feeling the need to steal the show.

My chaos theory and chaotic reality clash as I approach the twelve day cinematic binge-fest. Poring over the film guide, I circle, highlight and mark out my must see list. Then real life happens and I show up when I can and roll into the next available screening. My free-form-festing brings surprise and serendipity, leaving vapor trails that connect themes in mysterious ways.

rsz_i_believe_in_unicorns_publicity_still03 Leah Meyerhoff’s I Believe in Unicorns is a feature film debut, told by an old-soul storyteller. Her painterly eye and 16mm format sweep us into a mythical tale that lifts beyond the coming of age story, stirring up the memory of first love. The characters are young and perfect; hearts true, logic flawed, but they press on in heroic longing, even as the ugly reveals. Haunting, and beautiful, and as painful as love can be, “I Believe in Unicorns” left me musing on the power of our personal magic, wondering why we choose to spend it where we do.

Slipping into an afternoon screening of the documentary, 3 Still Standing was a dream-stand-still of another time. San Francisco in the early 80s was the Mecca of stand-up comedy. Sure, New York and LA had their stars and bars and comedy clubs, launching careers of our comedy pearls, but the oyster was the City by the Bay. In 3 Still Standing, directors Robert Campos and Donna LoCicero follow three comics from back in the day and the realities of what happens when your dreams don’t come true. Or do they? Larry Bubbles Brown, Will Durst and Johnny Steele were some of the rising stars of the SF stand-up scene, but unlike their friends and peers, Dana Carvey, Paula Poundstone and Robin Williams (each of whom appear in the film), their arcs were not stratospheric. There is something lonely and tragic in the film. The characters are not to be pitied; each man takes responsibility for his choices, but the whims of fate can be cruel and when the work dries up the dream often goes with it. The beauty in this yarn lives in the integrity of the three comics who continue to pursue and perfect an art form in a world that holds no place for it. And stand-up is hard. It takes craft and guts, high intelligence and a musician’s ear to find and formulate the funny. Will Durst, Johnny Steele and Larry Bubbles Brown stand for something, reminding us that the dream is not always connected to fame and fulfillment; sometimes the dream is in the doing.

Now it’s off to the shorts and the Brazilians!

Photo courtesy of Leah Meyerhoff

Alec Baldwin & DeOndra Dixon - Global Down Syndrome Foundation 2014 2
There’s something very special about the GLOBAL DOWN SYNDROME FOUNDATION and it was clearly on display at the BE BEAUTIFUL BE YOURSELF fashion show. Perhaps it’s because of effusive and focused energy of its founder, Michelle Sie Whitten, the electric smile of Jamie Fox escorting his two young daughters down the red carpet and sharing delightful stories about sister, DiOndra Dixon or the guests themselves. I asked Alec Baldwin about what made this night’s event different than all others.
“Well Jamie, you know. His sister, DiOndra, has Down Syndrome and so it’s family. We have our passions, things that strike home. My mother’s a breast cancer survivor so that’s a big cause for me, every family has their thing.”
So family is the great connector? I asked.
“Yes, I think that’s what makes it special, that’s what grounds it and makes you want to be a part of it.”
Helen Hunt & Brad Hennefer - Global Down Syndrome Foundation 2014
For Helen Hunt it was,” I wanted to be a part of something that supports the civil rights of all people, especially those with different abilities.” Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award winner, supermodel Beverly Johnson has a niece with Down Syndrome and actor John C McGinley’s daughter was born with the condition and everywhere I turned I heard stories of how so many lives have been enriched by a loved one with Down Syndrome; how much joy they bring to those who know them.

John C McGinley spoke of the work the Global Down Syndrome Foundation is doing and that it extends beyond quality of life, equality and advocacy, there is a focus on science and research. Indeed, Global supports the Linda Crinic Institute for Down Syndrome with fundraising, education and research to help eradicate the medical and cognitive ill-effects associated with Down Syndrome. Life-changing research is being done through the Alzheimer’s Disease-Down Syndrome Research Program, through challenge grants to national and international scientists to study sleep apnea, auto-immune disorders and leukemia. World-class medical care is provided as well through the Sie Center for Down Syndrome at Children’s Hospital Colorado, and so much more.
Kenneth Faried with Brooklyn Gilhooly - Global Down Syndrome Foundation 2014
There was such a spirit of joy, of connectedness and hope at the Be Beautiful, Be Yourself Fashion Show. The outpouring of love was reflected in an outpouring of support as a wonderfully executed live and lively auction brought out cheerful givers, open hearts and open pocketbooks. But the highlight of the evening was definitely the fashion show featuring beautiful young people who happen to have a condition called Down Syndrome. Oscar winners Helen Hunt and Jamie Foxx, Oscar-nominee, Laura Dern, Emmy-winning Alec Baldwin, John C McGinley, Beverly Johnson, Denver Nuggets’ JaVale McGee, Arron Affalo, and Kenneth Faried, Broncos Malik Jackson, Ben Garland, Britton Colquitt and Brandon McManus and pro-golfer David Duval all brought a sense of purpose and delight to the event. Wonderful to watch these celebrity models escort the real stars down the runway, strutting and beaming and blowing kisses with sweet triumph.
Generosity, cheerfulness and giving over to the best in one another were what was on parade that night. And the soundtrack to the evening was pure joy.
Jamie Foxx on Red Carpet with Brad Hennefer, Michelle Whitten
Photos courtesy of Global Down Syndrome Foundation, Kristopher Lewis Photography. Helen Hunt photo, Bogdan Morozovskiy, photographer

Denver Loft living
Denver Loft For Sale

Denver Loft for Sale in Fire Clay

This Denver loft is a corner unit with twice the windows, twice the sunshine! Spacious one bedroom, one bath loft in the Denver Ball Park neighborhood lives larger than the square footage would have you believe. Open and cheery floor plan in the main living area allows for flexible living, dining, kitchen and/or office space, yet unlike many Denver loft homes, it has a wonderful private bedroom with en suite bath. You’ll love the long, exposed brick walls, an original feature of the old Cable Building structure in the Fire Clay Lofts while an abundance of high windows bring light, character and ambient charm to this urban loft living.The L-shaped configuration of the kitchen gives you lots of room and with granite counter tops, a new stove and microwave, you may find yourself quite the host or hostess! Uniquely positioned within the building, there is no shared wall between you and another tenant, and having your own washer and dryer in the unit gives you a bit more of that detached home feeling.The Fire Clay has low HOA dues, the management is responsive, and you’ll have your own parking space in a gated lot. Come home to the Fire Clay, where

Denver loft

Denver Loft

Fire Clay Lofts Cable Building

living and the Ball Park Neighborhood lifestyle began.
Affordable Denver loft living with everything you love about the Ball Park neighborhood; proximity to downtown, Union Station, RiNo, the Millennium Bridge and Riverfront Park, Commons Park, the Platte River, Redline and other art galleries, trendy restaurants, LoDo sports bars ball parks, stadiums, theater, music and public transportation for those days you don’t want to walk or roll. (Whew!) Attractively priced at $250,000 and FHA approved, find out why you should contact me and schedule a showing today?!

boundary waters canoeQuite early this beautiful morning Gabe and I flew into the sunrise toward DIA, racing the clock to catch the plane. My youngest at fifteen has never flown alone until today. After two planes, one long delay, one two hour bus ride and one another, he is now officially off the grid. Tonight my younger son sleeps under the stars on an Outward Bound Heroic Journey with twenty-five other grieving teens in the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area outside of Ely, Minnesota. I don’t even remember a time when he’s been out of ear shot, or text range. When I got the email, “Well, they’re off, and we usually don’t hear from them during the week, so… just relax and we’ll see you on Sunday”, my immediate response was a sense of relief he’d arrived safely. Hours later, there’s been no “what’s for dinner?” bounding up the stairs, no eye roll when I answer and, knowing that it will be that way for a week, it suddenly feels so different than when he’s at a friend’s.

Absence rings through the night air as I sink into the idea that he is officially off the grid. How strange in this modern day to have your child out there in the big wide world without an electronic tether. I wonder if he’s homesick, if he’s scared, and I don’t know if that’s out of my deep concern or a deeper sense of wanting to be missed. I worry and hope he’s warm, dry and has a belly full. I smile because he’ll learn to read a compass, and I’ll learn to navigate my way by the heavens. I take a moment to feel the space between us, the silence, and I know this is something I’ll have to get used to.launch

I’m practicing, feeling the fullness in the emptiness. Last week the cat came home after three days, very sick, and he went off again to spend three days at the vet. The house was not the same without him. This week is Gabriel’s turn for a solo adventure (god I hope it’s better than the cat’s) and the house is not the same without him, either. Spring has been a time of adjustment as we lean into the first year of life without their father, Dane. But change comes bearing unseen gifts, and broken hearts can be open hearts. Softer.
This is the stepping off place, the launch pad where he blasts into the world and I am earthbound on my own wilderness adventure, canoeing through the unfamiliar waters and portaging over time. Somewhere out there in this great big world lays my baby boy, drifting to sleep to the lullaby of mosquitoes buzzing. We’ll both make adjustments this week, and learn more than we can remember. But my, won’t we have good stories?

amazing soulsAdmit it. This thought has crossed your mind, hasn’t it? You’ve probably even made a mental note to ask me, or worse… unsubscribe. So what makes me send you this monthly missive? The reasons are few, but they’re mighty.
1. Yes, I am in the business of helping people buy and sell homes and I’d like for you to think of me should that thought also cross your mind. Pretty crafty, huh?
2. To keep you up to date with the Denver real estate market, how it’s doing and where it’s headed. Like this little ditty from USA Today.
2. I believe that life is richer when experienced in community, and that a community is empowered by engagement.
3. I believe that real estate is all about story. Every home, every buyer, every seller, comes with a tale to tell, a story to reveal.
4. I have a knack for meeting interesting people who do really cool things and I want to share them with you.
And here comes the mighty…
5. Every month when I send out my newsy little newsletter, chock full o’ tips about home values and market trends, writing of the wonders of a swanky little art space, or the best place to take a burlesque dance class on a Sunday morning, you call me. You reach out via comment, Facebook, phone or email to let me know what you thought, ask me a question, or (best of all) set up some face-time. And I like that. A lot.

Building and deepening relationships, creating dialogue, drinking coffee… whatever I can do to help you put a little bump in your daily grind.

Grunge film frameAfter scouring the guide and culling the heard and overheard, here are my STARZ Denver Film Festival favorites…so far. Of course, it’s only day 3 and already my Thesaurus is dog-eared and coffee stained.

For the big movies, there’s nothing more fun than to see the next big thing before it’s been released in a theatre full of film buffs. So I’ve got all of them on my list:
1. Labor Day (see below)
2. Nebraska (Alexander Payne directs Bruce Dern. ‘Nuff said.)
3. August: Osage County (Okay, I’m not a big fan of Julia Roberts but I’m a HUGE fan of Tracy Letts. And who knows, she could surprise me.)
4. At Middleton (Adam Rodgers gets his debut feature film slotted into closing night of the Starz Denver Film Festival. It’s gotta be sumpin’)

Hanna Ranch and American Mustang top my list of beautiful, moving films that reflect my interests and the gorgeous state I call home.
GENE KELLY: THE LEGACY. I was raised on the back lot of M-G-M where the likes of Mr. Kelly would cruise casually into the barber shop or to lunch at the Commissary. This should feel like a home movie.
The Resurrection of a Bastard- Dutch. Thriller. Done.
The Truth About Emmanuel- This one could go either way but my part of Denver Actor Project screens before so I’m there.
The One Who Loves You- Denver actor/director Katharyn Grant’s Indie love story because I hope it’s great and there is a cadre of Denver talent in the cast.

And then there is the element of surprise. I love to pick a day, a time, a venue and then jump in and see the film I know nothing about. It’s like buying a wine you’ve never had and the thrill of reaching beyond what you know is…thrilling. So there will be some of that throughout the week.

What I’ve seen:

Labor Day. Festival opener had me floored from the main title. Based on the novel of the same name by Joyce Maynard, Labor Day hits a place of intimacy and then stays there. One look at the state of single mother, Adele (Kate Winslet), and you can feel her heartbreak in the relatable way that says “that’s about two houses down from me”. When a bleeding stranger presses himself upon her son seeking refuge, she allows it. Or does she? I talked to many of the movie-goers at the opening night party who felt (quite adamantly) that a mother never would have done that. I saw it differently. I saw a woman whose stunned state of sorrow had stripped her of her strength. Earlier in the afternoon, I sat down with Joyce Maynard and we discussed this very thing. “The loneliness of Adele, her deep sadness, that part comes from me. The rest, of course, is fiction.” I could relate. Especially when the bleeding stranger is Josh Brolin. Labor Day is a love story. It should be no surprise that they will fall in love, what is surprising is how lovely it is to watch them do so. Look for my full review on Huffington Post

Gloria– Chilean film, takes place in Santiago, award-winning actress and a story of a woman who defies society’s definition of age… or so the promo says. I did enjoy this film though it’s filled with a lot of mundane tasks so you’re thinking, “Okay, she’s vacuuming her car. Uh-huh, she’s singing on the way to work…”. Having seen a number of ‘coming of a certain age’ stories, I don’t know what to think anymore. Is it all about regret? The one who got away? Getting your ‘groove’ back? Seems like there’s not much else we see or write about when it comes to the middle-aged, divorcee and as one, that depresses the hell outta me. Gloria differs in that she takes the ball in her own hands, frequenting a dance club filled with age-appropriate men. (Must be unique to Santiago;-) Finding one she particularly likes, she ventures into a sexual, and then loving, relationship with a man who cannot relinquish his past. Particularly the dependent ex and his grown and spoiled daughters. Gee… this sounds like a match.com story. Gloria shows the wisdom of maturity as she deals with a lover who is less so, leaving me to believe she’d rather be alone with a hairless cat and a joint than in love with a man who’s a child. Good point. Still kind of depressing.
Dallas Buyers Club. This was a surprise screening for Reel Social Club members, none of whom knew what film it would be until the doors opened. I was ready to pack up and head for the Late Night Lounge when the announcement came. I’d heard of the film months ago but wasn’t really paying attention. Saying goodbyes and grabbing a ticket, I missed the main title. I had no idea who Matthew McConaughey was for the first 20 minutes of the movie. That’s how good he was (and how much weight he’d lost). He and Jared Leto absolutely KILL it in a semi-biographical film about Ron Woodruff, a homophobic Texan who contracts the HIV virus and takes it down like a bull rider. Due to the historical nature of the story, [Woodruff was the one who took on the FDA and AZT, traveling to Mexico and Japan to bring in Interferon and Peptide T which paved the way for the lifesaving “cocktail”] there are some overly expositional bits but the film is not to be missed for the MM and JL performances.

Whether you buy a single ticket or a VIP package, the STARZ Denver Film Festival experience it worth the price of admission.

Rona BarrettThe Starz Denver Film Festival, now in its 36th year, opens this week with an impressive array of cinematic treats. More than 250 features, shorts, music videos and student films will be screened over the eleven day festival with plenty of pre-show parties, post-film panels, Red Carpet Galas and whispers in the Late Night Lounge. We’ll roll out the Kleig lights for those soon-to-be-Hollywood-blockbusters; Labor Day, Nebraska, August: Osage County, At Middleton and the Red Carpet Galas that put the “festive” in the Festival, but it’s the lesser known films that are often are the most memorable. I’ll be scouring and screening, sorting out the skinny and bringing you the news and interviews (Hello Joyce Maynard!) via my THE HUFFINGTON POST blog, but the really hot dish heats up here. I’m goin’ all Rona Barrett on you as I put the Gal in Gala, the life into the party and bring it all to you in (sur)real time and living color.
Pick-your-enemies-carefully-or-you'll-never-make-it-in-Los-Angeles.
All the little last minute details… Right now we don’t know which version LA is sending for The Centerpiece screening of August: Osage County. Will it be director John Wells’ cut or will producer Harvey Weinstein have his way with us?
All the ruffled feathers… One local filmmaker is upset by the content of the Denver Actor Project… something about “Audition tapes” was overheard. Ironically the genesis of the Denver Actor Project was intended to bring Denver filmmakers together to reflect our talent pool and beautiful city, a’la Paris Je T’aime, which Nebraska director Alexander Payne was a part of. The love letter to Denver was too ambitious to do in the available time frame so director, Brad Stabio marched to his own one-man-band pulling together six Denver actors (Jordan Leigh, Chris Grundy, Paul Page, Amie MacKenzie, Jeff Kosloski and me), shooting six individual films and a story to tie these short films together. Running 1-3 minutes each of these six short pieces reveal a part of the whole. I am one of the six, with my part screening before “The Truth About Emmanuel” on Sunday and Monday.
I plan on seeing everything my fellow thespians are in, including Katharyn Grant’s award-winning Indie, The One Who Loves You. Grant, a Colorado actor/filmmaker, directs herself in this love story, set in the 1970s about a failed singer who falls for the grifter who helps her believe in herself. Shot in and around Denver, the cast of The One Who Loves You features some of Denver’s most familiar faces including Rhonda Brown, donnie l betts, Martha Harmon Pardee, Candy Brown, Judy Phelan-Hill, Elizabeth Rose, Laura Norman and Jordan Leigh. The One Who Loves You screens Monday, November 11 at 4:45 and Tuesday the 12th at 9:00.
Stay tuned, comment, converse, share, ask and FOLLOW THIS BLOG or jump in on Twitter @tracetime, @DenverFilm, #SDFF36 And don’t forget to BUY YOUR TICKETS!

Grey-and-Brown-Horse-in-FieldIn popular culture there is topical, there is trendy and then there is timely. Three days before the Starz Denver Film Festival premiere of director Monty Miranda’s American Mustang and it the news is covered in horse…stories. The Atlantic calls out the Secretary of the Interior, Federal Appeals Court Halts Slaughter— the pounding of the activists hooves rising in defense of the wild horse.
American Mustang is a character-driven narrative about a young girl, a cowboy and a wild horse, woven with documentary style 3-D footage from the open ranges of America’s West. Denverite, Writer and Co-Producer, Henry Ansbacher, teams up with Executive Producer/Co-Writer, Ellie Phipps Price to create memorable characters from extensive interviews with those on all sides of the wild horse saga. Phipps Price spent her early years in Colorado and it was at the BLM holding facility in Canyon City where she adopted her first mustang, Dunstan. Passionate about the plight of this American icon, Ms. Ellie Phipps Price had the idea to create a film to raise awareness of wild horse preservation. She has rescued over 172 wild horses, creating a 2000 acre sanctuary to house and protect them in Northern California.
This is not Director Monty Miranda’s first rodeo with the Starz Denver Film Festival, as SDFF30 featured his directorial debut with the comedy, Skills Like This. Miranda takes a beautiful turn here with American Mustang . His breathtaking images, shot in 3-D on the open ranges of eight western states, braid the history, mistreatment and majesty of the mustang, juxtaposed by the Bureau of Land Management round-ups and the captivity that is often their heartbreaking reality. Narrated by actress and activist, Daryl Hannah, American Mustang is, in turns, sweeping and intimate; a visually stunning love song and call to action.
American Mustang premieres Thursday November 7, 7:00 pm at the UA Pavilions with screenings Saturday Nov 9 at 2:00 pm (UA Pavilions) and Sunday Nov 10, 7:00 pm at the Wildlife Experience* *Note: Tickets for this screening only available at www.thewildlifeexperience.org