The Starz Denver International Film Festival recently announced its festival line-up for its 28th year. Produced by the Denver Film Society, the festival will run November 10 - 20 and will feature "Be Your Own Critic" as its main theme. About 200 films from 39 countries will screen this year, and there will be 20 premieres (seven world, three North American and 10 U.S.) and will open with Roger Donaldson's "The World's Fastest Indian."
Magnolia Pictures' "The World's Fastest Indian," chronicles the story of New Zealander Burt Monro (Sir Anthony Hopkins) and his quest to be the fastest man on two wheels. Closing DIFF will be Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain," a love story about two cowboys (Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal), which took accolades in Venice this fall.
Among this year's world premieres will be: Chris Marino and Tim Fenoglio's "Combover: The Movie," a documentary about the "comb-over" hairstyle for bald men; Wayne Ewing's "Remembering Hunter," a documentary about the gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, and Dirk Olson's "When I Hear Thunder," a documentary about Native American amateur boxers.
The North American premieres will include: Renaud Delourme's "Earth From Above: The Film," a documentary about French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand and the aerial images he took around the world for an exhibition, and Iranian director Bijan Mirbagheri's "We Are All Fine," about a family who videotapes their life in their native country to send abroad to their son.
U.S. Premieres will include: Gerard Jugnot's "Boudu," about an art dealer who rescues a homeless man from drowning; Przemystaw Wojcieszek's "Down Colorful Hill," about a young man who desires to start a new life with his former girlfriend upon being released from prison; Filip Renc's "From Subway with Love," a comedy about a 23-year-old woman's trials and tribulations in love, and Jerzy Sladkowski's "My American Family," a documentary about an Italian family and the progression of their migration to the U.S.
In a planned salute to Japanese cinema, the festival will screen 11 new films by Japanese directors, including the opening film, Yoji Yamada's "The Hidden Blade," about a samurai who leaves his clan's fiefdom behind to take up a Shogunate position in Edo (now Tokyo); Ryuhei Kitamura's "Godzilla: Final Wars," the 29th installment of the series, and Kenji Uchida's "Stranger of Mine," about a two people who get fixed up by a private-eye. In addition, there will be a tribute to Ryuichi Hiroki. His new films "L'Amant," about the sexual relationship between three men and a 17-year-old schoolgirl, and "Girlfriend," about a photographer who comes to form a bond with her new model, are slated. The "Salute to Japanese Cinema" will also encompass a salute to the Shochiku Company, which, on its 110th birthday, is the world's oldest film production and distribution company. Three classic Shochiku films will be shown: Kenji Mizoguchi's "The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums," about an actor who struggles with the shadow of his talented thespian father; Yasujiro Ozu's "Good Morning," about life in the suburbs of Japan in the 1950s, and Hideo Gosha's "Three Outlaw Samurai," about three renegades who fight against a magistrate on behalf of a group of peasants.
This year, DIFF will honor Ang Lee, who will receive the Mayor's Lifetime Achievement Award; Philip Baker Hall, who will take the John Cassavetes Award; and artist and animator Robert Breer, will receive the Stan Brakhage Vision Award.
[For more information, visit the festival's website.]