Before its traditional red-carpet opening night at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House on Oct. 31, the Denver Film Festival will pay tribute to former Artistic Director Brit Withey, who died in a car crash in March, with an evening of his favorite films at the Sie FilmCenter.
Withey was with the Denver Film Society for more than 20 years.
“Brit’s influence on the organization in his two decades of being there was monumental,” Festival Director and Interim Executive Director Britta Erickson said. “I think if you ever met Brit once or you saw him introduce a film … you’d have to know that he was beloved and greatly shaped an audience of a beloved organization over many, many years. … This was the best way as a staff to honor his legacy and to do it in a concentrated way and then be able to move on with the things that he didn’t very much care for, which were red carpet titles and the glitz and glamor of the Ellie, which was not his favorite thing. This felt like the right thing.”
The three films haven’t been announced yet, but Erickson said they were chosen by Withey’s family and people who worked closely with him.
“It’s hard to represent everything Brit did in his 20-plus years there, but they’ll be representative in some respect to what he brought forth to audiences,” she said.
This year’s festival, the Denver Film Society announced today, will run from Oct. 30 through Nov. 10. The Sie FilmCenter will serve as the anchor venue, and screenings will also be held at the UA Denver Pavilions. Red Carpet Presentations — the big titles — will screen at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. The McNichols Building will as usual host parties, panel discussions and interactive experiences.
The Denver Film Festival — DFF42, if you’re hip — will show more than 250 titles over its 12 days. The lineup, which in addition to the usual fare will have a focus on Brazilian cinema, will be announced on Oct. 10. It will include more Brit Withey picks, including György Pálfi’s “His Master’s Voice.”
Tickets go on sale to Denver Film members on Oct. 11 and to everyone else on Oct. 14.