Three different ways to do the Denver Film Festival based on your schedule, interest and level of comfort with in-person events

The festival returns this year with virtual and in-person programming.

The home of the Denver Film Society and Sie Film Center on East Colfax Avenue. Congress Park, Aug. 5, 2020.

The home of the Denver Film Society and Sie Film Center on East Colfax Avenue. Congress Park, Aug. 5, 2020.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

After last year’s virtual run, Denver Film Festival is back with in-person programming!

From November 3-14, Denver Film will host screenings of more than 230 titles out of the newly reopened Sie Film Center and a number of satellite locations. This year’s selection includes screenings of features and shorts by local filmmakers, as well as special showings of “Spencer” starring Kristen Stewart, the Joaquin Phoenix movie “C’mon C’mon,” and the Will Smith movie “King Richard” (to learn more about DFF’s 2021 lineup, check out our previous coverage or pull up the full schedule online). Guests can also attend Red carpet premieres, pop-up events,  immersive experiences, a VR Arcade and conversations with filmmakers and local experts.

For those who aren’t comfortable attending events in person, Denver Film will continue to offer at-home options. Viewers can stream parts of this year’s festival online via Denver Film’s Virtual Cinema platform.

To help you navigate this year’s festival, we’ve put together a guide to its venues, COVID protocols and programming, as well as three different ways you can experience it depending on your schedule, interest and level of comfort with in-person events.

The Venues

The festival’s return also marks the grand reopening of the recently remodeled Sie Film Center, which will function as the festival’s home base. Other satellite screenings and events will be hosted at the AMC 9 + CO 10 on Albion St. and the Botanic Gardens’ Sturm Family Auditorium. Guests can check out the Virtual Reality Arcade and select Immersive Experiences at the Festival Annex in the McNichols Civic Center Building, and Special Red Carpet Presentations will be hosted out of the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. You can learn more about the venues, what they’ll offer and how to get there on Denver Film’s website. 

COVID Protocols

Anyone 12+ attending an in-person DFF event will be required to provide proof of vaccination, and children under 12 must provide proof of a recent negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before the event. Guests will confirm their vaccination status at verification stations at all DFF venues and host sites, and are recommended to arrive 60-90 minutes before their first event to make sure they can complete their verification process in time. Be sure to bring both your COVID documentation and a photo ID. Once verified, you’ll get a durable DFF wristband, which will grant you entry into all your booked events.

All guests ages 2+ are expected to wear face coverings at all events except when actively eating or drinking. If you cannot comply with these requirements, or if you prefer to experience DFF at home, you can take advantage of the festival’s virtual offerings.

There are three ways to experience Denver Film Fest:

Ticket Packs are SOLD OUT: Fans who knew they wanted to attend multiple DFF events might have considered buying a 5 or 10-ticket Ticket Pack. Tickets in these can be appleid to any DFF event of your choosing, except for Special Presentations and Red Carpets. Unfortunately, this year’s Ticket Packs have already sold out.

Buy an individual ticket: This option is great for those who just want to check out a couple of DFF events. You can now reserve individual tickets for each DFF event online. Screenings start at $8 for Denver Film members and $11 for nonmembers. Special Presentations — which are screenings of some of this year’s mostly highly anticipated films- go for $18 for Denver Film members and $22 for non-members. Red Carpet screenings start at $25 for members, and $35 for non-members.

But DFF is more than just film screenings. Inquisitive cinephiles can attend “Creative Conversations,” panel discussions with film industry and local experts on topics like representation, identity and what it takes to make a movie. Tickets go for $10 if you’re not a Denver Film member, and members can attend for free.

This year, the festival will host a Virtual Reality Arcade offering 12 different VR storytelling experiences. You can sample the offerings at the arcade for free during select hours, or buy tickets ($20-25) to attend during paid Arcade hours. Check out the VR Arcade schedule online for a complete list of paid and free entry times. 

If you’re looking to dive a little deeper, check out the festival’s Immersive Experiences, which include site-specific theatre productions, interactive Zoom shows, telephone call adventures, staged conversations between you and a stranger, and more. Tickets to these shows tend to be a bit pricier, ranging from $22-65 for nonmembers and $18-55 for members.

DFF is also hosting several Special Events serving food, including a Closing Night party; a screening of the culinary film “Come Back Anytime” paired with ramen by local chef Chef Jeff Osaka; a luncheon and screening of “The Conductor,” a film profiling former Colorado Symphony music director and conductor Marin Alsop; and an Awards Brunch. As these events include food and drink, expect to pay a bit more.

If you plan to attend a lot of DFF events but don’t have a Ticket Pack, you might want to consider a Denver Film membership. Members get discounts on all DFF events, as well as Denver Film perks and discounts throughout the year, so just a few DFF screenings are enough to cancel out the annual $65 membership fee.

Virtual Cinema: If you prefer to participate in the festival from the comfort and safety of your own home, you can buy tickets to the festival’s more than 60 virtual screenings.  This option gives you the flexibility to watch the films on your own time, and to save money by splitting the cost ($17 per ticket item) with a group. Once your screenings become available on Denver Film’s virtual platform at 12 a.m. on November 4, you’ll have nine days to start watching. After you start, you’ll have 24 hours to finish.

Note that not all of the festival’s offerings will be available to stream online. You can browse the complete list of virtual selections here. And check out the list of the festival’s Immersive Experiences. Some of those are available to experience outdoors, over Zoom or via a phone call.

Colorado Public Radio, which operates Denverite, is a sponsor of the Denver Film Festival.

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Denverite members have made the decision to financially support local journalism that matters to you. Ready to tell your networks why? Sharing our “About” page with your own personal comments could really help us out.