Durango Independent Film Festival

Photo: Durango Film.
Photo: Durango Film.

Dang, Durango. You’re such a cool little mountain town. What other city of 17,000 people has its own film festival? That’s right. ONLY US. (Disclaimer: We have no idea if we’re the only cool mountain town of 17,000 people with our own film festival.)

Get ready because the ninth annual Durango Independent Film Festival kicks off next week.


Feb. 26 – March 2, 2014

Durango has had some sort of film festival ever since 2001, although the current incarnation — Durango Film — held its inaugural festival in March 2006. The Durango film festival is the nonprofit’s annual flagship event, and films selected for it include features, shorts, documentaries and animated pieces as well as adventure sports, Native American and family films. The DIFF will show nearly 80 submissions this year throughout the five-day festival.

The festival gets started with a kick-off party 4-6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 26, at The Palace Restaurant, followed by free movie night at the Gaslight Theatre with showings of I Am Divine, 120 Days,  The Apothecary and the Better Off Dead shorts program. Every night of the festival features a party, reception or meet-and-greet, and the five-day affair ends with an Oscar-watching/wrap party on Sunday, March 2, at the Henry Strater Theatre at The Strater Hotel.

There will also be a special screening of Fast Times At Ridgemont High at the Animas City Theater on Friday, Feb. 28. Special guest Judge Reinhold (who was Brad Hamilton in Fast Times — squeeeee!) will be available for Q&A following the movies.

The festival will are also include panels and workshops throughout the day on Saturday, March 1. But with all the partying and all the paneling don’t forget about the actual, you know, films.

Check out the Durango film festival’s complete schedule so you don’t miss any of the cool films or hopping happenings.

Panels and Workshops

Saturday, March 1

This year’s film festival features a day of panels and workshops on Saturday, March 1, at the Durango Arts Center. All the panels and workshops are free and open to the public, although seating is limited and could fill up because it’s on a first-come, first-served basis. So, let the learning begin with:

Photo: Durango Film
Photo: Durango Film

Lying to Tell the Truth – 10-11 a.m. Wes Studi, John Rubano and other will let the audience look behind the scenes and reveal some of their darkest secrets of just how they bring characters to life and make you believe in the land of make-believe.

DIY: Making Movies — Noon-1 p.m. Writers, directors, lawyers and other key people involved in the movie-making process will discuss the craft and the passion of this modern art form.

Santa Fe University of Art and Design Student Workshop — 2-4 p.m. This workshop is designed to help students learn some basic tricks of the trade.  Justice Whitaker, a professor of cinema and professional cinematographer, will present “Macro-Cinema,” an interactive workshop highlighting the Aesthetics of Cinematography. The workshop will include a short lecture and slide screening before challenging students to produce their own cinematic images in the Durango community.

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