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Jason Reitman to receive the John Cassavetes Award at next Denver Film Festival

Denver Film Festival October 31-November 11, 2018

The 41st Denver Film Festival will run October 31–November 11, 2018




Jason Reitman will appear in-person with his new film The Front Runner and be presented with the award onstage at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House on Thursday, November 8.

The Denver Film Festival (DFF), produced by Denver Film Society (DFS), announced today the recipient of the 2018 John Cassavetes Award as director Jason Reitman. Jason Reitman is returning to the Festival with his latest film, THE FRONT RUNNER, after winning over audiences at DFF30 with his coming-of-age hit film Juno. A four-time Oscar® nominee, Jason Reitman has left an indelible mark on Hollywood with films such as Thank You For Smoking, Juno, Up In The Air, and Young Adult.

"Jason Reitman's legacy as a filmmaker goes beyond his work as a director,” says Festival Director, Britta Erickson. “An accomplished and Academy Award® nominated writer and producer, he has been an important and well-respected new voice in today's Hollywood. From his poignant and touching direction of Juno, to the serious drama of Labor Day, to his leap into the world of tabloid politics with his latest film, The Front Runner, Jason Reitman continues to delight audiences while delivering powerful, important and pertinent films, year after year."

Reitman will be in attendance at the Red Carpet screening of his latest work, THE FRONT RUNNER, the story of Colorado's most famous senator—Gary Hart. With an impressive cast, including Hugh Jackman (as Hart), Vera Farmiga, J.K. Simmons, and Alfred Molina, THE FRONT RUNNER, follows Senator Gary Hart's unsuccessful bid for the White House after a scandal forced him to step out of the race, highlighting the nation's turn towards tabloid politics. The film will screen on Thursday, November 8 at 8pm at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, followed immediately by the presentation of the John Cassavetes Award. Jason Reitman will be joined by his co-writers Matt Bai and Jay Carson for an onstage conversation about the film.

Oscar® nominee Hugh Jackman stars as the charismatic politician Gary Hart for Academy Award®-nominated director Jason Reitman in the new thrilling drama THE FRONT RUNNER. The film follows the rise and fall of Senator Hart, who captured the imagination of young voters and was considered the overwhelming front runner for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination when his campaign was sidelined by the story of an extramarital relationship with Donna Rice. As tabloid journalism and political journalism merged for the first time, Senator Hart was forced to drop out of the race—events that left a profound and lasting impact on American politics and the world stage.

The prestigious John Cassavetes Award was established in collaboration with Gena Rowlands in 1989. It is presented annually to a film artist who has made a significant contribution to the world of filmmaking and whose work reflects the spirit of the late John Cassavetes - his unique vision, his maverick sensibility, his unwavering integrity and his tenacious ability to survive as an artist against difficult odds.  Past recipients include Steven Soderbergh, Jim Jarmusch, John Sayles, Alan Rudolph, Robert M. Young, Seymour Cassell, Hal Hartley, Charles Burnett, Errol Morris, D.A. Pennebaker & Chris Hegedus, Barbara Kopple, Sean Penn, Richard Linklater, Nick Nolte, William H. Macy, Kevin Bacon, Philip Baker Hall, Tim Robbins, Bill Pullman, JK Simmons, Elliott Gould, Judy Greer, Vince Vaughn, Harry Dean Stanton, John Turturro and Kyra Sedgwick.

Individual tickets are currently on sale. Tickets will be available for purchase online at or the DFF41 main box office location at the Sie FilmCenter (2510 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO 80206).

Festival Ticket Packages are currently on sale. The following packages offer the best discounted prices to attend the Festival.

Enjoy DFF41 in a whole new way by becoming a Member. Memberships begin at just $65 and allow you to purchase DFF41 tickets at a member discount. No matter what membership level you choose to join DFS, your contributions will be appreciated and make a difference. For more information on membership please visit:

To experience DFF41 as an insider, join the DFS Leadership Circle for exclusive Festival access. Please visit: for a breakdown of levels and benefits. In addition, please contact Suzanne Yuzer at or 303-595-3456 ext. 223 to purchase a Leadership Circle Membership. 

Press accreditation is now closed. Please contact the PR team for additional information.

To keep up to date with DFF41 on social media: like the DFF Facebook ( page, follow @DenverFilm on Twitter, @DenverFilmSociety on Instagram, and join the conversation by using the hashtag: #DFF41.


2018 Denver Film Festival Sponsors:

PREMIER: Regal; ASSOCIATE: Anna & John J. Sie Foundation, AOR, Inc., Argonaut Wine & Liquor, Barbara Bridges, British Airways, CEAVCO Audio Visual, Harmonic Media, Liberty Global, Mike’s Camera, Relish Catering & Events; SUPPORTING: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Butler Rents, Capital One, Lyft, Sage Hospitality, SeriesFest, Sheila K. O’Brien, University of Colorado Denver - College of Arts & Media, Anna Maglione-Sie Endowed Chair of Italian Culture and the Department of Languages and Literatures-University of Denver, Reality Garage; PATRON: Xfinity, Good Chemistry, The Goods, Eldorado Natural Spring Water, Lighting and Design by Scott, Kentwood City Properties, Kind Snacks, Riverfront Park Community Foundation, Stranahan’s, IMDBPro; MEDIA: 5280 Magazine, Futuristic, Westword; GOVERNMENT: Colorado Creative Industries, Colorado Office of Film Television & Media, Consulate General of Italy, Denver Arts & Venues, Denver Arts & Venues Create Denver, Mcnichols Civic Center Building, National Endowment for the Arts, Scientific & Cultural Facilities District, UK Government Office - Denver; CONTRIBUTING: Brookfield Properties, Baird - The Palm Group, Caz Matthews, Colorado Film & Video Association, Davis Graham & Stubbs, Denver Screenprint & Embroidery, Fine Arts Foundation, Lagralane, Latino Cultural Arts Center, Ratio BeerWorks, SAGIndie, TV5MONDE, Visit Denver, WeWork, William LaBahn

About the Denver Film Society:

Founded in 1978, the Denver Film Society (DFS) is a membership-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit cultural institution that produces film events throughout the year, including the award-winning Denver Film Festival and the popular, summertime series Film on the Rocks. With a vision to cultivate community and transform lives through film, the DFS provides opportunities for diverse audiences to discover film through creative, thought-provoking experiences.

The permanent home of DFS, the Sie FilmCenter, is Denver’s only year-round cinematheque, presenting a weekly-changing calendar of first-run exclusives and arthouse revivals both domestic and foreign, narrative and documentary – over 600 per year, all shown in their original language and format. DFS’s one-of-a-kind programs annually reach more than 200,000 film lovers and film lovers-in-training.











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