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'Colorado Cinema Salon' to Launch Thursday, August 12

What do an Archbishop, a long-time contributor to Denver's cultural scene, an increasingly influential state Senator, and an Oscar nominee all have in common? They are lending their voices to the kick-off of an exciting and provocative new series, to be held monthly at the Starz FilmCenter beginning in August.

Critic and filmmaker Robert Denerstein joins the Denver Film Society in presenting Colorado Cinema Salon, a program dedicated to enlarging and deepening the conversation about issues in cinema. The programs will focus on the diverse Colorado filmmaking community and its many disparate voices, but is also designed to bring together the larger film-loving community.

"We strongly believe that everyone shares in cinema culture and that film is the most personal of all the art forms," said Denerstein, who for 27 years was the film critic of the Rocky Mountain News. "We are defining community in the broadest possible sense. We're being inclusive because we think that film touches all of us in a variety of ways and we want to create an environment in which Salon participants and the audience can engage in mutual exploration."

The first Salon, scheduled for Thursday, August 12, will address violence in films. Blood on Our Hands: Morality and Violence in Movies will feature a wide-ranging dialogue between veteran Denver filmmaker and actor donnie l. betts and The Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, the Archbishop of the Denver Catholic Diocese. The lively discussion will be highlighted by clips from several movies.

The September program, The Movies in My Life, will feature award-winning filmmaker Daniel Junge and Colorado State Senator Michael Johnston. The Thursday, September 23 Salon will focus on the deep personal connections that we all make with movies. Clips from favorite and/or influential films will be included.

On Thursday, October 14, three weeks prior to the 33rd Starz Denver Film Festival, Denver audiences and Colorado filmmakers will have an opportunity to grill festival programmers about the criteria for programming the festival. Moderator Denerstein promises that Festival Programmers on the Hot Seat "will be a no holds barred affair. This is your chance to tell the festival programmers exactly what you think."

All Salons will be held in Gallery 30 at the Starz FilmCenter and will be moderated by Robert Denerstein (you can follow him on his blog at Most programs will begin at 7pm (although September's The Movies in My Life will begin at 8pm) and will include interviews with the special guests, film clips, audience Q&As, and an opportunity to socialize following the program. A cash bar and light hors d'oeuvres will be available.

"We will keep a loose and flexible structure that's designed to enhance appreciation for film from a variety of perspectives: technical, social, and also from the 'ordinary' but vital perspective that committed filmgoers bring to the art of film," Denerstein said.


Colorado Cinema Salon

Blood on Our Hands: Morality and Violence in Movies
Thursday, August 12, 7pm, Gallery 30

Longtime Denver filmmaker and actor donnie l. betts and Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput use movie violence as a springboard for a wide-ranging discussion about the role of morality in cinema art as it impacts both creators and consumers. Salon host and programmer Robert Denerstein moderates an evening of lively talk and provocative discussion (highlighted by clips from several films) with a program designed to focus disparate voices on an important topic with ample time for audience participation.

The Movies in My Life
Thursday, September 23, 8pm, Gallery 30

Award-winning filmmaker Daniel Junge and Colorado State Senator Michael Johnston focus on the deep personal connections that we make with movies. Robert Denerstein moderates. Junge is a noted director of documentaries, including the widely hailed They Killed Sister Dorothy and the Oscar-nominated The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner. Senator Johnston, a driving force behind Colorado's recent educational reform legislation and a former school principal, has become a leading voice in the national debate on education reform. Junge and Johnston will tell us about the three movies (including clips) that have had the biggest impact on their lives-and why.

Festival Programmers on the Hot Seat
Thursday, October 14, 7pm, Gallery 30

Colorado filmmakers and Denver audiences have a chance-a few weeks prior to the 2010 Starz Denver Film Festival-to grill festival programmers about the criteria for programming the festival. Here's an opportunity to learn why that four-hour Romanian documentary made the cut and a locally produced film did not. Robert Denerstein moderates an evening designed to shed light on how festival programs are shaped and to offer an opportunity for both festival-goers and filmmakers to have at it. We guarantee: no holds barred. This is your chance to tell the festival programmers exactly what you think.

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