The latter half of the 2010s saw increased involvement in national and local elections, with more women running – and winning – than ever before. While national figures drew a lot of eyes, filmmaker Rebekah Henderson turned her eye – and camera – to campaigns happening right here in Denver.
“The film is really a love letter to the activist community and my friends,” Henderson said. “People do not know how hard local races are… and I wanted to tell a local story that is universal.”
The resulting film, “Running With My Girls,” follows the 2018 races of Shontel Lewis and a cohort of candidates who ran as a group – Dr. Lisa Calderón, Candi CdeBaca, Shayla Richard and Veronica Barela.
“If you live in any city in America and are a black or brown person who is paying attention, you’ll see yourself in this film,” Henderson said. “It’s very much a reflection of my experience. I never stopped rolling because I didn’t want to miss anything.”
The film is part of the 44th annual Denver Film Festival, which runs in-person and online from Wednesday, Nov. 3 through Sunday, Nov. 14. All films will be screened in various theater settings (the SIE FilmCenter, AMC 9 + CO 10, the Denver Botanic Gardens Sturm Auditorium and Ellie Caulkins Opera House) and about 50 will be available for streaming at home on Denver Film’s virtual platform.
Denver Film will require all festival patrons, guests, employees and volunteers entering venues or host sites to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 with an FDA or WHO-approved vaccine.
The festival features about 233 films, including 140 feature-length films, shorts, music videos and episodic content, according to provided information. Some major highlights (and award-season contenders) include “Spencer,” featuring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana, Will Smith’s “King Richard,” and “Jockey,” which stars Clifton Collins Jr. – who will be in attendance to receive the 2021 John Cassavetes Award.
Attendees can also put themselves in the world of film, thanks to a range of virtual reality and immersive experiences taking place at the Festival Annex at the historic McNichols Civic Center Building.
For local filmmakers like Henderson, being part of the home film festival reflects the importance of community - not only as it applies to filmmaking, but as it applies to improving the lives and future of those around you.
“The film is really community made, and shows that when we band together, we have this power,” she said. “I want people to see it. I want people to get inspired by it.”
For information and tickets, visit www.denverfilm.org/denverfilmfestival/dff44/.
Remembering family members with 40 West Arts
Día de los Muertos celebrations have been gaining popularity over the last decade or so, and it’s exciting to see the way so many have embraced this holiday with its Aztec roots. In that spirit (pun), 40 West Arts, the Chicano Humanities and Arts Council and Pirate: Contemporary Art are teaming up for an Art Crawl of Memories.
The free event will be from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 5, in the 40 West arts district, 1560 Teller St. in Lakewood. Visitors can view ofrendas created by local Latinx artists to honor lost loved ones, see fire dancers, watch Aztec dancers at Pirate’s, 7130 W. 16th Ave. and join a procession around the area.
For more information, visit the events tab at www.facebook.com/40westarts.
Clyfford Still Museum celebrates a decade in Denver
The Clyfford Still Museum, 1250 Bannock St. in Denver, has opened a new exhibit called A Decade of Discovery: Clyfford Still in Denver, which celebrates a decade of the museum’s operation and the discoveries that have been made over the years.
According to provided information, the museum “has made countless discoveries as the staff inventoried and assessed the Museum’s vast art and archival holdings, worked to better understand visitors’ interests and evaluated the artist’s legacy in an ever-changing world.”
The exhibition runs through March 6, 2022, with numerous events hosted throughout. Visit www.clyffordstillmuseum.org for all the necessary information.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week — The World Is a Beautiful Place at the Globe Hall
Connecticut’s The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die have quite the band name, but don’t let it put you off - they make some of the most exciting and dynamic indie rock around right now. They just released “Illusory Walls,” their fourth and possible best album to date, delving deeper into prog rock than ever before.
The group will be stopping by the Globe Hall, 4483 Logan St. in Denver, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30 and will be joined by openers Bent Knee and Sunsleeper. Get tickets at Globehall.com/event/the-world-is-a-beautiful-place-and-i-am-no-longer-afraid-to-die-w-bent-knee-sunsleeper.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.