“We are all about bringing the community together and inspiring everyone,” said Derek, a Las Vegas resident who runs the highly successful Vegas Indie Film Fest! (VIFF!). “Film festivals have such a positive energy to them. Sharing this with my brother and his hometown feels good and I hope that spills over to everyone that attends.”
Dan Stonebarger, a longtime resident of Denver, decided to spearhead DIFF! after seeing his brother's festival in Las Vegas grow so rapidly in its first few years. He has been executive producer on several film projects, including Derek's feature film I.M. Caravaggio. The Stonebargers traveled the world with the film for festival screenings, including showcases in New York and Argentina. Dan is head of Business Development at Unishippers, KED 24 Logistics, a shipping solutions company and title sponsor of the film festival.
Dan admits the constant national media coverage of the Aurora shooting and the focus on the History Colorado Center’s recent displays about the state’s World War II Japanese internment camps, the Sand Creek Massacre and the KKK doesn’t paint a pretty picture for what we're all about.
“We're a city of culture and that's why Derek and I are doing a international festival here,” Dan said. “Colorado has a great film scene that is budding. It’s time to spotlight it.”
And spotlight it DIFF!, presented by Unsihippers, will. Highlights will include shorts, medium length films and the feature Atom the Amazing Zombie Killer that were all Colorado made.
Atom the Amazing Zombie Killer will get its Denver premiere Saturday, August 31 at the event. Screening at 9 p.m. at Su Teatro inside the Denver Civic Theatre, 721 Sante Fe Dr., Atom has been promoted as the very first zombie film that does not feature zombies. A TromaDance selection, the Amazing Zombie Killer was directed by Richard Taylor and Zack Beins. It stars locals Mark Shonsey, Zachary Byron Helm, Lindy Starr, and cult sensations Lloyd Kaufman, Babette Bombshell and Shawn C. Phillips.
A short film block of Colorado films gets the night going at 7 p.m. Featured will be 46 Miles (directed by Bradley Stabio), Profile (R.W. Perkins), The First Time (Vincent Castellini), Remorse (Rachel Del Giudice), Mask (Jaime Peak), New Broken Calculator (Brandon Luck McDuffey), Sisyphean (Connor McIntyre).
Medium length Colorado films will take center stage at 1 p.m. on Sunday, September 1 with Bryan Maltais’ Metamorphosis:
The Denver Independent Film Festival kicks off Thursday, August 30 at the Mayan Theatre, (Denver's oldest theatre) 110 Broadway, with a free kick off party at 6 p.m., followed by the opening night feature Next to My Brother at 7 p.m.
Next to My Brother, the festival’s winner of Best No Budget Feature (Under 25k), is the debut film by Austrian Director Markus Englmair. It tells the story of two identical twin brothers raised by their traumatized father as one person. The brothers escape their past through art, pursuing success as painters. The film is a perfect fit for the festival founding brothers.
“The film shows us two brothers overcoming a negative by way of art,” Derek said. “What better way to open the first ever Denver Indie Film Fest?”
A block of award winning international and U.S. based shorts will close out the festival at 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 1.
Since 1987, Unsihippers has helped companies save time, trouble and money on all of their shipping needs by partnering with more than 30 regional and national shipping carriers, including UPS®, YRC™, Estes, and Saia, Unishippers can offer small and mid-sized business owners complete shipping options, attractive pricing, and local customer service that its customers can’t receive anywhere else.
For more information on the festival, please visit http://www.denverindiefest.com/