Centennial, Dwire Halls venues for annual Indie Spirit Film Festival

Oct. 13, 2014

Kyle Guthrie
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The seventh annual Indie Spirit Film Festival will take place in Colorado Springs this year from Oct. 17 to 19. The three days will consist of film screenings, awards and receptions at each location.

UCCS will host the final day of the event in Centennial Hall and Dwire Hall from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“It’s a festival that’s unlike anything else. Our festival is unique in that we show multiple categories and multiple genres. We’re pretty much an open festival, we never restrict entries,” Steve Kurtz, director of the Indie Spirit Film Festival, said.

“It’s a lot about watching films, but it’s also about the festival experience itself.” The festival encourages participation from filmmakers of all levels of experience. This year will include a special incentive for the artists. The event has partnered with Shorts HD, a company that may pick up distribution rights of any film that catches their attention during the festival.

Lauren Bies, senior visual and performing arts major, is an intern for the festival. She was also the winner for the audience choice award last year for her film “Grasslands of the Netherlands.”

She is hoping that this festival expands her enthusiasm for film to many others throughout the community.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for all filmmakers and a wonderful opportunity for the university and community too,” Bies said. “There’s a great diversity to all of the films as well. There’s a great combination that offers the public a huge array of options.”

“Our goal is to help build the cultural influence in Colorado Springs,” Kurtz said.

There were 500 submissions this year. Kurtz and his team had to narrow the list down to 49 films that they felt showed the most promise.

The festival will also show 25 assorted short and feature length films from around the world. All the filmmakers and their cast and crew are coming in for the event.

The festival has brought attention from all over the world, including the Internet and social media.

“We didn’t realize the hits we are getting on social media from all over the county. We are making ourselves known throughout the United States, and we are changing films for the better and we are putting UCCS on the map with this,” Bies said.

“We were not aware of just how important film was to this community,” she continued. “People are going online and wanting to volunteer in great numbers, and we did not realize the strong base of film in Colorado Springs.”

The festival will be begin at Palmer High School on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. with the opening film “Sitting Bull’s Voice” and an opening night reception will also be held at 9 p.m. at the Tim Gill Center.

The Antlers Hilton will show shorts and other films Oct. 18.