Long after the credits roll, the people and places depicted on the screen will live on in the memories of those who attended last week’s Golden’s …
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Long after the credits roll, the people and places depicted on the screen will live on in the memories of those who attended last week’s Golden’s DocuWest International Documentary Film Festival.
The fourth annual event brought 39 internationally acclaimed documentaries over a five-day period to an audience that might not otherwise have had an opportunity to see them.
Mayor Marjorie Sloan attended an opening night reception and film screening.
“The festival instantly adds to the vitality of a city both economically and for community building,” Sloan said, calling the festival an extraordinary opportunity for a city of Golden’s size.
Festival co-founder Wade Gardner welcomed the audience the following night, and said DocuWest had developed a niche in showing documentaries that “may have a limited release or no release at all.”
Shaunie Smathers, of Golden, said she appreciated the convenience of DocuWest, which she has attended for three years running.
“It’s just more affordable, and the parking is easier than going somewhere else to see these films,” Smathers said. “I love the variety of the themes and subjects.”
Being a “nonfiction type of person,” Smathers had a lot of films from which to choose. On Day One alone, she said, she enjoyed documentaries about a choreographed dance featuring trash workers, train conductors dealing with suicides and a Scottish prison barber.
“I would hope that it brings in other people, and might get them interested in the Foothills Art Center, and the Mountaineering Center (where other screenings were held),” she said.
Some films were also shown at The Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder.
Thursday night Smathers was joined by a dozen other film watchers, including School of Mines student Lauryn Baranowski, to watch the award-winning tale of Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei.
“It’s kind of topical, being in the news lately,” Baranowski said. “This is a big cultural thing for a city this size, so I definitely appreciate that as a Golden resident.”
Her friend Sarah McMurray said she planned to make full use of her all-access film pass this year.
“I really loved the ones last year — some of the best films I’ve seen,” McMurray said.
The film combined Ai Weiwei’s sense of humor with darker scenes of Chinese government oppression, eliciting both laughs and gasps from Baranowski and McMurray.
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