The first-ever Grand Junction Film Festival, set for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 15-16, at the Avalon Theatre, will feature a variety of films, both from the region and around the world.
Two Grand Junction films - "Machine Head" by Mike Murphy and "Me, A Rapist?" by Todd E. Braley - will be featured along with others from as far away as Egypt and Eastern Europe. On Friday, films start at 6:15 p.m. and the Saturday show begins at 4:15 p.m.
Film topics range widely (from a 70-minute full-length feature about an up-and-coming reggae sensation in England to a 4-minute flick dealing with a hard break up), and festival founder Ross Deardorff said tickets are on sale now and at the door for $35 (for a two-day pass). One-day passes are $20.
"There are 40 films to screen," 28-year-old Deardorff said, " ... and it's a tight schedule, for sure."
Plus, some filmmakers will even be on hand to answer audience questions and meet-n-greet before the showings.
According to Deardorff, film is an important art form in today's society, and a main goal of this Grand Junction festival will be to introduce up-and-coming artists who've created films with strong messages. Initially, entries came mostly from the region (from Denver to California), but then filmmakers from all over the world began submitting material.
There were so many entries, in fact, that Deardorff said he's already looking into adding more days to the film fest next year.
"We'd like to see it grow," he said.
Deardorff, who moved to Grand Junction from Chicago in 2007 and runs a communications business called Neon Desert Design, said he couldn't believe there wasn't a film festival in the valley. So, he set out to create one.
"It took a lot of planning," he said. "It's been on the drawing board for a number of years."
This event is additionally sponsored by The Moab Area Travel Council, and short adventure/travel films will be shown between screenings.
Deardorff additionally said awards will given by "audience choice," so movie goers should vote for their favorite film at the screenings.
For more information about films on tap, visit www.gjfilmfest.org/SCHEDULE.html. Tickets are available for purchase at the door, at local City Markets and through TicketsWest (www.ticketswest.com).