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Shorts in the spotlight

For the first time in its 11-year history, Aspen Shortsfest, an international short film festival, will come to Glenwood Springs.

On Sunday, April 7, the Springs Theatre, 915 Grand Ave., will feature Screenplay!, a collection of youth-oriented, live-action and animated films from as far away as Columbia and Denmark and as near as Basalt. These independently produced films touch on everything from first kisses to dead leaves and life in the barrio.

Admission is $5. Total running time is approximately 90 minutes, and English translation is offered for foreign films.



“These short films for kids are really wonderful and fun,” said Kimi Benson, education coordinator for the Aspen Film Festival, which sponsors Shortsfest. “We just want to make these films available to children in Glenwood Springs as well as in Aspen.”

This year, the festival opened up competition to local filmmakers, under the category of “Bringing Life to Heroes.” One of this year’s local winners, which was written by local students, will be shown at this screening.



“Heroes” was directed and edited by Jackie Chenoweth and written by Basalt Middle School students Hannah Kelly, Mike Schuster, Andy Delany, Ali Zicheck, Wylie Chenoweth, Jesse Ophoff, Tyler Stevens and Taylor Dewind. This film took second place in local competition. “Heroes” takes a glance at heroes, from the historical to the contemporary, and offers lively graphics and dynamite dress-ups.

“Animated Stewdio,” a two-minute film produced by Aspen children, shows just what local kids can produce with a bit of inspiration, some instruction, and lots of energy and enthusiasm.

Films, in order of screening, include “A Dios,” France, 5 minutes; “Animation Stewdio,” Aspen, 2 minutes; “Brother My Brother,” Denmark, 19 minutes; “Christopher, Please Clean Up Your Room!” Canada, 7 minutes; “Dry Leaves,” Spain, 5 minutes; Ernst in Tivoli,” Denmark, 7 minutes; “From Far Away,” Canada, 7 minutes; “Heroes,” Basalt, 6 minutes; and “Lotte Primaballerina,” Germany, 24 minutes.

The third-place film, “From the Heart,” directed by Basalt High School student Cassie Newman, will also be screened at schools in Aspen and Glenwood Springs during the week of April 8. The film is a moving expression of local leaders’ ideas on what it means to be a hero.

Schools to the Theatre, which brings the world of film to local students, will offer screening for high school students beginning at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Springs Theatre.

Filmmakers to the Classroom will also bring many up-and-coming young filmmakers who attend Shortsfest into local classrooms. Filmmakers from as far away as Australia and India will pair up with students in English, social studies, computer, media arts and other classes.

According to the official Shortsfest program, Shortsfest is “an international short film competition with a reputation that extends to the four corners of the world.” The festival runs April 9-13 and offers screenings daily at locations throughout Aspen. The Crystal Theatre in Carbondale will offer programs beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 12, 13 and 14. Doors open 15 minutes prior to the show.

“Our goal is to create an intimate international forum for emerging artists, established film professionals and film-loving audiences to gather together for a unique celebration of short cinema. Aspen Shortsfest 2002 edition promises to be our most exciting yet,” said executive director Laura Thielen.

Over the past four months, the Shortsfest screening committee has previewed more than 1,000 short films, and narrowed the finalists to 60 films from 21 countries. Film producers compete for more than $20,000 in cash and other prizes.

The festival also offers a chance to meet filmmakers in person, as well as attend lectures and workshops.

Advanced tickets for Aspen and Carbondale shows are available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, at the Wheeler Box Office, or call 920-5770; Carbondale tickets only are available at Sounds Easy, located in the Sopris Shopping Center on Highway 133.

Aspen Shortsfest 2002 is made possible in part through the generosity of the Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Kaye Foundation, Roberto Posada and Jonathan Lewis, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado, the Colorado Council on the Arts, the city of Aspen, Sojourner Magazine, the Aspen Times and AOL Time Warner.

For a complete list of screenings and events, ticket prices and more, look for the Shortsfest official program at locations throughout the valley, call 925-6882, or visit http://www.aspenshortsfest.org.


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