JUMP! screened 3 times and the audiences were ENTHUSIASTIC! When our animated opening title sequence (which gives a quirky history of jump rope) showed that USA Jump Rope (the league that JUMP! follows) has its origins in Colorado, you could hear the cheers of a full-house crowd from the popcorn line in the theater lobby!!
Before and after each screening, the Jumping Eagles and Skip-Its took turns coming out to perform and teach locals to jump. People loved them and the festival & theater staff were psyched at the atmosphere the jumpers created. Lee & Shane from the Summerwind Skippers happened to be in town helping the Jumping Eagles improve their skills -- that was an extra bonus. Thanks again to American Family Insurance & the Iske Family for donating ropes for us to give away.
Skip-its teach locals to jump while the audience lines up for JUMP! in the background • Jumping Eagles teach girl to jump a single rope while jumping double Dutch • JUMP! dir/prod Helen poses with film subjects Lee & Shane under marquee
My favorite doc of the festival was Off the Grid: Life on the Mesa, a character-driven story about a loose-knit community of radicals that live in the desert, a million miles away from mainstream society, and struggle to survive with little food, less water and no electricity, as they cling to their unique vision of the American dream. This doc has been called one of the 10 best films of 2007 without distribution -- and I have to agree. I'd love to meet these filmmakers and commiserate.
In addition to a great slate of films and lots of parties, the film festival arranged fun excursions and introduced me to the wonders of a mechanical bull. What more could you want of a festival? The Starz Denver International Film Festival is definitely on my A list.
Fossilized dinosaur footprints en route to the continental divide • Noel, a former psychiatrist who volunteered as a festival driver, doesn't know his own strength; he pulled the gear-shift console right off the loaner car in mid-ride • The bull