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The big picture 

Take stock of the film scene with a roundup of cinephiles and cinema spots

Is this a film town or not?

As I write, there are three local casting calls out: one for Jerry Bruckheimer's Lone Ranger; a feature-length Civil War-era flick called Dutchman's Run, by a crew of young filmmakers; and award-winning student filmmaker Sarah Lotfi's latest short, Menschen.

Then there's the hype around films with Springs ties — more directly, Colorado College alums — in the news lately. Daniel Junge won an Oscar in February for his short, Saving Face; Kaui Hart Hemmings' novel, The Descendants, was made into an Oscar-winning film starring George Clooney; and Marc Webb is directing The Amazing Spider-Man. Plus, CC professors Dylan Nelson and Clay Haskell's documentary The Hollywood Complex recently aired on Showtime.

We've also been tracking local filmmaker Pete Schuermann's effort to realize Creep!, a flick that will tell the story behind the "worst film ever made," since June 2010.

That legitimizing enough?

Now that we agree that we can hang with the big dogs, let's look at everything else silver-screen in the Springs.

This city's also home to professional film festivals, the oldest of which is the Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival (rmwfilmfest.org). It holds the proud title of North America's longest continuously running women's film festival, now in its 25th year. From Nov. 2 through 4 at both CC and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, you can expect an array of shorts, documentaries and feature films primarily directed, produced and/or edited by women; single screenings are $15, with passes going from $35 to $125. Plus, past films can be checked out from the group's office anytime, for a small suggested donation.

Next, there's the 13-year-old Pikes Peak Lavender Film Festival (tinyurl.com/PPLFilmFest), planned for Sept. 21 to 23 at CC's Cornerstone Arts Center. Seats for single films are $10 ($5 students or low-income), with full passes for $75. Short and feature films are selected annually from the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, attended by organizer Alma Cremonesi.

The Windrider Film Forum (windridercolorado.com) turns seven this year, screening from July 26 to 28 in CC's Armstrong Theatre. Our local branch of the Fuller Theological Seminary plays host, spotlighting shorts and feature-length movies meant to inspire compassion and social consciousness. Seats are $10 per film ($5 for students).

Which brings us to the fifth annual Indie Spirit Film Festival (indiespiritfilmfestival.org), from April 19 to 22 on the CC campus and at Kimball's Peak Three Theater (115 E. Pikes Peak Ave., kimballspeakthree.com). It promises to showcase nearly 120 international films of all lengths, plus filmmaker Q&As, free panels and parties; individual tickets are $10, with punch passes and full VIP access ranging from $25 to $100.

The group behind Indie Spirit is the Independent Film Society of Colorado (ifsoc.org), which also hosts free, thrice-yearly Colorado Short Circuit short-film showings; individual Film Series screenings of great indie flicks ($2 to $4); and free Community Cinema showings in partnership with Rocky Mountain PBS.

Moving to touring festivals, the Banff Mountain Film Festival (banffcentre.ca) arrives in the spring with beautiful outdoorsy movies. In the fall, we can usually count on the Warren Miller Film Tour (skinet.com/warrenmiller) for ski porn, and the Reel Rock Film Tour (reelrocktour.com) for international rock climbing and mountaineering guffawing. (Back to that whole film-town thing: Reel Rock's production team includes three CC alums.)

As for the places to slip on 3D glasses, we have five multiplexes in town and one IMAX screen. There's also Picture Show discount theater (pictureshowent.com) for last month's movies, and Kimball's for indies, documentaries and some blockbusters.

Otherwise, look to our local libraries (ppld.org; manitousprings.colibraries.org) for free public screenings of old films for all ages. Our local colleges, churches and other community meeting venues also screen the occasional foreign-language film series, documentary or feature. Keep an eye on our listings at csindy.com to catch those, and also on our online database for constantly updated movie times and more.

  • Take stock of the film scene with a roundup of cinephiles and cinema spots

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