Boulder's Annual Film Festivals
The beloved Boulder International Film Festival is celebrating its 20th year of bringing films, filmmakers and actors from around the world to Boulder. During four days of screenings, parties, workshops and panels, BIFF presents some of the best new films in international cinema. Throughout the festival, there are also celebrity interviews, CineCHEF (a film-inspired chef competition and dining event), second-line parades and parties galore. The festival takes place at venues all over town, including the Boulder Theater, Rembrandt Yard and Cinemark Century Boulder movie theater.
Over three days in June, the Buddhist Arts and Film Festival showcases films and arts with a Buddhist perspective, encouraging festival-goers to examine how Buddhist principles shape our perspectives and expand creativity. Films, panel discussions, art exhibits, workshops and live performances happen at the Dairy Arts Center.
For more than three decades, audiences have stepped back in time, inside the historic Chautauqua Auditorium, for the Chautauqua Silent Film Series. Films from the twenties, starring favorites like Rudolph Valentino, Charlie Chaplin and Lillian Gish, play on the big screen while rousing, live musical accompaniment is provided by local artists. It's a fun, unexpected evening that will transport you to another era.
The Boulder Environmental/Nature/Outdoors Film Festival (or ENOFF for short) presents a lineup of standout films, each exploring themes of environmentalism or nature with a passion for our oceans, lands, rivers and air. Four days of visually stunning, profoundly moving film screenings and celebrations take place at the Dairy Arts Center.
Bring a blanket and head to the A-Lodge Boulder for two free nights of adventure films. A 24-foot inflatable projector screen is set up on their lawn, and you can lay your blankets out right next to Fourmile Creek under the stars.
Mimesis is an artist-focused, community-oriented festival showcasing extraordinary nonfiction films in an immersive week of screenings, art installations, workshops and conversations with some of the most fascinating voices in documentary and ethnographic media.
Started in 2003 in Boulder, the cutting-edge Sans Souci Festival curates and showcases film and video works that integrate dance and cinematography. Screenings of provacative, visually tantalizing dance films happen primarily at the Museum of Boulder and the Boedecker Cinema.
Art House Cinema and More
Boedecker Cinema (fondly referred to by fans as “the Boe”), has a screening nearly every night of the week, sometimes accompanied by expert-led "talkbacks" following the show. It's located in the Dairy Arts Center, a hub for theater, dance and musical performances. Stop to browse the Dairy's lovely art galleries, featuring the works of local artists.
The International Film Series was Boulder's first art house series and has been locally programmed since 1941! The main venue is Muenzinger Auditorium on the University of Colorado campus. A secondary venue is the Visual Arts Complex Auditorium. Whether debuting a premiere film or screening a restored 35mm print of some classic title that hasn't been on the big screen in decades, the IFS plays host to an eclectic mix of genres and filmmakers, screening over 100 films a year.
On the first Sunday of every month during the spring semester, the Celebrating Stan series screens a 16mm film in ATLAS 100 on the University of Colorado campus. The events pay homage to Boulder filmmaker Stan Brakhage's enormous legacy. He created nearly 400 films, inspired countless film students as an instructor at CU and shaped the trajectory of cinema. Screenings are free and open to the public and are followed by an informal discussion.
Founded in 1955 as "The Experimental Cinema Group," the First Person Cinema film series is believed to be the longest-running university program in the world screening avant-garde film and video work. The program, part of the Cinema Studies & Moving Images Arts program at CU, presents works of personal cinema by artists invited to Boulder from all over the world. All screenings are in the Visual Arts Complex 1B20 and admission is free.
Several more CU film events happen throughout the school year.