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Aspen Film Festival

Courtesy Aspen Film

When Aspen Film kicks off its 41st annual FilmFest on Thursday, Oct. 15 , it might be nostalgic for local filmgoers; the festival is hosting its opening and closing night screenings in-person at Aspen’s Isis Theatre.

Comedian Darrell Hammond performed on "Saturday Night Live" for thirteen years, impersonating people like Sean Connery and President Bill Clinton. 


Behind the scenes, he struggled with addiction and self-harm. After surviving a suicide attempt, one psychiatrist told him that his issues were caused by childhood trauma. Director Michelle Esrick’s documentary “Cracked Up” explores Hammond’s story. The film is part of this week’s Aspen FilmFest lineup.  

Aspen Film courtesy image

LGBTQ advocacy group AspenOUT is sponsoring two films at this week’s Aspen FilmFest.  

Aspen Film executive director Susan Wrubel says the organization aims to highlight social issues through film. 

Michael Barnett’s “Changing the Game” looks at transgender civil rights through the story of four high school athletes.  They negotiate inconsistent laws and regulations when it comes to competing and face slurs yelled by spectators in the stands.

The 40th annual Aspen FilmFest starts Monday. This year’s lineup includes films and discussions about everything from Judy Garland, to underwater photography, to mushrooms. 

Aspen Film executive director Susan Wrubel says the week-long festival is all about quality.  



Aspen Film hosts a screening of the dark comedy “Being Frank” on Monday.

The film stars comedian Jim Gaffigan as a father with a secret family. It’s a situation that the film’s director, Miranda Bailey, says isn’t that uncommon. 


Aspen Film’s Shortsfest starts Tuesday. The film festival screens nearly 70 films, all with a running time of 40 minutes or less. The event also includes panels and filmmaker Q-and-As.

Aspen Film’s Academy Screenings close out Sunday with the film "Ben Is Back." It tells the story of a teenage heroin addict who leaves rehab to spend Christmas with his wary family.


Aspen Film’s Academy Screenings begin Wednesday. The event screens films that are generating Oscar buzz for the both the general public and members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The festival kicks off with “Amazing Grace,” a documentary about a legendary gospel performance by the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.

Almost 45 years ago, a small plane carrying a family to Aspen crashed outside of Glenwood. Mark and Andy Godfrey, 11 and 8-years-old at the time, were the only survivors. They were stranded for three days and two nights in the frigid mountains.  After their rescue, they rarely discussed the crash.

Aspen Filmfest kicks off Tuesday with the documentary “Howard.”  It’s the story of Howard Ashman, the lyricist for Disney classics like "Aladdin," "The Little Mermaid" and "Beauty and the Beast." Ashman died of AIDS when he was 39 years old.


In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ classic psychedelic film “Yellow Submarine,” Aspen Film presents two screenings of the animated adventure at the Isis Theatre Wednesday night.  

Non-Profit in the Spotlight: Aspen Film, Week 4

May 21, 2018

Aspen Film seeks to enlighten, enrich, educate, and entertain through film. Founded in 1979 by Ellen Hunt, Aspen Film has been creating unique experiences for all audiences. Susan Wrubel, Executive Director, and Regna Jones, Director of Operations and Education detail what Aspen Film means to them. 

Aspen Film

Aspen Film’s 27th annual Shortsfest starts Tuesday. There are 11 programs, each comprised of animated films, documentaries, comedies and dramas from all over the world.  Each program was designed to challenge viewers by including films with a variety of lengths, styles, settings and themes. Audiences can see imagination and even some weirdness in these little films on the big screen. 


Aspen Film

Aspen Film has released the program for Shortsfest this year.

The festival offers a wide range of dramatic, comedic, animated and documentary shorts, all under 40 minutes.  



Week in the Arts: January 8, 2018

Jan 8, 2018

On Tuesday at 6, Alice McDermott kicks off the Winter Words series, hosted by Aspen Words at Paepcke Auditorium.

Wednesday the Aspen Chapel Gallery’s latest exhibition opens. “7 X 7” will feature student artists from the Roaring Fork Valley’s seven high schools. The opening reception starts at 5.


Still from "Wind River"

 The 26th annual Academy Screenings are underway in Aspen. Among the award season contenders featured as part of Aspen Film’s series are films whose actors and producers have recently been accused of workplace sexual harassment. Aspen audiences and the nonprofit shared perspectives on how the industry is handling accusations in light of the upcoming Academy and Golden Globe awards.

The 2017 Academy Screenings lineup is out

Dec 1, 2017

Aspen Film has released its program for the 26th annual Academy Screenings, bringing with it some of the most anticipated films of the year to town later this month.

Week in the Arts: Nov. 27, 2017

Nov 27, 2017

Welcome to a Week in the Arts, from Aspen Public Radio. Here's what's on tap:

Tuesday in Snowmass Village, Anderson Ranch Arts Center will screen the award-winning ski documentary film Steep at 7:30 p.m. in the Schermer Meeting Hall.


Wednesday, the Aspen Chapel Gallery will celebrate it’s 200th exhibition “Small Wonders” with an artists reception starting at 5 p.m.


Film: Lady Bird

Aspen Filmfest starts Tuesday. It's bringing 20 feature films and documentaries to big screens in Aspen and Carbondale through Sunday. 

Week in the Arts: Oct. 2, 2017

Oct 2, 2017


Welcome to the beginning of the first week of snow in the Roaring Fork Valley!

The 39th annual Aspen Filmfest kicks off Tuesday at The Wheeler Opera House, with screenings and panel discussions also occurring at the ISIS Theatre in Aspen and the Crystal Theatre in Carbondale through Sunday. For the complete schedule, visit


Curated: Oct. 2, 2017

Oct 2, 2017

This week's episode of Curated marks the 39th annual Aspen Filmfest. We’ll hear from an independent filmmaker trying to reach Congress through film and dance. We’ll also talk to Aspen Film’s director of programming for this week’s Aspen Filmfest. And we’ll hear from Susan Wrubel, Aspen Film’s new executive director.

Courtesy of Aspen Film

Jane Schoettle first came to Aspen in 2016 for the Academy Screenings. She is an international programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival and served as the director of programming for the 39th annual Aspen Filmfest, which starts Tuesday. Arts reporter Claire Woodcock spoke with her about her role as curator in a digital world.

Susan Wrubel: Aspen Film's new executive director

Sep 24, 2017
Courtesy of Aspen Film

Aspen Film has named Susan Wrubel its new permanent executive director.

Aspen Shortsfest: The 'great cultural exchange'

Apr 9, 2017
Claire Woodcock/Aspen Public Radio News

Last week, dozens of filmmakers from across the globe were in town for the 26th annual Aspen Shortsfest.

Shortsfest kicks off 26th year of short film

Apr 3, 2017

Aspen Film’s 26th annual Shortsfest kicks off on Tuesday. The 6-day festival offers drama, comedy, animation and documentary films that are all 40 minutes or less.

New David Hockney documentary to be shown in Aspen

Mar 22, 2017

Tonight at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Aspen Film and Galerie Maximillian present a screening of the new documentary “Hockney.”

Aspen Film’s Academy Screenings are in their 25th year. The series was originally a way for local members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to experience nominated films on the big screen before casting their vote.

Courtesy Photo

AspenFilm’s Filmfest series finished Sunday. Here are the winners of the audience awards:

Best Feature Film (TIE)

“My Blind Brother” and “11:55”


Best Documentary Film

“Mr. Gaga”


Mountain Edition- Sept. 23

Sep 23, 2016

 On this week’s Mountain Edition, hosts Barbara Platts and Elizabeth Stewart-Severy present a compilation of the week’s news.

Courtesy Photo

The 38th year of Filmfest starts today at the Wheeler Opera House. Films will also be screened at the Crystal Theatre in Carbondale.


New to the festival this year are panels discussing everything from film about social change, to the history of physical celluloid film.


John Thew said programmer Rachel Chanoff did a great job of putting together this year’s festival.


The festival runs through Sunday.