by Kathryn Gould
On Friday night, February 8, 2013, nearly 300 people came together for the one year anniversary of CINEMA Day at the History Colorado Center. It was more than just a celebration of the prior accomplishments, which are legend, but it was also an optimistic glimpse into the future of the Colorado film industry.
CINEMA president Michael Haskins opened the presentation with remarks welcoming the diverse crowd made up of filmmakers, actors, crew, lawmakers and more, then invited film commissioner Donald Zuckerman to the podium. Zuckerman shared encouraging news about new projects coming to the state. Although official announcements couldn't yet be made, Zuckerman did share that two high profile projects were on their way to Colorado. Since the event, those films have been approved and announced by the Colorado Economic Development Commission. "Dear Eleanor" is being produced by Leonardo DiCaprio's production company, "Appian Way"; "Caribou Records" is a $7.5 million venture to be directed by Randall Miller; and "The Frame"is the long-awaited feature from Colorado native and "Ink" writer/ director Jamin Winans. All three films will be produced this year, beginning in the spring. With these approvals, the new film incentive have brought in more than $30 million in new production.
With these three films, all funds available in the incentives program have been used up in only seven months. This is very good news, as it means that lawmakers will be encouraged to add more funds into the program next year, since it has been proven to be a resounding success.
As encouraging as Zuckerman's remarks were, however, I have to say that the highlight of the evening for me (and many others I'm sure) was when Colorado filmmaker and Oscar winner Daniel Junge came to the podium. He not only brought his Oscar for all to see, he was actually gracious (and brave) enough to let it be passed around and held by many in the crowd. Daniel shared that he has a new project in the works, which the crowd was very pleased to hear.
Finally, Michael concluded the evening's remarks with a presentation about CINEMA's student film competition that is being held in conjunction with History Colorado. The proposed 2 - 5 minutes films will highlight Colorado's amazing historical settings, and students will be mentored through the process. I look forward to seeing what these students are able to accomplish.
Kathryn Gould is a writer, actor and aspiring filmmaker with an award-winning short film, "Web of Lies”, which she wrote, co-produced, co-directed and starred in. She wants to make things happen for the Denver filmmaking community and came up with the idea for the Next Level Filmmaker Series in order to do just that.