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In fairly short order, I went from indecisive to getting on the plane to make my way to Denver for the second week of that city's 32nd Starz Denver Film Festival. Long a mainstay of the festival circuit, the Mile High City event offers the community a sustained range of the kind of films that play throughout the year at the Starz Film Center, located on the campus of the Univeristy of Colorado, Denver.
Across the walkway from the Tivoli Union theater on the university's Auraria Campus (the theater's located in the historic former Tivoli Brewery, which serves as the student union), you could eat, drink, make merry, watch cinema and see the scene makers of Denver throughout the 11 days of the fest, all without going off-campus. But since things don't really start til about 3 or 4 p.m. each day, I had some time to take in Denver, a city I've visited numerous time and one with a distinct — meaning non-coastal — personality that always makes my time here both enjoyable and adventurous.
LoDo — the area just below where the festival takes place — is the vibrant downtown of this mountain-ringed city, a neighborhood that has been fully revitalized and turned into something more than just a suburban mall transplanted into town. Yes, Denver has its share of chains and strip malls, but it also has got a lot of homegrown merchants and eating establishments that seem unique to this ever-evolving burg.
And thus, I am going to report both on the films and the city that embraces them. since that is part of the charm of this festival — one that has gone through as many upheavals, it seems, as this whole country has been experiencing in the past year.
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