Aspen launches Acad­emy Screen­ings

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By John Wen­zel

With last week’s Critic’s Choice nom­i­na­tions and 2016 awards al­ready rolling in from the New York Film Crit­ics Cir­cle, now is the time for film buffs to start catch­ing up on likely Acad­emy Award and Golden Globe nom­i­nees.

To that end, Aspen Film is bring­ing back its Acad­emy Screen­ings for the 25th year. From Dec. 21 through Jan. 1, film lovers can brush up on 23 di­verse, buzzed­about movies at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, in­clud­ing “Fences,” “Jackie,” “Hid­den Fig­ures,” “La La Land,” (which made a huge splash at last month’s Den­ver Film Fes­ti­val), “Lov­ing,” “Sing,” “Manch­ester by the Sea,” “Moon­light,” “Hell or High Wa­ter,” “The Founder” and more.

The screen­ings be­gan as a way to cater to vot­ing mem­bers of the Acad­emy of Mo­tion Pic­ture Arts and Sciences, Bri­tish Acad­emy of Film and Tele­vi­sion Arts and oth­ers who hap­pened to be in Aspen, but have grown into “an Aspen hol­i­day tra­di­tion,” ac­cord­ing to or­ga­niz­ers.

New this year: A pro­gram of Os­car-qual­i­fied shorts — which dou­bles as a pre­view of April’s Aspen Shorts­fest, a mod­est but in­flu­en­tial event that has grown into an early barom­e­ter of Os­car-wor­thy shorts. Film this year in­clude “The Dog­catcher,” “Ma­man(s)” and “The White Hel­mets.”

The full pro­gram for Aspen Acad­emy Screen­ings is on­line at as­pen­film.org. Pre-sale tick­ets are avail­able for Aspen Film mem­bers on Mon­day, Dec. 5, with tick­ets to the gen­eral pub­lic avail­able on Thurs­day, Dec. 8, through the Wheeler Opera House box of­fice, as­pen­showtix.com or by call­ing 866-449-0464.

Gen­eral ad­mis­sion tick­ets are $20. “Hid­den Fig­ures” is a free screen­ing with pri­or­ity ac­cess given to Aspen Film mem­bers. Ad­mis­sion to “Sing” is free for kids 18 and un­der.

Also look for more Den­ver metro-area screen­ings of nom­i­nated films in the com­ing weeks (es­pe­cially af­ter the hol­i­days), when the Den­ver Film So­ci­ety opens its Os­car Doc Shorts pack­ages in late Jan­uary, as well as brings back var­i­ous nom­i­nated films based on avail­abil­ity.

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