Showing Face in the Springs

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Following up on our coverage of this past weekend's Indie Spirit Film Festival, in which we chatted up organizer Jim Turner, reviewed a handful of films and interviewed Oscar winner Daniel Junge, here are a few post-show notes.

Firstly, I attended the screening of Junge's documentary, Saving Face, and I found it every bit as moving and powerful as its Academy Award suggests.

Kimball Bayles (left) told festival guests that when Daniel Junge worked for him as a senior at Colorado College, he screened one of Junges student films, becoming close friends with the young filmmaker.
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Kimball Bayles (left) told festival guests that when Daniel Junge worked for him as a senior at Colorado College, he screened one of Junge's student films, and became close friends with the young filmmaker.

During his Q&A afterward, Junge, in discussing the film's impact thus far, noted how co-director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy just earned a spot on Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World list.

Junge also shared something that didn't come up during my earlier Q&A with him that I found to be a pretty powerful statement.

In discussing the mental toll of making a film like this, getting face-to-face with the afflicted and witnessing such sad stories, Junge said, "You have to anesthetize yourself to some degree. You have to switch off. In the edit room later, that's where you get emotionally struck."

After a decade of making social-justice films, Junge says he's ready for an emotional break to work on upcoming documentaries about LEGO and Evel Knievel.

Another Indie Spirit Fest floats by, but not without reminding us how great of a cinematic event it is.
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Another Indie Spirit Fest floats by, but not without reminding us how great of a cinematic event it is.

Elsewhere in festival news, here's a list of this year's Indie Spirit award-winning films.

For my part, I was excited to see such quality films screening here, a testament to the fest's growing success. And the list of professional filmmakers it attracted should also be appreciated. It's not often in Colorado Springs that I can go from chatting up an Oscar winner to meeting a number of actors and actresses — hell, even the guy who edited Sacha Baron Cohen's Bruno and upcoming The Dictator.

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