Among the honorees at the second annual TrindieFest independent film festival in Trinidad last weekend was Jim Turner, the president and founder of both the Colorado Springs Indie Spirit Film Festival and the Independent Film Society of Colorado.
At the opening ceremonies on Thursday evening, September 12, Jim was recognized for his pioneering work in promoting independent film throughout the rocky mountain southwest. Matthew Stevens of Kimballs theatre recalled that Jim was ‘the spirit of the Indie Spirit Film Festival’ and admitted to being his first recruit in 2007.
Fellow festival organizer Steve Kurtz also recognized Jim’s background as an early volunteer at the Sundance film fest where the idea for the Colorado Springs fest was born. He traditionally spends his vacation as a volunteer coordinator at that prestigious event; work which enhances the quality and character of the Springs event as a result of the contacts he has established and maintains there.
In her recognition of Turner’s work, Nancy Shuster, emailed her congratulatory message recalling their impromptu trip to the festival in Park City recalling that he had offered her a ride to Utah because he ‘needed someone to split the cost of housing with,’ but discovered that ‘it wasn’t the cost of the housing he wanted but instead to get my initial festival training done so he could use me for Indie Spirit that next year.’
To others, Turner is best known for his activities as a volunteer first responder from Peyton who was actively involved in fighting the recent Black Forest fire.
His recent collaborations with the organizers of the Trinidad event as well as contacts in Durango and Taos are part of the plan to link regional festivals into a network involving Colorado and New Mexico which will grow the options for independent film distribution and recognition as well as help attract national sponsors to the region.
The four day Trinidad event concluded on Sunday night with an awards ceremony which recognized the major participants in that festival. They included recognition for Mon Ami, [written and directed by Rob Grant] the best of show feature film honoree, ‘The Ride,’ [live action short by Dallas Jenkins who also had his feature, What if in competition] and Ohio Finch by writing team of Chad Parsons and Wolfgang Bauer, as the best screenplay. The writer/producer/director team of Eshom and Ian Nelms were also recognized for multiple works including the Audience award choice for their feature, Lost on Purpose, and their new screenplay submission, Small Town Crime.
- Pam Colander
- Steve Kurtz and Jim Turner flank TrindieFest coordinator and film office liaison Joe Tarabino during the opening night reception in the Mitchell Museum of Western Art in Trinidad on Thursday evening, Sept. 12.
TrindieFest , Trinidad’s independent film festival was organized last year by the Texas marketing team of Kirk and Julie Loudon who also have a residence in the Trinidad area and are committed to making the region a more desirable place to live by enhancing it with their cultural expertise.
Turner’s award in Trinidad was presented by coworker Steve Kurtz who also noted his professionalism and skills which he had honed at Sundance. He also recalled Stevens comments that his contribution to the inception of the Colorado Springs had been the indie aspect; the spirit part came from Jim which gave a ‘Native American aspect [to] the festival’ which has characterized it for the past five years of successful programming.