- Friday, Nov. 28, 2014
Aspen Film, a year-round film arts and education organization, announces the complete program for its 23rd annual Academy Screenings festival, December 21 - January 2, at the Wheeler Opera House in downtown Aspen. The popular showcase will present 20 films actively campaigning for Oscar® nomination just as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gets ready to mail this year's ballots. The complete schedule with film descriptions and trailers is available now at aspenfilm.org. Tickets go on sale to the general public on December 10 through Aspen Show Tickets at the Wheeler Opera House and aspenshowtix.com. Voting members of AMPAS, BAFTA and associated guilds are invited to RSVP to Aspen Film directly: firstname.lastname@example.org or 970.306.0662.
"Aspen Film's Academy Screenings offers a special opportunity for members of the film industry and general audiences to see a concentration of films both in release and previews of the most anticipated films of the year in a festival atmosphere," says Aspen Film Co-Director, Laura Thielen. "From festival award-winners to star-studded performances as well as the latest from esteemed directors to a number of true stories, there is something for everyone. Aspen is one of few places in the country where one can access such a wide array of films actively campaigning for Oscar® nomination."
This year's movie extravaganza spotlights the season's most talked-about films featuring award-caliber performances, notable directors, festival prizewinners and more.
Stars will light up the screen including Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo in Bennett Miller's FOXCATCHER (Sony Pictures Classics), also a Best Director Award winner at Cannes; Julianne Moore stars in the moving drama STILL ALICE (Sony Pictures Classics); and Jake Gyllenhaal in NIGHTCRAWLER (Open Road Films), the unsettling thriller about the dark side of L.A.'s local TV news. Hilary Swank, Meryl Streep and her daughter, Grace Gummer, join Tommy Lee Jones (who also directs) in THE HOMESMAN (Roadside Attractions), a journey of survival on the Western frontier. Paul Thomas Anderson's (Magnolias, The Master) INHERENT VICE (Warner Bros.) brings the first adaption of a Thomas Pynchon novel to the big screen, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon and Josh Brolin. Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman and many more lend their voices to THE LEGO® MOVIE animated adventure.
Among the directors whose films are also garnering serious attention are Clint Eastwood and his affecting military drama AMERICAN SNIPER (Warner Bros.), starring Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller; Rob Marshall (Chicago) and his fairytale musical INTO THE WOODS (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures), starring James Cordon, Emily Blunt and Meryl Streep with screenplay by James Lapine and music by Stephen Sondheim; J.C. Chandor's (Margin Call, All is Lost) A MOST VIOLENT YEAR (A24), starring Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac; Tim Burton directs Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams in BIG EYES (The Weinstein Company), an outrageously true story of one of the most epic art frauds in history; Alejandro G. Iñárritu's razor-sharp Broadway satire BIRDMAN (Fox Searchlight Pictures) stars Michael Keaton, Ed Norton, Naomi Watts and Emma Stone; and Richard Linklater's ground-breaking coming-of-age story, BOYHOOD (IFC Films), starring Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke and Ellar Coltrane.
True stories provide the backdrop for compelling dramas and documentaries. David Olyeowo and Tom Wilkinson star in Ava DuVernay's inspiring SELMA (Paramount Pictures); KILL THE MESSENGER (Focus Features) stars a commanding Jeremy Renner; James Marsh directs young talents Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones in the Stephen Hawking biopic THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING (Focus Features); renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert is the star in Steve James' (Hoop Dreams) inspiring documentary LIFE ITSELF (Magnolia Pictures); and the Cold War takes center ice in the hockey documentary RED ARMY (Sony Pictures Classics).
Award buzz continues for festival winners including Damien Chazelle's adrenaline-fuelled jazz drama WHIPLASH (Sony Pictures Classics), which took home Sundance's Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award and features electrifying performances by J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller; a Jury Prize winner at Cannes, FORCE MAJEURE (Magnolia Pictures) is the Swedish entry for Best Foreign Language; and the World War II thriller IMITATION GAME (The Weinstein Company), a hit with festival audiences across North America, features an all-star cast lead by Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley.
This edition of the Aspen Film Academy Screenings is made possible through the generous support of presenting sponsor The Aspen Times, the Caribou Club, as well as the City of Aspen. Additional support comes from Aspen Public Radio, Aspen Peak Magazine, Theory, Aspen Out and Alpine Bank.
About Aspen Film. Established in 1979, Aspen Film is one of Colorado's most active film arts organizations, presenting dynamic programs and featured guest artists throughout the year. Internationally recognized, Aspen Film organizes a major film event in every season, along with an extensive education program: Aspen Filmfest, Academy Screenings, Aspen Shortsfest and Film Educates. With a mission to enlighten, enrich, educate and entertain through film, Aspen Film stimulates thought, encourages dialogue and broadens understanding of our world and ourselves through the diverse spectrum of ideas presented by filmmakers worldwide. To learn more, visit www.aspenfilm.org.