Aspen Film announces Academy Screenings movie lineup |

Aspen Film announces Academy Screenings movie lineup

Staff report
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in the musical "La La Land." The acclaimed film opens Aspen Film's Academy Screenings on Dec. 21. The film festival runs through New Year's Day at the Wheeler Opera House and Paepcke Auditorium.
Dale Robinette/Courtesy photo |

Academy Screenings film schedule


Dec. 21: Wheeler Opera House

6:30 p.m.: Opening reception

7:30: “La La Land”


Dec. 22: Wheeler Opera House

3 p.m.: “Julieta”

5:30: “Gleason”

8:15: “Lion”


Dec. 23: Paepcke Auditorium

Noon: Shorts Program

3 p.m.: “Toni Erdmann”

8:15: “Jackie”


Dec. 26: Wheeler Opera House

3 p.m.: “Sing” (free for children 18 and younger)

5:30: “Hidden Figures” (free screening)

8:15: “Moonlight”


Dec. 27: Wheeler Opera House

3 p.m.: “Sand Storm”

5:15: “Hell or Highwater”

8:15: “A Monster Calls”


Dec. 28: Paepcke Auditorium

Noon: “Elle”

3 p.m.: “Loving”

8: “Deepwater Horizon”


Dec. 29: Paepcke Auditorium

Noon: “I Am Not Your Negro”

3 p.m.: “Nocturnal Animals”

8: “Fences”


Dec. 30: Wheeler Opera House

3 p.m.: “Neruda”

5:30: “Paterson”

8: “Manchester by the Sea”


Dec. 31: The St. Regis

Aspen Film Casino Royale New Year’s Eve Bash


Jan. 1: Wheeler Opera House

5:30 p.m.: “Gold”

8:15: “The Founder”

More than 20 Oscar contenders will screen at Aspen Film’s 25th annual Academy Screenings Dec. 21 through Jan. 1.

Among the titles are acclaimed new films “La La Land,” “Jackie,” “Moonlight,” “Fences,” “Manchester By the Sea” and “The Founder,” Aspen Film announced Thursday.

Films will play at the Wheeler Opera House and at Paepcke Auditorium. 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: or 970-920-5770. General Admission tickets are available for $20 and $15 for Aspen Film Members.

Screenings will include:

– ‘Deepwater Horizon.’ On April 20th, 2010, one of the world’s largest man-made disasters occurred on the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico. Directed by Peter Berg (Lone Survivor), this story honors the brave men and women whose heroism would save many on board, and change everyone’s lives forever.

– ‘Elle.’ In one of the most buzzed about performances of the year, Isabelle Huppert stars in director Paul Verhoeven’s controversial and compelling film about identity, violence and intrigue.

– ‘Fences.’ The story of Troy Maxson, a mid-century Pittsburgh sanitation worker who once dreamed of a baseball career, but was too old when the major leagues began admitting black players. He tries to be a good husband and father, but his dream of glory eats at him, and causes him to make a decision that threatens to tear his family apart. Fences is directed by Denzel Washington from a screenplay by August Wilson, adapted from Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play. The film stars Denzel Washington and Viola Davis.

– ‘The Founder.’ Directed by John Lee Hancock, The Founder features the true story of how Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), a struggling salesman from Illinois, met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. Kroc was impressed by the brothers’ speedy system of making the food and saw franchise potential. Writer Robert Siegel details how Kroc maneuvered himself into a position to be able to pull the company from the brothers and create a billion-dollar empire.

– ‘Gleason.’ One of the year’s most emotionally unforgettable, and often humorous, documentaries tells the story of former NFL player Steve Gleason and his wife Michel, and the actions they take when Steve is diagnosed with ALS at the age of 34.

– Gold.’ Inspired by actual events, Gold is the epic tale of one man’s pursuit of the American dream and everything he’ll do to keep it from falling apart. Directed by Stephen Gaghan, the film stars Matthew McConaughey, Edgar Ramirez and Bryce Dallas Howard.

– ‘Hell or Highwater.’ Academy Award-winner Jeff Bridges, Ben Foster and Chris Pine star in a Texas-based story of crime, punishment and brotherly love, directed by David Mackenzie from a screenplay by Taylor Sheriden.

– ‘Hidden Figures.’ The film recounts the vital history of an elite team of African-American female mathematicians at NASA who helped win the all-out space race against America’s rivals in the Soviet Union and, at the same time, sent the quest for equal rights and opportunity rocketing forwards. Directed by Theodore Melfi and starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe and Kevin Costner. This is a free screening with priority access given to Aspen Film members.

– ‘I Am Not Your Negro.’ Director Raoul Peck takes the unfinished writings of James Baldwin, drawing upon the lives and assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. to explore the current racial narrative in America. Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson.

– ‘Jackie.’ A searing and intimate portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Natalie Portman). Jackie places us in her world during the days immediately following her husband’s assassination. Known for her extraordinary dignity and poise, here we see a psychological portrait of the First Lady as she struggles to maintain her husband’s legacy and the world of “Camelot” that they created and loved so well.

– ‘Julieta.’ After a casual encounter, a brokenhearted woman decides to confront her life and the most important events about her estranged daughter. Based on a short story by Nobel Prize-winning writer Alice Munro, and directed by the Academy Award-winning Spanish director Pedro Almodovar.

– ‘La La Land.’ Written and directed by Academy Award® nominee Damien Chazelle, La La Land tells the story of Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in modern day L.A., a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams.

– ‘Lion.’ One of the most engrossing and affecting films of the year centers on the true story of Saroo Brierly, adopted from India by an Australian family at age five, for whom the invention of Google Earth 25 years later provides the tools to begin a search for his birth family. Starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman.

– ‘Loving.’ The real-life story of an interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving (portrayed in the film by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga), who married and then spent the next nine years fighting for the right to live as a family in their hometown.

– ‘Manchester by the Sea.’ Directed by Kenneth Lonergan, and starring Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams, the film explores the transformed life of a solitary Boston janitor when he returns to his hometown to take care of his teenage nephew.

– ‘A Monster Calls.’ 12-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall), dealing with his mother’s (Felicity Jones) illness, a less-than-sympathetic grandmother (Sigourney Weaver), and bullying classmates, finds a most unlikely ally when a Monster appears at his bedroom window.

– ‘Moonlight.’ A timeless story of human connection and self-discovery, Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami. Directed by Barry Jenkins, Moonlight is based on a play by esteemed playwright and Miami native Tarell Alvin McCraney.

– ‘Neruda.’ Pablo Larraín weaves an engrossing metafictional fable around the 1948 manhunt for celebrated poet and politician Pablo Neruda, who goes underground when Chile outlaws communism and is pursued by an ambitious police inspector (Gael García Bernal) hoping to make a name for himself by capturing the famous fugitive.

– ‘Nocturnal Animals.’ From writer/director Tom Ford comes a romantic thriller that explores the thin lines between love and cruelty, and revenge and redemption. Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal star as a divorced couple discovering dark truths about each other and themselves in Nocturnal Animals.

– ‘Paterson.’ Starring Adam Driver and written and directed by renowned indie director Jim Jarmusch, Paterson is set in the present in Paterson, New Jersey and is an immersive and thoughtful tale about a bus driver and poet.

– ‘Sand Storm.’ One of the most highly awarded international films of the year, and Israel’s official submission to the 2016 Academy Awards®, Sand Storm is set in a Bedouin village in Southern Israel, where Jalila finds herself in the awkward position of hosting her husband Suliman’s marriage to a second, much younger wife while discovering her daughter’s forbidden liaison with a university boy.

– Sing.’ Set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, Sing stars Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey), a dapper koala who presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. Buster is an eternal some might even say delusional—optimist who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it. Now faced with the crumbling of his life’s ambition, he has one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition.

– ‘Toni Erdmann.’ The most acclaimed international film of the year, and Germany’s official submission to the 2016 Oscars®, this is the funny, charming, unpredictable and moving story of a father doing everything in his power to reconnect with his daughter.

For the first time, Academy Screenings will also include a program of Oscar-qualified short films, offering a taste of what to look forward to in April at Aspen Shortsfest. These multiple award-winning shorts represent the extraordinary talent of emerging visual storytellers: “The Dogcatcher,” directed by Daria Woszek, “Maman(s),” directed by Maïmouna Doucouré, and “The White Helmets,” directed by Orlando von Einsiedel.

Voting members of the Academy, BAFTA and associated guilds receive a complimentary Industry Pass to Academy Screenings, which allows entry 30 minutes prior to all screenings and events. To obtain a pass contact Aspen Film directly by email ( or phone (970-925-6882).

Celebrating 25 years of Academy Screenings, Aspen Film will also host the New Year’s Eve Casino Royale Bash Dec. 31, 2016 at the St. Regis. Tickets and more information here.

The full Academy Screenings program is online at