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Meet the filmmakers…

Janet Urquhart
Paul Conrad/Aspen Times Weekly
ALL |

Aspen Shortsfest isn’t just about watching movies in the dark.

When the house lights come up, one or more of the filmmakers whose work has just been featured are on hand to discuss their work with the audience.

And when they’re not at the theater, movie lovers may just run into them at the festival lounge in the Mountain Chalet, open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and the site of free roundtable discussions.

Lunch with the Filmmakers, on April 6 at 1:30 p.m. at The Cantina, promises a “convivial midday nosh” with film buffs and filmmakers, according to Shortsfest organizers.

Five special presentations are scheduled at the Wheeler Opera House over the course of the festival, including a return engagement by filmmaker and area resident Bob Rafelson, and an afternoon with “Dog Day Afternoon” screenwriter Frank Pierson.

In Bob Rafelson: Confessions of a Filmmaker Part II, on April 6 at 5:30 p.m., the filmmaker continues a discussion he began at last fall’s Aspen Filmfest. This time, he talks about new clips and his experiences in making short films. His feature-film credits include directing “Five Easy Pieces” and “The King of Marvin Gardens” and producing “Easy Rider” and “The Last Picture Show.”

Jason Reitman, a writer-director with commercials, shorts and his debut feature, “Thank You for Smoking,” to his credit, is in the Director Spotlight on April 7 at noon, and again April 9 at 7:30 p.m.

On April 7, Reitman discusses his experience directing shorts and commercials, and screens some of his work. On April 9, he discusses the transition to features and his affinity for comedy, and Shortsfest shows its one feature-length film ” “Thank You for Smoking.”

In the Director’s Chair, at noon on April 8, features a panel of filmmakers screening clips from their feature films and discussing movie-making. Confirmed guests include Oscar winner Paul Haggis (“Crash”); Tom McCarthy (“The Station Agent”), independent filmmakers Mark and Michael Polish (“Northfork”) and Peter Segal (“The Longest Yard”).

Pierson, who won an Academy Award in 1975 for his ground-breaking script for “Dog Day Afternoon,” will discuss the shaping of the script and show clips from the movie on April 9 at 3 p.m.


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