Estes Park Film festival

Written by Joe D on September 18th, 2007


The historic Park Theater

It’s incredibly beautiful here in Estes Park Colorado. We saw elk butting heads on the golf course yesterday, the golfers had to play around them.


Estes Park is a pretty little town surrounded by rough, rock escarpments and pine covered mountains. There’s a stream running through the town, right behind the main street. The Starbuck’s has the most beautiful patio right on the stream. But the real gem on the crown is the Park Theater. This is the 2nd oldest operating theater in the USA and soon to be the oldest as a theater in Pennsylvania that had that distinction is closing. The theater is a time capsule into our movie heritage. The guys at the festival, Sean, Cliff, Pete, and Tony are all film buffs and are super proud of the theater.

3 Cool Cats-Pete, Tony, Sean in the booth!

Cliff, Wild Man Of The Mountain

They took great pleasure in showing me around and brought out some recently discovered treasures. Recruiting trailers from WWII, “Women Join The Wacs, Uncle Sam Needs You!”, “Buy Liberty Bonds”, all kinds of amazing historical stuff. Box office receipts from the original presentation of “Gone With The Wind”, original posters from a lot of movies including King Kong and Frankenstein. It’s incredible! An old projector from the silent days complete with Vitaphone record player. The owner of the theater, Sharon Seeley, is super committed to keeping that theater going and I applaud her and her daughter Jenna for doing a great job and a great favor to all film lovers.

Sharon and Jenna-First Ladies of Theater Preservation

This theater is a priceless treasure trove of American Cinema History! The guys told me that there are tons of artifacts piled up in the storage spaces that need to be catalogued and preserved. The Park opened in 1913 and has been showing movies ever since! There’s a Valentino poster in the lobby.
It was a real honor for me to have my film One Night With You screen there. I scrambled like mad to get a 35mm print ready in time for the festival and thanks to my pals at Triage Motion Picture Services I made it. Sean, Tony (the projectionist, a young guy totally committed to film, quality projection, and old theaters),Pete, Cliff, and Jenna were really happy we could project on film. It’s a FILM festival! show it on FILM if possible.



Night Falls on The Park Theater. Psst! It’s Haunted!

I’ve been to a few film fests in my day and I’ve got to say Estes Park was superbly organized! Everything went off without a hitch. I saw more films at this festival than any other. My hat is off to all the organizers. Hey Filmmakers! Go to this festival! It’s just starting to grow and I predict it will be the next Sundance. (Or maybe I should say what Sundance used to be before it got all corporate).

Welcome to The Stanley Hotel! Mwah Ha Ha!

We went to a screening of Horror/Fantasy type films at the Stanley Hotel. This is the spot where The Shining takes place. A cool creepy dreamlike joint. Beautiful but you expect to see a guy from 1920 come strolling around the corner.
The Horror/Fantasy screenings were great. Maybe because of the nature of the genre the films were consistently Cinematic. Effect Shots, creepy sequences, a lot of visually stunning stuff and a great sidebar to the Festival. So Filmmakers submit your films, Film Lovers Go to this festival. I guarantee an excellent time will be had by all.
P.S. By the way I won the Best Director Prize for my film One Night With You and I’m super happy and grateful to all these wonderful people up there in Estes Park!


5 Comments so far ↓

  1. Sep

    Congrats on the win!

  2. Sep

    Hey Joe and Heather! Wow, thanks for the compliments on the 2007 EPFF. We sure had some fun, and great films to boot. It was a pleasure meeting you, hanging out, staying out late and plotting revolution, and just having a good time. Thanks so much for coming, and I hope get to see you next year! btw, that “mountain man” picture is quite a good representation of how much (too much!) fun I had over the course of the weekend. Good lord I look rough! lol Thanks again!

  3. Sep

    Hello Joe & Heather,

    It was great meeting you both and I hope you had a great time at the festival. I will be in cali soon to show “County Road 14” so I will come you updated on the screening. Thank you for your time and have a nice day.


  4. Sep

    Hey guys!

    Great to meet you both at Estes Park. Getting to hang out and chat with other filmmakers is my favorite part of festivals, usually – well, besides seeing films like yours, that is!

    One Night With You is a real gem of a movie creatively and very solid in all of the technical areas as well, of course (no shocker there) and I really enjoyed it. Looking forward to seeing it again sometime, too!

    Please add me to whatever mailing list you have for screenings and such and I will make any that I am local for if possible. All the best to you both and cheers!


  5. Dec
    JP Star

    Hi guys, you rock! The entire area is a movie waiting to roll! We loved it too, the Stanley is mind boggling, just waiting for vilians to pop out of the closets! We stayed a little bit out of town in our own private Estes Park Vacation Rentals It made the entire experience that much more jaw dropping. Thanks again!

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