Aspen Filmfest

Tue, 09/21/2021 - 06:00 AM - Sun, 09/26/2021 - 04:00 PM


Aspen Film's flagship event is a non-competitive festival showcasing narrative and documentary features, a dynamic mix of award-worthy fall previews, and acclaimed independent films from the international festival circuit. Filmfest audiences are often among the first in the country to see films like 1917, BOMBSHELL, JOJO RABBIT, JUDY, JUST MERCY, PARASITE.


See below for 2021 programming information.  




Tuesday, September 21 | 6 PM

Wheeler Opera House


THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE is an intimate look at the extraordinary rise, fall and redemption of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker. In the 1970s and 80s, Tammy Faye and her husband, Jim Bakker, rose from humble beginnings to create the world’s largest religious broadcasting network and theme park, and were revered for their message of love, acceptance and prosperity. Tammy Faye was legendary for her indelible eyelashes, her idiosyncratic singing, and her eagerness to embrace people from all walks of life. However, it wasn’t long before financial improprieties, scheming rivals, and scandal toppled their carefully constructed empire. (USA, 2021) 126MIN

FESTIVALS | AWARDS: Toronto International Film Festival 2021

DIRECTOR: Michael Showalter

WRITTEN BY: Abe Sylvia

WITH: Jessica Chastain, Andrew Garfield, Cherry Jones, and Vincent D’Onofrio 




Wednesday, September 22 | 2 PM

Isis Theatre


CHASING CHILDHOOD follows education professionals, including Lenore Skenazy and Julie Lythcott-Haims, and reformed helicopter parents who seek to offer solutions to this epidemic. The film takes us to three communities that are trying to shift the culture in creating room for play and independence with the hope of raising kids to become competent, healthy, and happy adults. When kids don’t play unsupervised by adults, they don’t gain critical life skills: grit, independence, and resourcefulness. Though they may appear more accomplished on paper, by the time they get to college they are often falling apart, lacking the emotional tools to navigate. (USA, 2020) 78MIN

FESTIVALS | AWARDS: Sarasota FF: Documentary Feature Competition Jury Award 

DIRECTOR: Margaret Munzer Loeb and Eden Wurmfeld

WRITTEN BY: Margaret Munzer Loeb and Eden Wurmfeld

WITH: Lenore Skenazy, Julie Lythcott-Haims, Peter Gray, Michael Hynes

Pre-recorded Q+A to follow




Wednesday, September 22 | 5 PM

Wheeler Opera House


Friday, September 24 | 7:30 PM

Crystal Theatre

The extraordinary true story of eccentric British artist Louis Wain (Benedict Cumberbatch), whose playful, sometimes even psychedelic pictures helped to transform the public's perception of cats forever. Moving from the late 1800s through to the 1930s, we follow the incredible adventures of this inspiring, unsung hero, as he seeks to unlock the "electrical" mysteries of the world and, in so doing, to better understand his own life and the profound love he shared with his wife Emily Richardson (Claire Foy). (UK, 2021) 111MIN

FESTIVALS | AWARDS: Telluride Film Festival 2021, Toronto International Film Festival 2021

DIRECTOR: Will Sharpe

WRITTEN BY: Simon Stephenson and Will Sharpe 

WITH: Benedict Cumberbatch, Claire Foy





Wednesday, September 22 | 8 PM

Wheeler Opera House


Saturday, September 25 | 7:30 PM

Crystal Theatre

The film takes place over the course of a single morning in a 911 dispatch call center. Call operator Joe Baylor (Gyllenhaal) tries to save a caller in grave danger—but he soon discovers that nothing is as it seems, and facing the truth is the only way out. (USA, 2021) 90MIN

FESTIVALS | AWARDS: Toronto International Film Festival 2021

DIRECTOR: Antoine Fuqua
SCREENPLAY BY: Nic Pizzolatto
Based on the Motion Picture “Den Skyldige” written by Gustav Möller / Emil Nygaard Albertsen

PRODUCED BY: Jake Gyllenhaal, p.g.a., Riva Marker, p.g.a., David Litvak, Gary Michael Walters, David Haring, Michel Litvak, Svetlana Metkina, Antoine Fuqua, Scott Greenberg,
Kat Samick
WITH: Jake Gyllenhaal, Ethan Hawke, Riley Keough, Christina Vidal Mitchell, Eli Goree, Da’vine Joy Randolph, David Castañeda with Paul Dano and Peter Sarsgaard       




Thursday, September 23 | 2 PM

Isis Theater


Fifteen years before Rosa Parks refused to surrender her bus seat, a full decade before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned separate-but-equal legislation, Pauli Murray was already knee-deep fighting for social justice. A pioneering attorney, activist, priest and dedicated memoirist, Murray shaped and mark litigation—and consciousness—around race and gender equity. As an African American youth raised in the segregated South—who was also wrestling with broader notions of gender identity—Pauli understood, intrinsically, what it was to exist beyond previously accepted categories and cultural norms. Both Pauli’s personal path and tireless advocacy foreshadowed some of the most politically consequential issues of our time. Told largely in Pauli’s own words, My Name is Pauli Murray is a candid recounting of that unique and extraordinary journey. (USA, 2021) 91MIN

FESTIVALS | AWARDS: Sundance 2021; Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2021; Chicago DOC10 Film Festival 2021; Provincetown International Film Festival; 2021; AFI DOCS 2021; Outfest Los Angeles 2021

DIRECTOR: Betsy West and Julie Cohen 
WRITTEN BY: Betsy West and Julie Cohen 
Pre-recorded Q+A to follow, recorded as part of the 2021 Eisner/Lauder New Views Documentaries and Dialogue Series, presented by Aspen Film and the Aspen Institute Arts Program. 



Thursday, September 23 | 8 PM

Wheeler Opera House


Sunday, September 26 | 5 PM

Crystal Theatre

FLYING BOAT, a breakout documentary by Aspen Filmmaker/Photographer/Pilot Dirk Braun, chronicles the past with a look to the future. It is a contemporary take on a subject rich in history that has been lost in time. The film underscores the importance of preserving the flying boat's history for future generations. Braun brought together 10 passionate fellow pilots who are featured in the film and have different aspirations and ambitions as to why they’re flying them. These aviators share a rare bond and provide reflective commentary about their experiences of flying and maintaining these impressive machines of which only a few remain. Breathtaking aerial footage of the aircraft in motion is integrated with untapped archival footage from the long-lost era of adventure and romance of the Golden Years of aviation. The film blends verité, high production and an original score by multi-instrumental & original composer, Shawn Lee. (USA, 2021) 77MIN

DIRECTOR: Dirk Braun

WRITTEN BY: Dirk Braun

WITH: Tom Casey, Julie Fetcko, Connie Edwards, Kermit Weeks, John Gasho Jr, John Gasho Sr, Joe Duke, Mike Barron, Peter Hellgren, Bill DaSilva

COMMUNITY PARTNER: Aspen Flight Academy 

In-person Q+A with the director to follow the Wheeler Opera House screening





Friday, September 24 | 2 PM

Isis Theatre


Saturday, September 25 | 5 PM

Crystal Theatre

Dr. Nof Atamna-Ismaeel - the first Muslim Arab to win Israel’s MasterChef - is on a quest to make social change through food. And so, she founded the A-sham Arabic Food Festival, where pairs of Arab and Jewish chefs collaborate on exotic dishes like kishek (a Syrian yogurt soup), and qatayef (a dessert typically served during Ramadan). A film about hope, synergy and mouth-watering fare, BREAKING BREAD illustrates what happens when people focus on the person, rather than her religion, on the public, rather than the politicians. In English and Hebrew (with English subtitles). (USA/ISRAEL, 2020) 88MIN
FESTIVALS | AWARDS: Napa Valley Film Festival, Audience Award
DIRECTOR: Beth Elise Hawk
WRITTEN BY: Beth Elise Hawk
WITH: Dr. Nof Atamna-Ismaeel; Shlomi Meir; Ali Khattib; Osama Dalal; Ilan Ferron; Salah Cordi; Tomer Abergel; Shoshi, Fadi Karaman
COMMUNITY PARTNER: Jewish Community Center Aspen

Pre-recorded Q+A to follow @ Wheeler Opera House screening only


Friday, September 24 | 5 PM
Wheeler Opera House

Rahim is in jail for a debt he hasn't been able to pay. During a two-day leave, he tries to convince his creditor to withdraw his complaint in exchange for paying back part of the debt. Rahim is then confronted with a crisis he would never have imagined. In Farsi (with English subtitles). (IRAN, 2021) 127MIN
FESTIVALS | AWARDS: Cannes Film Festival 2021: Françoise Chalais Award & Grand Prix; Telluride Film Festival 2021
DIRECTOR: Asghar Farhadi
WRITTEN BY: Asghar Farhadi
WITH: Amir Jadidi, Mohsen Tanabandeh, Fereshteh Sadre Orafaiy, Sarina Farhadi

*Surprise Film* 
Friday, September 24 | 8 PM 
Wheeler Opera House 

We will be announcing another exciting addition to the festival after Labor Day. Watch this space!  



Saturday, September 25 | 2 PM

Isis Theater


BERNSTEIN’S WALL follows Leonard Bernstein on his lifelong journey to define his role as one of America’s most important musical figures, while fighting to create social change and inspire political activism through his work. Told in Bernstein’s own voice and featuring never before seen archival footage, Douglas Tirola’s documentary is an intimate portrait of one of the 20th century’s most prominent icons, and his struggle to balance his complex personal life and groundbreaking career. (USA, 2021) 100MIN

FESTIVALS | AWARDS: Tribeca Film Festival 2021

DIRECTOR: Douglas Tirola

WRITTEN BY: Leonard Bernstein, Douglas Tirola

WITH: Leonard Bernstein

Pre-recorded Q+A to follow




Saturday, September 25 | 5 PM

Wheeler Opera House


FLEE tells the story of Amin Nawabi as he grapples with a painful secret, he has kept hidden for 20 years, one that threatens to derail the life he has built for himself and his soon to be husband. Recounted mostly through animation to director Jonas Poher Rasmussen, he tells for the first time the story of his extraordinary journey as a child refugee from Afghanistan. In English, Danish, Russian, Dari, Swedish (with English subtitles). (DENMARK, 2021) 83MIN
FESTIVALS | AWARDS: Sundance Film Festival 2021, Grand Jury Prize; Jerusalem Film Festival 2021, Annecy International Film Festival 2021: Best Feature; New York Film Festival 2021
DIRECTOR: Jonas Poher Rasmussen
WRITTEN BY: Jonas Poher Rasmussen
WITH: Rashid Aitouganov




Saturday, September 25 | 8 PM

Wheeler Opera House


Young Anthony Soprano is growing up in one of the most tumultuous eras in Newark’s history, becoming a man just as rival gangsters begin to rise up and challenge the all-powerful DiMeo crime family’s hold over the increasingly race-torn city. Caught up in the changing times is the uncle he idolizes, Dickie Moltisanti, who struggles to manage both his professional and personal responsibilities—and whose influence over his nephew will help make the impressionable teenager into the all-powerful mob boss we’ll later come to know: Tony Soprano.

(USA, 2021) 120MIN

DIRECTOR: Alan Taylor

WRITTEN BY: David Chase & Lawrence Konner

WITH: Alessandro Nivola, Leslie Odom Jr., Vera Farmiga, Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, Ray Liotta, Michela De Rossi, Michael Gandolfini, Billy Magnussen




Sunday, September 26 | 2 PM

Isis Theatre

Nelly has just lost her grandmother and is helping her parents clean out her mother's childhood home. She explores the house and the surrounding woods. One day she meets a girl her same age building a treehouse. In French (with English subtitles). (FRANCE, 2021) 72MIN
FESTIVALS | AWARDS: Berlin International Film Festival 2021, San Sebastian International Film Festival 2021, Toronto International Film Festival 2021, New York Film Festival 2021
DIRECTOR: Céline Sciamma
WRITTEN BY: Céline Sciamma
WITH: Joséphine Sanz, Gabrielle Sanz, Stéphane Varupenne, Nina Meurisse, Margo Abascal




Sunday, September 26 | 4 PM

Wheeler Opera House


A filmmaking couple living in America, Chris (Vicky Krieps) and Tony (Tim Roth), retreat to the mythical Fårö island for the Summer. In this wild, breathtaking landscape where Bergman lived and shot his most celebrated pieces, they hope to find inspiration for their upcoming films. As days spent separately pass by, the fascination for the island operates on Chris and souvenirs of her first love resurface. Lines between reality and fiction will then progressively blur and tear our couple even more apart. In English and Swedish (with English subtitles). (SWEDEN, 2021) 112MIN

FESTIVALS | AWARDS: Cannes Film Festival 2021, New York Film Festival 2021, Jerusalem Film Festival 2021

DIRECTOR: Mia Hansen-Løve

WRITTEN BY: Mia Hansen-Løve

WITH: Vicky Krieps, Tim Roth, Mia Wasikowka, Anders Danielsen Lie 


Sunday, September 26 | 7 PM
Wheeler Opera House

THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD chronicles four years in the life of Julie, a young woman who navigates the troubled waters of her love life and struggles to find her career path, leading her to take a realistic look at who she really is. In Norwegian (with English subtitles).(NORWAY, 2021) 121MIN
FESTIVALS | AWARDS: Cannes Film Festival 2021, New York Film Festival 2021, Jerusalem Film Festival 2021
DIRECTOR: Joachim Trier
WRITTEN BY: Joachim Trier & Eskil Vogt
WITH: Lenore Skenazy, Julie Lythcott-Haims, Peter Gray, Michael Hynes




42nd Filmfest Opening Reception

Tuesday, September 21 | 5 PM

Wheeler Opera House

Private Reception for Aspen Film Members and Filmfest Volunteers. 




Thursday, September 23 | 4 PM

Wheeler Opera House

Please join us for an hors d'oeuvres reception to celebrate the legacy of our founder and inspiration, Ellen Kohner Hunt. We hope this will be a chance to see treasured friends and come together as a community, as Ellen would have loved. All proceeds to benefit THE ELLEN FUND.



Thursday, September 23 | 5 PM

Wheeler Opera House

This tribute screening will feature a recorded program of notable industry guests and Aspen locals speaking about Ellen, as well as several of Ellen's favorite short films.




Thursday, September 23 | 7 PM

Wheeler Opera House

Filmmaker/Photographer/Pilot Dirk Braun will be on-hand to elbow-bump, connect with fellow Aspen locals and discuss the making of FLYING BOAT. As a local filmmaker, we felt it was appropriate to showcase his film during our Community Night celebration.


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 FilmEducates. With a mission to enlighten, enrich, educate and entertain through film, Aspen Film stimulates thought, encourages dialogue and broadens understanding of our world and selves through the diverse spectrum of ideas presented by filmmakers worldwide. To learn more, visit




Isis Theatre
406 E. Hopkins Avenue
Aspen, CO 81611
United States

Admission Price: GA: $20+


Phone: 970-925-6882

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