Denver Film Festival 39 is nearly upon us, and the annual tradition has an exhilarating, big-time slate of films in its 200-plus picture lineup. Denver Film Festival 39 has titles from more than 40 countries spanning just about every genre imaginable. So, when I say there is something for everyone, it’s really not an exaggeration. If you can’t find something to pique your interest in this line up, you’re doing it wrong.

Denver Film Festival 39 kicks off on Nov. 2 with one of the buzziest pictures of the fall, La La Land — director Damien Chazelle and Emma Stone, who is an early frontrunner for best actress, will be on hand to walk the red carpet — wraps up on Nov. 12 with Jackie, the Natalie Portman-led portrait of Jacqueline Kennedy in the days immediately following her husband’s assassination. Yep, it has Oscar buzz too. And in between those staggeringly tantalizing bookends are a whole host of other promising offerings.

Rounding out the red carpet presentations are The Edge of Seventeen — a wonderfully hilarious love letter to former awkward youths everywhere — and the Weinstein-backed Lion, a based on a true story tale of a young man who begins to sift through painful memories of his past to find the family he lost decades before with the aid of Google Earth.

Special presentations include Trespass Against Us, California Typewriter, The Play, The Red Turtle, Things to Come and Toni Erdmann, which has been hailed far and wide on the festival circuit as one of the best pictures of the year. Other programmed series in the festival include Cinelatino, Women+Film, American Independent Showcase, Late Night Showcase, Colorado Spotlight, CinemaQ, Contemporary World Cinema, Documentaries, Shorts and First Look Student Films, among others.

You can see the full listing of Denver Film Festival 39 official selections, complete with story and cast and crew details here. I can’t recommend enough that you browse around and see what strikes your fancy, because there’s a lot to consider here. But, if you’d like a bit of a jumping off point, some of the many titles that caught my eye are listed below.

Documentary Features

  • Catholics vs Convicts
  • The Queen of Ireland
  • Jackson
  • Nadia Comaneci: The Gymnast and the Dictator
  • Obit
  • The Promise
  • Mom and Me
  • Ovarian Psychos

Narrative Features

  • A Woman, A Part
  • Always Shine
  • Donald Cried
  • I, Daniel Blake
  • Lovesong
  • Lost in Paris
  • The Edge of Seventeen
  • Folk Hero + Funny Guy
  • Katie Says Goodbye
  • La La Land
  • Middle Man
  • Red Christmas
  • Toni Erdmann
  • Trespass Against Us


  • Beat Around the Bush
  • Denizan Devan
  • Edges
  • Feral
  • Happy F-ing Valentine’s Day
  • Join the Club
  • JonBenet’s Tricycle
  • Lingo
  • The Places We’ve Been Have Become All But Ghosts
  • The Rain Collector

At a festival with more than 200 titles, this list is woefully incomplete, and it got down to this not inconsequential number after no small amount of agonizing and a lot of math to see how many titles I could possibly hope to take in. It’s still unreasonably ambitious, but the quality of this lineup is also unreasonably good. Explore, grab tickets where you can, and buckle up for a fun and film-filled two weeks at Denver Film Festival 39.

Main images via Denver Film Society and Lionsgate.

About Brooke Wylie

Co-Scribbler-in-Chief. Ravenclaw. Cinephile. Bookworm. Trivia Enthusiast. Voiceover apologist. Prone to lapsing into a poor English accent.