April 3rd - April 5th, 2020
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Sloans Lake
4255 W. Colfax Ave. Denver, Colorado
 (720) 588-4107


at the Alamo Drafthouse Sloans Lake

A late silent film addition!

Charlie Chaplin's delightful CITY LIGHTS will be screening this Sunday (October 27, 2019) at the Alamo Drafthouse Sloans Lake at 6pm. 

This wonderful film finds Chaplin exploring the potential of film and his little tramp persona, beyond just the slapstick humor of his earlier works. Come be enchanted by this picture, and delight in the inimitable work of Charlie Chaplin.

For tickets and information, please visit this link:



at TWO Alamo locations!

Come experience one of the classic German expressionist films of the silent era! The Alamo Drafthouse is presenting TWO screenings of this amazing film:

10/24/2019, 7pm: Screening at the Alamo Drafthouse Westminster

10/25/2019, 7pm: Screening at the Alamo Drafthouse Sloans Lake

Both screenings will feature a live score, just in time for Halloween! 

For tickets and information, please visit this link: 



at the Alamo Drafthouse Westminster

You don't have to wait until the spring to see great silent film in Denver!  To help celebrate the grand opening of their newest location, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Westminster, there will be a screening of METROPOLIS on Monday, July 15 at 7pm!  

This classic science fiction/silent film gem is not to be missed, especially on the big screen!  This will be the 2010 restoration, using footage that was only found in 2005 in Argentina.  This restoration includes 25 minutes of footage that until 2005 had not been seen since the original 1927 release.

For tickets and more information, please visit this link: https://drafthouse.com/denver/show/the-big-show-the-complete-metropolis

2019 Festival Lineup Announced!

For Immediate Release        


Festival to be held at Alamo Drafthouse  Sloans Lake April 26 –April 28


Denver, CO – (March 20, 2019) – The Denver Silent Film Festival (DSFF) returns to Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Sloans Lake (4255 W. Colfax Ave., Denver) for its eighth year in presenting the best of silent film Friday, April 26 - Sunday, April 28. The festival will feature ten programs, including comedies and dramas, as well as a feature from India and the earliest surviving silent film by an African-American director. Screenings will be accompanied by live musical performances and tickets will go on sale Wednesday, March 27.


Starting last year DSFF, has gone to an all-digital program. “It’s simple,” says festival director Howie Movshovitz. “The restorations are now distributed digitally, and digital formats give us a wider range of choices than we had before, and the quality of the films is much improved.” Added Alamo Drafthouse Sloans Lake creative manager Gretchen Rudat, “I'm delighted to continue the tradition of housing DSFF at the Alamo Drafthouse. Howie and the rest of the DSFF team really outdid themselves this year. I'm especially excited for some of the local elements, particularly the Colorado short films and the Oscar Micheaux screening.”


Established in 2011, the Denver Silent Film Festival explores the broad spectrum of silent film by programming a thought-provoking mix of films from the great silent era of cinema. DSFF has joined an increasing number of worldwide celebrations of silent film to delight, entertain and, in the most elegant way, to educate its audience in this remarkable art form.

Ticket prices are $13 per film ($8 for students). Weekend festival passes are available for $110.


Friday April 26

7:00 p.m. Blackmail (Alfred Hitchcock, 1929, U.K., 85 minutes)

Blackmail is simultaneously Alfred Hitchcock’s last silent film and his first talking picture. Both versions exist, and the overall feeling is that this silent version is the better of the two. It has the cinematic “purity” Hitchcock described to François Truffaut in their famous interview, and it also has Hitchcock’s rich sense of the role of guilt in human affairs. A woman picked up by an artist kills him in self-defense. The detective assigned to the case is her boyfriend – and that’s just for starters. Accompanied by The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra.


Saturday, April 27

10:00 a.m. A Morning with Felix the Cat (70 minutes total)

Felix the Cat was the star of silent animation. As last year’s DSFF honoree Russell Merritt has written, Felix was “ the mirthful personality kid, the effervescent trickster who could also play the lovesick Romeo, the lecherous sheik, or the doting uncle while still coming across as a loner.”  Felix comes to the screen in the spare, sometimes haunting, sometimes absurdist designs of Otto Messmer. Musical accompaniment by The Doll House Thieves.

  • Felix the Cat in Woos Whoopie (Otto Messmer, 1930, 7 minutes)

  • Felix the Cat in Sure Locked Holmes (Otto Messmer, 1928)

  • Felix the Cat Dines and Pines (Otto Messmer, 1923, 10 minutes)

  • Felix the Cat in Astronomeows (Otto Messmer, 1928)

  • Felix in Fairyland (Otto Messmenr, 1923, 9 minutes)

  • Felix in Hollywood (Otto Messmer, 1923, 9 minutes)


12:10 p.m. A conversation with Amy Heller and Dennis Doros

Amy Heller and Dennis Doros are this year’s this year’s recipients of DSFF’s Career Achievement Award. Together, they founded and run Milestone Films, through which they have restored and released many critically-important films, both silent and sound. Their silent restorations include the great documentary Grass; Lotte Reiniger’s 1926 remarkable animation, The Adventures of Prince Achmed, and films by Lois Weber. Dennis Doros is now president of the Association of Moving Image Archivists This is a chance to meet and talk with two extraordinary people in the world of silent film.


2:10 p.m. Shiraz (Franz Osten, India, U.K., Germany, 1928, 97 minutes)

At the core of Shiraz is the story of the 17th century Mumtaz Mahal, the Mughal empress whose death led her husband to build the Taj Mahal. The rest is a fanciful often lurid – and gorgeous -- melodrama. Shiraz is one of three films by producer Himansu Rai and German-born director Franz Osten. Accompanied by Utsav Lal.


5:00 p.m. Within Our Gates (Oscar Micheaux, 1920, 79 minutes)

Within Our Gates is the earliest surviving feature film directed by an African-American. It’s a melodrama about race, bigotry, uncovering the truth and also love, and on the subject of racism the film is blunt and unyielding. A wronged African-American woman (Evelyn Preer) helps save a school for black children. Preer is a significant talent, who never got a chance to work seriously in mainstream (white-made) movies. Director Oscar Micheaux is a phenomenon of early cinema; he once lived in Denver.  Accompanied by Hank Troy.


7:30 p.m. The Oyster Princess (Ernst Lubitsch, 1919, Germany, 58 minutes) and Long Fliv the King (Leo McCarey, 1926, 22 minutes)

This is DSFF’s signature program. Composer/accompanist/teacher Donald Sosin, and CU-Denver percussion teacher Todd Reid work with a group of CU-Denver student musicians to compose and then perform an accompaniment – all essentially in three days. The Oyster Princess is a comedy about the complexities of finding a husband faced by the daughter of an oyster magnate. Long Fliv the King features the wonderful Charley Chase as – sort of – the king. Accompanied by the UCD/DSFF Student Orchestra, with Donald Sosin and Todd Reid.


Sunday, April 28

10:00 a.m.  David Emrich Colorado Short films (70 minutes)

David Emrich, author of  "Hollywood Colorado - The Selig Polyscope Company and the Colorado Motion Picture Company,” will present a mix of stills and film clips from very early shorts made in Colorado. Accompanied by Hank Troy.


12:00 p.m.  Buster Keaton shorts (94 minutes total)

Viewers unfamiliar with Buster Keaton or silent film in general, are often stunned by Buster Keaton’s elegance and grace, and his deep sense of the comedy of the world we inhabit. Those familiar with Keaton have the same experience; his films seem original and remarkable no matter how often you’ve seen them. Buster’s struggles are profound, brilliant and hilarious. Accompanied by Hank Troy.

  • The Cook (Roscoe Arbuckle, 1918, 23 minutes)

  • One Week (Eddie Cline and Buster Keaton, 1920, 25 minutes)

  • The Goat (Buster Keaton and Mal St. Clair, 1921, 23 minutes)

  • The Playhouse (Eddie Cline and Buster Keaton, 1921, 23 minutes)    


2:45 p.m. Student Shorts (60 minutes)

Each year, DSFF presents a program of new silent shorts made by film students at CU-Denver, under the guidance of Jessica McGaugh, and Andrew Bateman


4:45 p.m. Dragnet Girl (Yasujiro Ozu, Japan, 1933, 100 minutes)

Dragnet Girl is one of Ozu’s silent crime movies. Unlike his better-known family dramas, he’s working in a genre, but as you might expect, he doesn’t simply do a gangster picture. The lead characters yearn for respectability, yet as in American movie gangsters they find it hard to go straight, and are driven to go for the one last job. That desperate ploy never works, although Ozu finds a gentler resolution than American films. The gun is important, but it’s not the instrument of final judgment. And Ozu ends the film with images of domesticity, which may or may not be earned. Accompanied by Billy Overton.


7:30 p.m. The Ancient Law (Ewald André Dupont, Germany, 1923, 135 minutes)

This masterpiece from German filmmaker E.A. Dupont is a melodrama about the conflict between the secular and the religious, embodied in a split between a father and a son. A young Hasid in a Russian shtetl, the son of a rabbi, somehow gets the overwhelming desire to become an actor in the outside world.  The story is much like the 1927 American film, The Jazz Singer, but DuPont gives a far richer treatment to both sides of this profound “argument” than does Warner Bros. Composed and performed by Alicia Svigals, violin, and Donald Sosin, piano.



Contact: Howie Movshovitz

DSFF Director



Alice Crogan

Public Relations – CAM


Alexandra Griesmer

Director of Marketing

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Denver





Tickets can be purchased at www.denversilentfilmfestival.org or www.drafthouse.com











In the era of silent film, filmmakers first invented a new art form and then created a startling range of beloved masterpieces. Those films form the basis of cinema in the  present, as well as being great art and entertainment on their own. Understanding and appreciating silent film is crucial to knowing our own society and culture. The Denver Silent Film Festival is dedicated to celebrating this extraordinary body of film.



The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema was founded in 1997 as a single-screen mom and pop repertory theater in Austin, TX.  Twenty-one years later, with 32 locations and counting, the Alamo has been named "the best theater in America" by Entertainment Weekly and "the best theater in the world" by Wired. The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has built a reputation as a movie lover's oasis not only by combining food and drink service with the movie-going experience, but also introducing unique programming and high-profile, star-studded special events. Alamo Drafthouse created Fantastic Fest, a world renowned film festival dubbed "The Geek Telluride" by Variety. Fantastic Fest showcases eight days of genre cinema from independents, international filmmakers and major Hollywood studios. Alamo Drafthouse's collectible art gallery, Mondo, offers breathtaking, original products featuring designs from world-famous artists based on licenses for popular TV and Movie properties including Star Wars, Star Trek & Universal Monsters. The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is expanding its brand in new and exciting ways, including partnering with the film distribution company NEON, Birth.Movies.Death., an entertainment content platform for movie lovers, and the American Genre Film Archive, a non-profit film archive dedicated to preserving, restoring and sharing exploitation-era film.

The 2018 David Shepard Career Achievement Award Recipient

The Denver Silent Film Festival's David Shepard Career Achievement Award for 2018 will go to Russell Merritt, who teaches film studies at the University of California-Berkeley. Russell Merritt has co-written (with J.B. Kaufman) two books on Walt Disney’s early films – the award-winning Walt in Wonderland (1993) and Walt Disney’s Silly Symphonies (2016). He has also authored articles on D.W. Griffith, Sergei Eisenstein, animation, Sherlock Holmes, color aesthetics, and early film.  Merritt produces and directs the Great Nickelodeon Show, a recreation of a turn-of-the-century nickelodeon program which has played at the Telluride Film Festival, The TCM Classic Film Festival, Il Giornate del Cinema Muto, the Los Angeles Film Festival, The Pacific Film Archive, and assorted university campuses.

Denver Silent Film Festival 2020