Denver Film Society Launches ‘The Fourth Estate In Film & Conversation To Examine Threats To Our Nations News Media


Denver Film Festival Publicity Contacts:

Neil Truglio, 303.981.4517 /

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Events will kick-off at the 41st Denver Film Festival and continue through 2019.

November 1, 2018 (DENVER) - To help shine a spotlight on the challenges facing America’s news organizations, the Denver Film Society (DFS) is inviting journalists from around the country and throughout the state to participate in a series of conversations and screenings highlighting the challenges facing the Fourth Estate. This series, set to launch during the 41st Denver Film Festival, will bring together experts and audiences to explore questions about the future of daily news media, how media organizations can respond to existential threats and partisan attacks, and what new business models may emerge with these changing times.

The Fourth Estate in Film & Conversation will be inaugurated with three separate events at the Denver Film Festival (October 31-November 11) and will continue through June 2019 with monthly screenings of classic journalism-related films, followed by post-film conversations with a range of journalists and experts.

“For better and worse, we are clearly living in very interesting times,” said Andrew Rodgers, Executive Director of the Denver Film Society. “Today our news media institutions face unprecedented challenges. Business models and audience tastes are changing, and our elected leaders have seemingly abandoned the cherished role of the media and free press in our society. Combining the medium of film with public conversations featuring experts from the front lines, we hope to elevate the discussion in our community, and provide an opportunity to explore exactly what we should expect from our media in this strange new world, and how we can support them in this pursuit.”

2018 Events:

DFS will present a free, 10th-anniversary screening of the 2009 documentary CONVENTION, about The Denver Post staffers as they cover the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Following the screening, former Post editor Greg Moore will moderate a panel discussion featuring the film’s director AJ Schnack, former Post editor Kevin Dale and reporter Allison Sherry. The evening will culminate with a special appearance by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (who is also featured in the film) as we pay tribute to his years of service and wish him well with his future endeavors. (8 p.m. on Thurs., Nov. 1 at the UA Denver Pavilions)

Politics, Journalism, and the Death of Private Life will examine how political journalism has changed since Gary Hart’s failed 1988 Presidential campaign, as chronicled in the 2018 biopic THE FRONT RUNNER, also screening at the Denver Film Festival. Moderated by Robert Denerstein, formerly of the Rocky Mountain News, the panel will include Colorado Independent columnist Mike Littwin, Matt Bai, the National Political Columnist for Yahoo! News and former chief political correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, and Jay Carson, policy advisor and strategist, and senior advisor to Bloomberg Philanthropies. (5:30 p.m., Thurs., Nov. 8 at McNichols Civic Center Building)

The State and Future of Local Journalism in America will address and explore the challenges that community newspapers currently face, and how media institutions can respond. Moderated by Kristen Hare, reporter for the Poynter Institute, the panel will include Lee Ann Colacioppo, editor-in-chief of The Denver Post; Mi-Ai Parrish, formerly the publisher of the Arizona Republic and the Kansas City Star, and currently a professor at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications; and Lori Bergen, the founding dean of the College of Media, Communication and Information at the University of Colorado Boulder. (1:30 p.m., Sat., Nov. 10 at McNichols Civic Center Building)

2019 Events:

All 2019 screenings and post-film conversations will be held at the Sie FilmCenter (2510 E. Colfax Ave.) Tickets for 2019 events are currently on sale for $7 for DFS members and $11.50 for non-members.

Meet the New Press – Following a screening of the 2017 Steven Spielberg biopic “The Post,” which tells the true story of how The Washington Post responded to the leak of the Pentagon Papers, Denver’s online journalists will talk about the emerging opportunities for media. The post-film conversation will be moderated by Westword co-founder and editor Patricia Calhoun, and include Ashley Dean, assistant editor of Denverite, Susan Greene, editor of The Colorado Independent, and Dana Coffield, senior editor of The Colorado Sun. Sponsored by: Denver Woman’s Press Club and Colorado Press Women. (1 p.m., Sat., Jan. 12, 2019)

How public media can lead the way – Following a screening of the 2005 George Clooney biopic “Good Night, and Good Luck” about how CBS responded to the threat of Communism exploited by Senator Joseph McCarthy, two of Colorado’s public media leaders, Amanda Mountain, president and CEO of Rocky Mountain Public Media, and Kevin Dale, executive editor of CPR News, will lead a post-film discussion about the role of audience-supported media in our evolving media landscape. (1 p.m., Sat., Feb. 16, 2019)

The future of daily news in Colorado – Faced with declining revenues, rising costs, media consolidation, management disputes, threats of tariffs, and attacks by the country’s leaders, daily news organizations are under assault like never before. Following a screening of the 1994 Ron Howard-helmed film “The Paper,” about a fictional New York tabloid editor whose life gets complicated when a hot story lands in his lap, Jay Seaton, publisher of The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel and Jill Farschman, CEO of the Colorado Press Association, will discuss the threats to daily journalism in the state and what the future may hold. (1 p.m., Sat., March 16, 2019)

How can/should journalism evolve? – Following a screening of the 1974 Billy Wilder classic newspaper comedy “The Front Page,” starring Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon, representatives of the Colorado Media Project, and Corey Hutchins, a journalist for the Columbia Journalism Review and The Colorado Independent, will discuss the challenges that news media institutions face today and new strategies to overcome them. (1 p.m., Sat., April 27, 2019)

Watchdog journalism and the vital role of media as a protector of democracy – What happens when trust in the press is undermined and what is the impact on our country and in our communities? Following a screening of “All the President’s Men,” which tells the story of The Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) as they uncover the details of the Watergate scandal, our panel of experts, including Vince Bzdek, Editor of The Colorado Springs Gazette & Colorado Politics, and Patricia Calhoun, Co-Founder and Editor of Westword, will explore the essential role that journalists must play to ensure a properly-functioning government and society. (1 p.m., Sat., May 11, 2019)

The growing need for investigative journalism – In an era of sound bites and click bait, our society needs deep, exploratory, long-form journalism more than ever to uncover the truth, right the wrongs, and expose the skullduggery. Following a screening of the 2015 film “Spotlight,” about The Boston Globe’s investigation into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, our panel will discuss the challenges and opportunities for investigative journalism in the current climate. (1 p.m., Sat., May 25, 2019)

The next generation of Colorado journalists – Colleges and universities are the training ground for the next generation of reporters, and Colorado is fortunate to have some fantastic programs. Following a 35mm screening of the 1940 Howard Hawkes comedy classic “His Girl Friday,” starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, meet teachers and students from some of the state’s leading journalism schools, and hear about their experiences and the trails they hope to blaze. (1 p.m., Sat., June 22, 2019)

Enjoy DFF41 in a whole new way by becoming a Member. Memberships begin at just $65 and allow you to purchase DFF41 tickets at a member discount. No matter what membership level you choose to join DFS, your contributions will be appreciated and make a difference. For more information on membership please visit:

To experience DFF41 as an insider, join the DFS Leadership Circle for exclusive Festival access. Please visit: for a breakdown of levels and benefits. In addition, please contact Suzanne Yuzer at or 303-595-3456 ext. 223 to purchase a Leadership Circle Membership.

Press accreditation is now closed. Please contact the PR team for additional information.

To keep up to date with DFF41 on social media: like the DFF Facebook ( page, follow @DenverFilm on Twitter, @DenverFilmSociety on Instagram, and join the conversation by using the hashtag: #DFF41.


2018 Denver Film Festival Sponsors:

PREMIER: Regal; ASSOCIATE: Anna & John J. Sie Foundation, AOR, Inc., Argonaut Wine & Liquor, Barbara Bridges, British Airways, CEAVCO Audio Visual, Harmonic Media, Liberty Global, Mike’s Camera, Relish Catering & Events; SUPPORTING: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Butler Rents, Capital One, Istituto Italiano di Cultura Chicago, Invisible City, Lyft, Sage Hospitality, SeriesFest, Sheila K. O’Brien, University of Colorado Denver - College of Arts & Media, Anna Maglione-Sie Endowed Chair of Italian Culture and the Department of Languages and Literatures-University of Denver, Reality Garage; PATRON: Xfinity, Good Chemistry, The Goods, Eldorado Natural Spring Water, Lighting and Design by Scott, Kentwood City Properties, Kind Snacks, Riverfront Park Community Foundation, Stranahan’s, IMDBPro; MEDIA: 5280 Magazine, Futuristic, Westword; GOVERNMENT: Colorado Creative Industries, Colorado Office of Film Television & Media, Consulate General of Italy, Denver Arts & Venues, Denver Arts & Venues Create Denver, McNichols Civic Center Building, National Endowment for the Arts, Scientific & Cultural Facilities District, UK Government Office - Denver; CONTRIBUTING: Brookfield Properties, Baird - The Palm Group, Caz Matthews, Colorado Film & Video Association, Davis Graham & Stubbs, Denver Screenprint & Embroidery, Fine Arts Foundation, Lagralane, Latino Cultural Arts Center, Ratio BeerWorks, SAGIndie, TV5MONDE, Visit Denver, WeWork, William LaBahn

About the Denver Film Society:

Founded in 1978, the Denver Film Society (DFS) is a membership-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit cultural institution that produces film events throughout the year, including the award-winning Denver Film Festival and the popular, summertime series Film on the Rocks. With a vision to cultivate community and transform lives through film, the DFS provides opportunities for diverse audiences to discover film through creative, thought-provoking experiences.

The permanent home of DFS, the Sie FilmCenter, is Denver’s only year-round cinematheque, presenting a weekly-changing calendar of first-run exclusives and arthouse revivals both domestic and foreign, narrative and documentary – over 600 per year, all shown in their original language and format. DFS’s one-of-a-kind programs annually reach more than 200,000 film lovers and film lovers-in-training

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