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Outtake from “A Love Story,” the opening night film of the Salida Film Festival.

Film Event Will Celebrate the Mountain West is in its Second Year at the Salida SteamPlant

Move over Sundance and the Denver Film Festival — it’s a film festival at an elevation of 7,083 feet.  On Tuesday, Arts & Culture Salida announced the film and program lineup for the second Salida Film Festival.  It’s sheduled for May 11-14, 2023 at the SteamPlant Event Center in the Salida Creative District in downtown Salida.

Still from The Cisco Kid.

The film festival sponsored by the City of Salida launched in 2022, and at the time, it probably wasn’t wise to refer to it as an annual event. Now that year two is here  … there’s an artistic trend shaping up.

“To be back for year two is exciting but also a testament to the supportive audience from last year’s festival and our year-round film programs,” says City of Salida Arts & Culture Supervisor and Director of Salida Film Festival Patrick O’Brien.

The City of Salida’s second annual event will offer a four-day program including the Opening Night’s A LOVE SONG.  It was filmed in southern Colorado and stars Dale Dickey (WINTER’S BONE) and Wes Studi (THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS).

Other features include the Closing Film LITTLE RICHARD: I AM EVERYTHING, as well as CISCO KID, a queer slice of the contemporary American West directed by Emily Kaye Allen, and MYSTIC VIBROSIS: A GUIDE TO LIVING INDUBIOUSLY for fans of the Fort Collins-based music group and SteamPlant favorite Indubious.

Image from “Come One come All.”

Organizers say the festival will feature plenty of short films from Colorado talent including:

  • COME ONE COME ALL – A CIRCUS WITH A PURPOSE, a documentary about The Salida Circus directed by Colorado filmmaker Nathan Ward
  • HERE IN THERE, a fantasy short from filmmaker Chris Anthony and local screenwriter Lee Ross
  • FIGHT OR FLIGHT, a compelling film that soars over the terrain of the Rocky Mountain region.

O’Brien leads programming and events at the Salida SteamPlant Event Center in the heart of the Salida Creative District. He has introduced a number of film series to the City of Salida and was tapped to direct efforts for a multi-day film festival after receiving a Blueprint 2.0 grant from the Colorado Office of Film Television and Media. Previously, O’Brien was part of the executive team at Denver Film Society, where he led development efforts to support and expand programs for Denver Film Festival and several other annual mini festivals.

“It was a privilege to view during the selection process so many films that had strong and interesting characters with emotional depth, and also those that encourage a viewer to ponder and appreciate the adventure,” said O’Brien.

For-Day Passes and Individual Tickets will go on sale this Friday, April 28. Festival Passes will provide access to all film programs, conversations and events. For the program and lineup to date, visit EVENTBRITE.

Salida Film Festival Feature Films

Opening Night Film: A LOVE SONG 

Director: Max Walker-Silverman

7:00 p.m.  Thursday, May 11

At a campground in the rural West, a woman (Dale Dickey) waits alone for an old flame from her past (Wes Studi) to arrive, uncertain of his intentions while bashful about her own.

Feature Documentary & Narrative Short: MYSTIC VIBROSIS: A GUIDE TO LIVING INDUBIOUSLY 

Director: Tim Cash

7:15 p.m. — Friday, May 12

Two brothers born with Cystic Fibrosis have persevered to not only survive their illness, but find their purpose while being catapulted onto the world stage as a power for change through their band, Indubious.

Short Film CREATIVE THINGS (Bryan Simpson; USA; 14 min) Late Night Looks: I LIKE MOVIES

Director: Chandler Levack

9:00 p.m. Friday, May 12

A socially inept cinephile gets a job at a video store where he forms a complicated friendship with his older female manager.

Feature Documentary & Narrative Short: CISCO KID

Director: Emily Allen

1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 13

Eileen–a young, solitary maverick–forges a life among the discarded remnants and lingering memories of Cisco, a desert ghost town in southern Utah.

Short Film: THE CONTROLLED WILD (Emilie Upczak; USA; 11 min) * includes filmmaker Q&A


Director: Lisa Cortes

7:15 p.m. Saturday, May 13

The story of the one-of-a-kind rock’n’roll icon who shaped the world of music.


Take a journey with the SEE MORE THAN… shorts programs – a series of stories, topics and themes that can at once appear familiar yet alien depending on your perspective and lived experiences.

Still from “I Like Movies.

SEE MORE THAN… Shorts Program #1* includes filmmaker Q&A

4:00 p.m.  Saturday, May 13

AROUND THE WORLD IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD (Taylor Plecity, Natalie London; USA; 14 min)

BREAD BIKE (Beth Gage, George Gage; USA; 19 min)

BUZZ; POLLEN NATION (Mike Machian; USA; 9 min)


FIGHT OR FLIGHT (Lindsey Hagen; USA; 15 min)

SEE MORE THAN… Shorts Program #2

4:45 p.m. Sunday, May 14* includes filmmaker Q&A

A QUESTION OF SERVICE (Erin Brown Thomas; UK/USA; 25 min)

DAVE THE FIANCE (Andrew Jasperson; USA; 19 min)

HERE IN THERE (Chris T Anthony; USA; 12 min)

HOT SET (Jenny Urice, Ben Fout; USA; 27 min)

SPECIAL PRESENTATION: Celebrate Local Cinema

5:00 p.m. Friday, May 12

Salida Film Fest will Celebrate Local Cinema with a clips program from local Colorado filmmakers Sarah Hamilton and Julie Speer Jackson, screenwriter Lee Ross, and actor/producer Jennifer Dempsey.

Independent Look with SeriesFest

2:00 p.m. Sunday, May 14

SeriesFest is a nonprofit organization dedicated to championing artists at the forefront of episodic storytelling, culminating in a highly celebrated Denver-based festival. Organizers are thrilled to showcase an indie pilot shot in Colorado from the recent SeriesFest: Season 9. OFFLINE is a new series that takes a look at a future without the internet. Q&A will follow with co-creators Andy Juett and Gabriel Dohrn.