As Barbara Bridges, founder of Denver Film’s Women+Film program explains, a festival curator is a bit of a matchmaker.

“You have audiences and these great movies,” she said. “And we say they should meet.”

For the first time in two years, audiences can meet some of the best films by and about women in an actual theater as part of the 13th Annual Women+Film Festival, which runs from Tuesday, April 5 through Sunday, April 10 at the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 E. Colfax Ave. in Denver.

The event kicks off with a presentation of National Geographic Documentary Films’ “Fire of Love,” which tells the story of a married couple and volcano enthusiasts, Katia and Maurice Krafft. And it wraps up with “Charlotte,” which introduces audiences to Charlotte Salomon, a young German-Jewish painter who grew up in Berlin at the beginning of World War II. Featuring the voice work of Kiera Knightley and Marion Cotillard, it’s another unique and powerful love story.


“What Charlotte created with her `Life? or Theater?’ work ended up being the first graphic novel,” said Matt Campbell, Denver Film artistic director. “We love showcasing strong, powerful biopics that give voice to women that haven’t had their due or women who should be celebrated more.”

In between those bookends, the festival will screen films like Holly Morris’ “Exposure,” which follows a Muslim chaplain, French biologist, Qatari princess and eight other women from the Arab World and the West who explore the North Pole, and Mariano Cattaneo’s “The Strangest Girl in the World,” a Spanish family film about a 15-year-old with a vivid imagination and whose drawings come to life.

As a regular Denver Film event, attendees know that in addition to the screenings there will also be discussions with filmmakers and other events to bond cinephiles over their favorite art form.

“Part of a film festival is having the opportunity for filmmakers to interact with audiences and have a dialogue and conversation,” Campbell said. “To create a connection between people and spark thought is what we’re trying to do.”

If audiences can come away from a film having enjoyed what they saw on the screen and gained a little understanding for those around them, then the festival will have achieved its ends, Bridges added.

“Powerful women and interesting stories are what we like to provide to the audience,” she said. “I hope audiences learn about the world and are inspired by these incredible women and empathize with these incredible stories. Even if they’re so different, there’s something within these lives we can connect with.”

The schedule and tickets are available at


The power of persistence with the Lakewood Symphony

The Lakewood Symphony Orchestra will perform their “Persistence is the Key” concert at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 14 at the Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 S. Allison Parkway. The program will feature Verdi’s “Nabucco Overture,” Bizet’s Selection from “Carmen,” and Grieg’s “Symphonic Dances, Op. 64.”

Verdi’s “Nabucco Overture” features selections from the opera of the same name, along with orchestration and brass chorales. “Carmen” by Bizet is one of the most well-known and recognizable pieces of music ever written, so audience members of all ages might recognize it. And finally, Grieg’s “Symphonic Dances,” highlight his persistent use of Norwegian folk music.

Tickets and information for this show can be found at


Have a creative conversation with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy

Explaining the creative process is a ridiculously challenging proposition, but Jeff Tweedy — the founder and leader of Wilco – does about a good of it as anyone. In his two bestselling books — “Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back)” and “How To Write One Song” — he humanely and humorously discusses how his life and experiences inform his writing.

In a rare opportunity, fans can hear from the artist directly at A Conversation with Jeff Tweedy at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place in Denver, at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 7. The event will feature comedian and actor John Hodgman chatting with Tweedy about his work and then will be opened up to the audience for conversation and a Q&A session.

Grab a spot for this unique event at


Clarke’s Concert of the Week — Charli XCX at the Ogden Theatre

Thank heavens for the English. While we wait for new works from our pop queens Carly Rae Jepsen and Taylor Swift, across the pond Adele and Dua Lipa are keeping us feeling things. And now we have “Crash,” the latest offering from Charli XCX to soundtrack the spring and summer. The album is another sparkling collection of club-ready bangers but – and here’s Charli’s superpower – she’s also capable of tracks that sound fantastic through headphones.


In support of the record, she’s stopping by the Ogden Theatre, 935 E. Colfax Ave., at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6. She’ll be joined by Atlanta rapper Baby Tate. Get tickets at


Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at