COCO Takes Best Feature With ICARUS Being Voted Best Documentary

Aspen, CO (January 2, 2018) – In it’s 26th year, the Aspen Film Academy Screenings just completed a 10-day series held over this holiday season.  The series, comprised of 29 feature, documentary, foreign language and animated films is an Aspen tradition, recognizing the year’s best films for cinematic achievement across a variety of categories.  Programming Director Jane Schoettle curates the lineup based on predicted Oscar hopefuls. This is a non-competitive series, however, attendees have the opportunity to vote for their favorite feature and documentary films of the series.  This year, COCO was  awarded Aspen Academy Screenings Audience Choice Award for Best Film, and ICARUS was voted Best Documentary.

COCO, co-directed by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina, and released by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, is the animated story of aspiring musician Miguel who, confronted with his family’s ancestral ban on music, enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer.  This beloved film has been nominated for two Golden Globe awards in addition to another 41 nominations and 25 wins.  Its box office currently stands at over $325M world wide.


ICARUS, directed by Bryan Fogel, is a documentary featuring Fogel as he sets out to uncover the truth about doping in sports.  A chance meeting with a Russian scientist transforms his story from a personal exploration into a geopolitical thriller involving dirty urine, unexplained death and Olympic Gold-exposing the biggest scandal in sports history. The documentary is released by Netflix.


The two runner-up films were feature BPM (BEATS PER MINUTE), directed by Robin Campillo, and France’s 2017 Oscar submission which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, and the award-winning documentary KEDI, directed by Ceyda Torun, from Turkey.

“In a season where the Oscar race still seems to be wide open, our goal at Aspen Film was to present some of the best cinematic experiences of 2017,” said Aspen Film Executive Director Susan Wrubel. “Jane’s selection of films is reflective of the world today.  We strive to offer thought-provoking and entertaining material to our audiences.”

Programming Director Jane Schoettle added, “Aspen Film is thrilled to work with some of the top film studios, distributors and awards strategists to provide an opportunity for AMPAS voting members and associated guild members to view award-contenders on the big screen along with Aspen film lovers.”

As a longtime favorite winter destination for voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), WGA, DGA, PGA, SAG-AFTRA and other applicable guilds, what began as an intimate and exclusive industry-only event has grown into an Aspen holiday tradition bringing together film professionals, visitors and residents alike.  The intention of these screenings, like the Oscars, is to celebrate cinematic achievement across a variety of categories and not just the obvious Best Picture, Director, Screenplay and Actor.

Next up for Aspen Film is the 27th Aspen Shortsfest (April 3-8, 2018), one of the world’s premier international short film showcases. This Oscar®-qualifying international competition offers a diverse and exciting selection of drama, comedy, animation and documentary films – all at 40 minutes or less.


Established in 1979, Aspen Film is one of Colorado’s most active film arts organizations, presenting dynamic programs and guest artists throughout the year. Aspen Film organizes a major film event in every season, along with an extensive education program: Aspen Filmfest, Academy Screenings, Aspen Shortsfest and Film Educates. With a mission to enlighten, enrich, educate and entertain through film, Aspen Film stimulates thought, encourages dialogue and broadens understanding of our world and selves through the diverse spectrum of ideas presented by filmmakers worldwide. To learn more, visit and follow on FacebookTwitter and Instagram @aspenfilm.