Executive Director’s Letter: JAN 2022

January 9, 2022

Executive Director’s Letter: JAN 2022

Hello Friends of Film!

Happy New Year to you! We hope everyone is feeling inspired heading into 2022.

I would like to first say a HUGE thank you to everyone who helped make our end of year giving campaign an overwhelming success. Thanks to so many of you generous film lovers, Aspen Film surpassed our goal of raising $25K, which was matched by a very generous anonymous donor. We are overwhelmed with gratitude and could not be more appreciative of your support and belief in our organization.

We are so grateful that we managed to pull off a stellar Academy Screenings in the first half of December before omicron hit, and appreciate the warm reception to our 2021 film program.

In case you missed reading about our audience favorites, our Audience Award went to TORN, a touching and cathartic documentary directed by Max Lowe about his father, Alex Lowe, a renowned mountain climber. The Audience Special Mention went to another beloved documentary, JULIA, which gives us an in depth portrait of Julia Child, and the trajectory that launched her into our hearts and homes. This film was directed by Julie Cohen + Betsy West, the team who also brought us 2018’s fantastic RBG documentary.

TORN chronicles Alex Lowe’s ill-fated climb and his son’s arduous journey to return to the spot where his father perished.


JULIA tells the story of the legendary cookbook author and television superstar who changed the way Americans think about food, television, and even about women.


We are already busy plotting the course for 2022, and have our first film event tomorrow, Wednesday, January 5 at the Isis Theatre – we will be presenting Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi’s (FREE SOLO) latest and greatest THE RESCUE on the big screen!

This dynamic and edge of your seat thriller has already been shortlisted for the Best Documentary Oscar® list.

Tickets and more details here (https://aspenfilm.org/the-rescue/) .

Next up, beginning on January 11, Aspen Film and the Aspen Historical Society begin our second Virtual Retro Film Series, which gives viewers the chance to experience skiing’s illustrious past in the Aspen/Snowmass area. The films aren’t available for viewing until that date, but you can pre-order those and subsequent months’ films now.
This virtual series features newly digitized vintage films from the Aspen Historical Society collection. Spanning several decades, the visual histories bring retro skiing to life on the big screen from the comfort of your couch.
The full Virtual Retro Series will run from January through March, with a new group of films featured each month. Viewers have the opportunity to reserve all three months of historical Retro Films, or one month at a time. Details can be found here (https://aspenretro.eventive.org/passes/buy) .

And if you haven’t caught our other virtual offering JOSEP (https://aspenfilm.org/josep/) , the film will be available on our platform through January 10.

The animated biographical film is about a dying gendarme recalls his encounter with the Catalan artist Josep Bartolí in a French concentration camp after the Spanish Civil War.

Beginning on January 20, I will begin seeing films for the Sundance Film Festival, which runs until January 30. I appreciate the fact that the festival is offering a virtual edition alongside the in-person festival in Park City. I will be watching from the comfort of my own home this year as a precaution. Several hits from last year’s Sundance lineup found their way into our programming, including: AILEY, FLEE, JOCKEY, MY NAME IS PAULI MURRAY, NIGHT OF KINGS, PASSING, RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT, SUMMER OF SOUL, which is why this is such an important festival for us to cover.

Currently, our Shortsfest programming team is reviewing close to 3,000 submissions to assemble an incredible program which we will present to you from April 5-10. Mark your calendar for our 31st Oscar®-qualifying Shortsfest! Details to follow soon and our lineup will be announced in early March.

Please stay safe and healthy in these coming weeks – we do look forward to seeing you at the cinema soon, but the virtual cinema is also a great place to catch some excellent films.

Warm regards,

Susan Wrubel
Executive Director + Artistic Director, Aspen Film

Working to Enlighten, Enrich, Educate, and Entertain Through Film