Lifetree Film Fest returns with more doing life, doing good

Lifetree Film Fest returns with more doing life, doing good

“Doing Life, Doing Good” has always been the motto of the annual Lifetree Film Fest. Rather than shock value to entertain, the film festival features films that lift up and do good in the world, said Craig Cable, event director.

Organizers took that mantra to another level this year and will ask patrons to vote on a top favorite nonprofit organization to donate a portion of proceeds to after the film festival this weekend.

The Lifetree Film Festival is Thursday to Saturday and will premier feature-length films each evening as well as short films.

Cable has selected several nonprofits to be in the running for a donation at the end of the weekend, but it’s up to the moviegoers. Every night, attendees will vote on their top choice. Those votes will be tallied and one nonprofit organization will receive a donation.

“I think this will spotlight a lot of organizations doing amazing things in Northern Colorado. We’re celebrating a lot of unsung heroes,” Cable said.

The festival is also featuring a film with an event each night.

Thursday is “Dinner and a Movie.” A portion of proceeds from food and drink at the Pourhouse, Mo’ Betta Gumbo, Henry’s, Generations, Loveland Aleworks or Next Door Food and Drink will be added to the pool for a nonprofit organization. People are encouraged to have dinner at participating restaurants before the feature film of “Father Unknown” at 7 p.m.

Friday is “Meet the Artists” at 5:30 p.m. Moviegoers can meet the judges, filmmakers and representatives from international and local nonprofits. The feature film that night is “The Boy from Geita.”

The film festival is hosting a family-friendly children’s movie and cereal bar for the first time on Saturday morning at 10 a.m.

“We heard from people that there wasn’t much for families last year,” Cable said. “So we created ‘Kids and Kids at Heart.'”

Children will get to watch “Marshall the Miracle Dog” and choose from a variety of cereals as a free event open to the public.

The “Best of the Fest” award-winning short films will be shown starting at 7 p.m. Saturday evening. Cable said that there will not be a red carpet event this year, although there will be a photo booth set up outside. Families are welcome to come dressed however they want to.

“We decided (the red carpet event) may be a barrier. We wanted to make it more accessible to more people,” Cable said.

Other short films will be shown at various times throughout the weekend as well.

Each film will also have some kind of question-and-answer session.

The Lifetree Film Fest received about 170 films this year of short and full-length films. Audience members will vote on an audience choice of the “Best of the Fest” films.

“We’ll be sharing films you would never see otherwise,” Cable said. “What’s cool about this event is, it is not only an entire experience but it gives the audience so much more about these films and you learn the stories behind the story.”

He also likes that the films have positive messages that celebrate the human condition rather than “shock for shock’s sake.”

Food for Thought, Food for Life (Directed by Susan Rockefeller): Consumers want their food fast, convenient, and cheap but at what cost? This film invites viewers to think differently about what they eat and to consider changes that may impact their health, the earth and communities.

By Jessica Benes

Reporter-Herald Staff Writer