BolderLife Festival delivers films, speakers and theater

Director to screen award-winning documentary

Talking Story depicts Tibetan medicine doctors, called amchis.
Image courtesy Thomas L. Kelly

As the BolderLife Festival enters its second year on the scene, the film/theater festival will take on an array of taboo topics, giving audiences a platform to engage in in-depth discussions.


Erin Kelly, artistic director for the festival, says showing films and featuring speakers will allow audience members to find answers to questions they may have after seeing a film.

“So often when people go to films and are left with all this emotion and/or questions, and say ‘Now what?’ they’re able to continue the conversation through BolderLife,” Kelly says.

She adds that a large portion of the festival will deal with conflict resolution. Issues like Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war, portrayed in the film Fambul Tok, about a local community bringing both perpetrators and victims of crimes together in a forgiveness and peace ceremony, along with other topics like LGBTQ acceptance and bullying in school, will be integral topics in the upcoming festival.

Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes — the basis for the movie Mean Girls — will be giving a talk to parents and their children about communicating their problems to each other.

“Wiseman is giving children the opportunity to demonstrate to their parents what they see when a parent is yelling at them or frustrated or has something going on,” Kelly says. “She’ll give the parent the opportunity to then express what’s going on with them in those moments.”

Along with topics and films about conflict resolution, Kelly says BolderLife will also feature films and activities dealing with a number of different subjects. The film Somewhere West, written and directed by David Marek, tells the story of a terminally ill man who heads west to find solitude in his last moments, only to find a makeshift family of troubled characters who help him open his heart.

Another film, Talking Story, a documentary directed by Marie-Rose Phan-Le, tells the story of spiritual healers throughout the world.

Phan-Le’s documentary — which has won a number of awards, including Best Cinematography at Breckenridge’s Festival of Film — discusses the quickly diminishing spiritual healers and traditions throughout the world and the impact this has had on their communities.

“I think that the shamans or medicine men play many roles,” Phan-Le says. “They can be healers, they can be citizens, they can be your priest, and they play all these roles and have a very important tradition in the community and are very revered.”

Phan-Le traveled to a number of communities, including Hawaii, Peru, Northern India, Nepal, Southwest China and Vietnam, in her search to speak to healers and better understand their outlooks on life.

“I set out wanting to go out and help preserve these endangered healers and spiritual traditions with my film and really got pulled into the story,” Phan-Le says. “We think that we can just have a camera and have an objective view point, but that really just doesn’t exist. You can’t just talk about what you do; you have to experience it. We are losing these healers. We are losing these traditions. So as a filmmaker I can’t stop some of the factors that cause this, but I can at least transform it into something that can be accessible to others, and for me that was through film.”

Visit for tickets and more information.


Previous articleElection activist claims she’s broken Boulder’s ballot code
Next article‘The Innocence of Muslims’ shines light on free speech, social media issues