Saddle up as the Go West Film Festival hits town starting Monday, November 8


While the streets of Greeley were as barren as a ghost town when the 2020 pandemic closed, residents should prepare for the return of outlaws and gunmen like the 2021 Go West Film Festival returns to town from Monday, November 8.

“We were very aware of this hiatus in our festival, so we were happy to have special guests this year,” said David Caldwell, festival co-chair. “

From contemporary to classics, the festival offers a variety of films for all ages of Western movie fans. And the best part is that all events are free to the public.

“I am struck by the way our festival presents the harsh realities of the West in a context that is both historical and contemporary,” Caldwell explained. “The old west was a really tough place. The weather was bad, the conditions were tough, and there was a lot of lawlessness at the border. So when Horace Greeley said “go west, young man” and Nathan Meeker came here in 1869, it wasn’t a piece of cake.

The program of the films of the festival reflects these harsh realities of life in the West through various issues such as pastoralists who lose their herds due to disease or the hazardous crossing of the border by a group of women in the 1860s.

“But at the same time, despite all this harshness and really tough conditions in the west and how hard life was on the border, our film festival reflects the west as a place of healing,” Caldwell said.

As in years past, spectators can stay after each screening to participate in conversations with special guests.

“I think that’s one of the things that attracts people and makes the festival stand out,” Caldwell said. “We linger and talk about the movie afterwards.”

This year, special guests Temple Grandin, Rodney Sauer and Cody Kuehl will be in attendance.

People attending the Go West 2021 Film Festival should be aware of the event’s COVID-19 security protocols. (Photo courtesy of the Go West Film Festival)

Grandin, an animal science professor at Colorado State University, will meet with attendees at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Kress Cinema and Lounge when the festival screens their biographical film, “Temple Grandin.” Grandin is the author of numerous books on animal behavior and is an advocate for autism awareness.

Sauer, founder of the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra and a great specialist in the musical repertoire of silent cinema, will meet with festival-goers at 6.30 p.m. Tuesday at the Kress. Sauer will also provide live music at the screening of the 1920 silent film “Daughter of Dawn.”

“We believe there will be interest in this event,” Caldwell said. “This is an unusual silent film because it has an all-Native American cast and was filmed in Oklahoma in 1920.”

Program cover and poster creator Cody Kuehl will showcase some of his work and sign festival posters featuring his painting “Bugle Boy,” at 6:30 pm at the Kress. The posters cost $ 50 each and the proceeds will be donated to future festival events.

“Cody has a particular vision of the West that he expresses himself very well and makes his work stand out,” Caldwell commented.

The festival will begin at noon on Monday, November 8 at the Farr Regional Library, 1939 61st Ave. to Greeley with a screening of the 1963 film, “Hud”.

The festival moves to the Kress Cinema and Lounge at 6.30pm Monday for a screening of the film “Temple Grandin”, with an appearance by Grandin herself.

Grandin, an animal science professor at Colorado State University, will meet with attendees at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Kress Cinema and Lounge. (Greeley Tribune file photo)

Tuesday’s events include the film “Westward the Women” at noon at the Farr Regional Library and culminate with the screening of the 1920 silent film, “The Daughter of Dawn,” at 6:30 pm at the Kress Cinema and sponsored by the Greeley Stampede.

Celebrate the middle of the week with the western “El Norte” at noon at the Farr Regional Library and the documentary “Becoming Bulletproof” at 6:30 pm at the Kress Cinema and Lounge.

Thursday kicks off with a noon screening of “Cowboys and Indians, the JJ Harper Story” at the Kress Cinema and Lounge and “Country Mustard” at 7pm at the Lindou Auditorium, Michener Library at the University of Northern Colorado, 1400 22nd St.

Friday, the festival is scheduled to screen the 2017 film, “Woman Walks Ahead” at noon at the Farr Regional Library and the final performance of John Wayne’s film in “The Shootist” at 6:30 pm at the Ed Beaty Hall Theater in Aims Community. College, 5401 W. 20th St. in Greeley.

The festival will conclude on Saturday with a full day of screenings starting at noon with PG-13 “Shanghi Noon” at Kress Cinema and heading to Zoe’s Cafe and Events Center, 715 10th St., at 6:30 pm for the Shorts Showcase.

“This is our third short film showcase. We had a number of nominations and we selected a program of nine short films to screen, ”Caldwell said. “We will be awarding a Best of Fest award and the public will have the opportunity to vote for a public favorite. “

As with many events, festival organizers had to figure out how best to proceed while protecting attendees and volunteers from COVID-19.

The festival has a COVID-19 policy in place that will require attendees to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of the event they attend. Masks will also be required for anyone attending the festival.

“Because our sites are rather small, we don’t have the ability to distance ourselves socially,” Caldwell said. “We will have masks on hand for those who forget one. Unless they eat or drink, we will ask people to wear a mask. “

For more information on the Go West Film Festival, visit


Gerald R. Schneider

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