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August Rush – Closing Night Party – Starz Denver Film Festival 2007

August Rush (Kirsten Sheridan) closing NIGHT PARTY – Starz Denver Film Festival 2007

The Starz Denver Film Festival’s next big party will go down this Saturday, November 17 at Ellie Caulkins with the Closing Night feature film, “August Rush.” Directed by Kirsten Sheridan, the film is expected to be both poignant and inspiring, especially for those of us who feel that music is like breathing—if we were ever without it life would be cold and dead.


Keri Russell plays Lyla Novacek, a young cellist living under the control of her wealthy father (William Sadler), until she meets Louis Connelly, played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Velvet Goldmine, Match Point), an Irish singer/songwriter. The two experience love at first sight, which is also influenced by their devotion and love for music. A night of romance leads to Lyla’s discovery that she’s carrying Louis’ child, but Lyla’s father (William Sadler), in a over-my-dead-body fashion, not only keeps the two apart but also leads Lyla to believe she lost her child after a car accident, when in fact the child was born healthy and was secretly given up for adoption by him.

The child, August Rush, is played by Freddie Highmore, who was astounding in films such as “Finding Neverland” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” When August turns 11, he vows to find his parents, and his gift for music and internal belief that music will bring them all together again. His search leads him to New York City where he meets Wizard, played by Robin Williams, and the prodigy in him begins to blossom. And in the way Robins takes on the role of teacher and mentor, he begins to find-tune August’s talents, “You know what music is? A harmonic connection between all living beings.” He always has some of the best lines in a movie, doesn’t he?

Wizard sees dollar signs while August’s determination to bring his family together grows, believing that if he keeps playing, they will hear him somehow, I believe in music the way some people believe in fairytales.”

At the same time, Lyla learns that in fact her son is alive and sets out to find him. Louis, who had given up music after loosing Lyla, also feels the spiritual signal that Lyla is feeling that August is sending, and begins to make his way back to where he first met her.

After “Waitress,” Russell is continuing to make big strides in her film career with “August Rush.” She has been involved in a variety of charities, including The Adrienne Shelly Foundation, which was created in dedicated to the actor and filmmaker Adrienne Shelly, the writer and director for “Waitress” who was killed just one year ago this month. This foundation supports “the artistic achievements of female actors, writers and directors who are either working on current short and feature film projects, new productions, or are seeking to transition from acting to writing and directing.”

Russell also has a connection to Denver, where she did some modeling before she was cast in her first film, “Honey, I Blew Up the Kid.”

In the spirit of music, the film’s website enables you to use audio clips from the library of music and sound effects they provide, giving you a chance to make your own spin on the trailer’s score.

On Saturday night, the Red Carpet gets rolling at 6:30pm, with the movie showing at 7:30pm. The night continues at the Last Reel Party at the EXDO Event Center from 10pm to 1pm.

For more information on the schedule and all the wonderful films showing from November 8 through November 18, go to


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