Odell hosts ACT Film Festival’s 8th annual kickoff party


Collegian | Jaiden Stanford

The eighth annual launch party for ACT Human Rights Film Festival launch party held at Odell Brewing Company in Fort Collins March 7.

Sophia Masia, Staff Reporter

Odell Brewing Company hosted the eighth annual ACT Human Rights Film Festival Kickoff Party March 7 with trivia, beer, film trailers and film selection announcements for the festival.

“The kickoff was a success,” said Beth Seymour, managing director of the ACT Film Festival. “ACT’s schedule is live, tickets are on sale and we are buzzing with excitement about the films, filmmakers and conversations we have planned.


The ACT Film Festival is a multi-day fest of movies and events put on by Colorado State University’s College of Liberal Arts and department of communication studies that aims to “awaken, connect (and) transform,” according to their website.

“Most people think they don’t want to go to a human rights film festival until they’ve been to a human rights film festival.” -Greg Dickinson, professor and chair of CSU’s communications department

“ACT brings the best and most recent human rights cinema to Northern Colorado,” the communications studies website reads. “Through the shared experience of film and conversation, ACT cultivates empathy and new perspectives about human rights.”

These films intend to help students and members of the community connect at the intersection of art, culture and social justice.

The festival takes place every year at the end of March into the beginning of April both on campus and at The Lyric, with multiple showings of feature documentaries, award winning movies and short films each day.

However, the films aren’t the only events ACT puts on during the festival. This year over a dozen filmmakers will be attending for Q&As, fireside chats and insider information about their work.

“The kickoff is a good way to get people excited for the actual festival,” said Greg Dickinson, professor and chair of CSU’s communication studies department. “We announce the movies, then show the trailers with some of our Screening Sessions Ale, and it gets people very excited.”

“Most people think they don’t want to go to a human rights film festival until they’ve been to a human rights film festival,” Dickinson said.

The kickoff was a huge success and the biggest turnout since COVID-19 forced the festival to be moved virtually. Now back in person, the festival is expected to be bigger than ever.

“(The kickoff party) was very fun,” said Susan Walling, a recurring ACT attendee. “We’re excited to go to the festival and watch all these great movies.”


Each year the films are hand-picked by a team of movie selectors who watch well over 200 movies to pick the best lineup for the festival.

“ACT isn’t just the film festival either,” said Katherine Indermaur, communication coordinator for CSU’s department of communication studies. “We work on it all year and host different showings relating to human rights and how we in Fort Collins can help.”

Along with amazing movies, limited edition specialty brewed beer, an opening and closing night reception and exclusive filmmaker interactions, ACT also seeks to help the communities and issues the films portray through Call To ACT.

“Call To ACT is when we partner with nonprofits and businesses that relate to the human rights issues in each year’s films to find ways that we and the people who attend the festival can help,” said Catrina Vininski, the 2023 ACT outreach and engagement coordinator.

“It’s great to watch a movie and be aware of an issue, but it’s better to help change it, and a lot of times, it doesn’t involve money, which can be hard for college students,” Vininski said.

If you couldn’t make it to the kickoff party and didn’t win passes or tickets through trivia, Student Leadership, Involvement & Community Engagement is giving out two free tickets to students as well as discounted passes and more deals for students, faculty and staff.

For more information about the ACT Human Rights Film Festival, visit their website or follow their Instagram @ActFilmFest.

Reach Sophia Masia at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter at @sophie_masia.