2011 Press Releases

Press Release:

Soul Legend, Hazel Miller at our Opening Gala

– Rep. Jared Polis at LADmatters’ Closing Ceremony

Author: Karen van Vuuren

Posted: August 23, 2011

Beloved soul legend Hazel Miller will get the first Life And Death Matters’ Festival off to rocking start at our Opening Gala, Thursday, September 1 at 7PM. Miller joins us with members of the We Are Voices Project, a musical collaboration of established women singers supporting community-based, charitable initiatives.

LADmatters has just revealed our diverse menu of international films, provocative, new theatre and inspirational educational programming. Tickets are selling fast.  We’re about to welcome our VIP filmmaker guests to Boulder, including Janet Grillo whose narrative feature-length film Fly Away is the only movie directed by the parent of a child with autism.

The theatrical section of our program – including a play from the perspective of two kidneys post-transplant – is currently our second-most popular offering after Temple Grandin, our VIP speaker. We’re also thrilled that Rep. Jared Polis will join us for our Closing Gala and Awards Ceremony on Sunday, September 4.

See you September 1-4 at LADmatters. You might just see life through a new lens.


Press Release:

Our First Grant – Yipee!; Stellar Filmmakers in Attendance;

Stand by for the Unveiling of 9 New and Inspirational Plays

Author: Karen van Vuuren

Posted: July 22, 2011

Recognition! The Boulder Arts Commission is the first grantor to acknowledge the phenomenal potential of this, our first Life And Death Matters Festival of film, theatre, and edutainment. We’ll be using BAC funding to sponsor attendance by top filmmakers during our September 1-4, Boulder-based festival. Mark Smolowitz, director of The Power of Two – will attend with the subjects of his film, the remarkable Stenzel twins, sisters from two cultures who received two new chances at life.  Colorado resident, William Arntz, director of What the Bleep brings his new film Ghetto Physics and will grace our filmmaker panel.

Saturday September 3, we’re delighted to host Temple Grandin Ph.D., our VIP speaker. Grandin’s inspirational life as an autistic woman spawned the Emmy-award-winning film of the same name. We’ll soon be unveiling the nine original plays chosen for our theatrical programming.  Our play directors are already at work on production.

VIP festival passes are on sale now and our entire program will be up August 1.  Tickets for all individual events will be available via website from August 16.  All events are at the Nomad Theatre in north Boulder and other nearby venues. Life and Death Matters Festival is a non-profit endeavor founded on the belief in the transformational power of media.


Press Release:

Festival Bonanza: International Films, Filmmaker VIPs, 5 Original Plays and the real Temple Grandin

Author: Karen van Vuuren

Posted: July 5, 2011

Life and Death Matters aka LADmatters was born as an international film festival but grew to be much more than that. The LADmatters’ team is unveiling our sparkling festival program on how we face and navigate the journey through life.

We’ve received around 200 documentaries, narratives and animated films from around the world, and we’re currently considering 36 original plays for our festival line-up. We’re also busy putting together dynamic, interactive, unmissable educational programming that will have you singing, dancing, and even “clowning” for joy.  This Labor Day Weekend, we plan to bring North Boulder alive.

We’re thrilled that Temple Grandin Ph.D., the author and educator, whose life with autism inspired the Emmy-awarding movie, will be our guest speaker September 3.

This inaugural year, we’re at the historic Nomad Theatre in beautiful Boulder, Colorado.  Festival co-directors are Karen van Vuuren and Erin Kelly.  Van Vuuren is a journalist, filmmaker, and community educator, Kelly, a filmmaker and actor.  LADmatters is the result of their belief in the transformational power of media.


Press Release:

Meet Matters of Life and Death in a Dynamic, New Film Festival

Author: Karen van Vuuren

Posted: April 4 2011


LADmatters is a unique newcomer on the film festival circuit in focusing on how we navigate life transitions from birth to death. Journalist/non-profit director Karen van Vuuren and actor/producer Erin Kelly have conceived LADmatters as a platform forfilmmakers who delve deeply into the nature of the human journey. “We’re interested in provocative, educational, and inspirational films that will promote a more conscious approach to how we live, and how we die,” said Karen van Vuuren, who also brings a background in hospice and elder care to her work with the festival.

LADmatters will take a different tack to other, more “conventional” festivals by offering workshops and seminars in tandem with the line-up of films. “We want to offer our audiences the opportunity to go deeper into some of the subject areas raised by our films, so we’ll be inviting specialist presenters and teachers to share their wisdom, to complement our film program,” said Erin Kelly, co-director of the festival.

LADmatters will feature films on the physical and spiritual challenges we face. One important goal is to highlight the courage and triumph of the human spirit. LADmatters is seeking partnerships with community-based organizations in this first, annual Life and Death Matters film festival, scheduled for September 1-4, 2011 at the Nomad Theatre in Boulder, Colorado. LADmatters is a non-profit venture.


Press Release:

New Boulder film festival seeking submissions

Author: Robin Truesdale

Posted: April 23 2011


A unique new film festival joins Boulder’s list of cinematic events in 2011.

The Life and Death Matters Film Festival will debut in Boulder in September, and is now accepting film submissions.

This Colorado based international film festival celebrates living and dying through films that illustrate life’s challenges, transitions, and inspirations. Organizers Erin Kelly and Karen van Vuuren hope to “create a platform for filmmakers who have delved into the human journey and give them a place to showcase their work.”  Their goal is also to enlighten about issues that affect well-being, and “to educate, and inspire debate that promotes a conscious approach to life and death.”

In addition to film screenings, workshop and breakout sessions will be offered on a variety of topics relating to the festival theme.

While this will be the first year for the festival, Kelly and van Vuuren plan for the LAD Matters Film Festival to become an annual event, highlighting both local and international films.

Films can be any genre or style and will be divided into five categories, Feature Length Narrative, Feature Length Documentary, Short Narrative, Short Documentary, and Animated Short. Submissions are being accepted at www.withoutabox.com. May 6 is the regular deadline, although late entries will be accepted through June 17.

The festival premiers September 1st and runs through September 4th with screenings at the Nomad Theater and other Boulder locations. For more information, please visit LADmatters.com.