Henderson takes leave of Denver fest


Ron Henderson, one of the founders and the artistic director of the Denver Film Society and the Starz Denver Film Festival, is retiring at the end of the year. He will remain associated with DFS as a senior program consultant.

Britta Erickson has been appointed director of festivals by executive director Scott Rowitz and the society's board of directors.

On Thursday, Henderson will be honored with the John Cassavetes Award at the opening night of this year's fest. Established in 1989 in collaboration with Gena Rowlands, the award is presented annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the world of filmmaking and whose work reflects the spirit of the late Cassavetes.

This year's festival which will include 179 films from 36 countries.

Henderson's involvement in film began some years before he came to Denver. A former book editor for the MacMillan Co., he served as the director of the National Student Film Festival in New York City and as program director of the Taos (New Mexico) Talking Picture Festival. Henderson is also credited with founding the Breckenridge (Colorado) Festival of Film.

Erickson, who joined the festival staff in 1999, has been serving as the director of media and industry relations. Prior to that, she was the founding executive director of the Acoma Center (later the Curious Theatre Company), a non-profit performing arts organization in Denver.

Brit Withey, who has served as program director for the society, has been appointed artistic director of festivals providing creative leadership for the Starz Denver Film Festival and other projects of the DFS.