What: The Boulder International Film Festival promises to fill the lazy days of this long weekend with independent movies and unabashed popcorn snacking.
Why: Fifty films from 22 countries and 25 filmmakers cover subjects from an African-American banjo player to woman leaders in Liberia. Several filmmakers and subjects, including Otis Taylor the African-American banjo player, will participate in post-screening Q&A’s.
Bonus: Opening night starts the festival with a pre-release screening of Helen Hunt’s directorial debut “Then She Found Me,” a sweet romance about finding love in the realities of a mid-life crisis. Hazel Miller and The Cheesecake Factory will be on hand with accompanying music and refreshments. Tickets are $50.
Details: ThuSun, times vary. Venues vary, Boulder. $10. For more information, visit www.biff1.com or call 303-786-7030.
What: Out to prove that Jewish music goes far beyond Fiddler on the Roof, the all-female group Divahn takes up the cello, the tabla (an Indian percussion instrument), and the riq (an Egyptian tamborine) to play Middle Eastern and Sephardic music.
Why: In 2005 Divahn won the Jewish Music Award’s Best Middle Eastern Blend category. You wouldn’t want to miss the rare opportunity to see this New York-based band combine Arab musical forms with contemporary Israeli pop.
Bonus: Monday through Wedenesday, lead singer Galeet Dardashti will host a public lecture and master classes in Judaic Studies at the University of Denver. For more information, call 303-871-3660.
Details: Sat, 7:30 p.m. The Oriental Theater, 4335 W. 44th Ave. $18. For more information, visit www.theorientaltheater.com or call 303-455-2124.
What: Celebrate George, Abraham, and the rest, with a President’s Day 5K Race to raise awareness of the cancer that affects 17 percent of men. The 5K marks the beginning of the Prostate Awareness and Cancer Education (PACE) Race series, which will host two more Colorado 2008 events.
Why: More cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed this year than any other form of cancer. Help make this disease a visible charitable cause, while working off the Valentine’s Day chocolates.
Bonus: PSA blood screenings and Ask a Doctor booths make it easy to find answers to any questions you may have about the disease.
Details: Sun, 8:15 a.m. registration. Washington Park, Louisiana St. and Franklin St. $20-$30. For more information, visit www.pacerace.org or call 303-316-4685.
What: Deconstructing 400 years of conflicts between the English-speaking world and its rivals, author Walter Russell Mead explains the creation of the modern world. The talk is based on Russell Mead’s book “God and Gold: Britain, America and the Making of the Modern World.”
Why: As the Henry A. Kissinger senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations and a journalist for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Harper’s, Russell Mead promises to offer a critical perspective on world affairs.
Bonus: The conversation with this writer includes a gourmet lunch and a very legitimate excuse to take a long mid-day break.
Details: Thu, noon. The Oxford Hotel, 1600 17th St. $30-$45. For more information, visit www.thedenverforum.com or call 303-832-9030.Untraditional Valentines: For those who think cards and flowers skirt too closely to the Hallmark version of love, here are a few less conventional ideas for celebrating Valentine’s Day:
- Stay in on the 14th, but give your beloved the gift of Denver Restaurant Week reservations (www.denver.org/denverrestaurant).
- Head to Loveland ski area (www.skiloveland.com) for its annual mid-day, mass, mountain wedding.
- Swing by the Museum of Contemporary Art (www.macartdenver.org) for a blood-shot cocktail at the Bloody Valentine Heart Party.