By Baraba Bullington
Carolina Men Guest Author
Denver Hollingsworth notes that his hometown of Beulaville, N.C., is so rural it doesn’t have a movie theater. Yet that hasn’t stopped him from immersing himself in the world of filmmaking since childhood.
The 21-year-old already has a hefty list of accomplishments, including creating and working on films; starting his own production company (in 2007); and attending major festivals—such as Sundance and Tribeca.
“I hope to become a film director,” says Denver, adding that he would like to focus on narrative filmmaking. “In the meantime, I hope to open up opportunities.”
His interest in filmmaking began at the age of 8 when he picked up his father’s old film cameras. At first, Denver filmed “everything.” By 12 or 13, he taught himself through trial and error how to make short films using editing software.
At 13, Denver created “High School Haunting.”
“My dad urged me to premier it at a film festival in Wilmington.”
Denver describes the festival—the Encore Home Movie Contest—as primarily populated by industry professionals and says he was one of the youngest people there. Still, he won first place.
“I was incredibly surprised and happy about it,” Denver says, noting that the short horror film is available on Youtube, and emphasizing that he had a lot of help from his friends on the project.
At the festival, Denver also had the chance to meet filmmaker Erica Dunton. Since then, Denver has participated in various ways on projects of hers, such as “The 27 Club,” which won the Audience Award in 2008 at the Tribeca Film Festival, and “to.get.her,” winner of the Audience Award Best of NEXT at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
Currently, Denver is a communication major at East Carolina University. In the fall of 2013, professor Glenn Hubbard helped Denver enhance a documentary he made in high school.
The documentary, “Butterfly: Jackson’s Story,” focuses on Denver’s younger brother who has ichthyosis, a genetic skin disorder. The film originally premiered at Denver’s high school and raised $1,000 for the FIRST Foundation, which “educates, inspires, and connects those touched by ichthyosis.”
“We fine-tuned it and chopped at it and hacked at it the whole (fall 2013) semester,” relates Denver, who is now submitting it to various contests and festivals.
With plans to graduate in 2015, Denver focuses on his studies and his company, D3 Productions, which creates advertisements and electronic press kits in addition to films. The business minor notes that honing one’s advertising skills is extremely important in the film business. Some of his clients include the Wilmington Red Cross and the Department of Transportation of Duplin County.
Additional information about the filmmaker and D3 can be found at denverhollingsworth3.wordpress.com.