Entertainment & Arts

George Hickenlooper dies aged 47 at film festival

George Hickenlooper
Image caption George Hickenlooper: the Denver festival will now be dedicated to him

Hollywood director George Hickenlooper, who won an Emmy in 1992 for the film Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse, has died at the age of 47.

The film-maker died of apparent natural causes in Denver, where he was attending a film festival, his cousin John Hickenlooper said in a statement.

"We are devastated," said John Hickenlooper, who is also mayor of Denver. "His passion for life, zeal for people and unquenchable curiosity enriched everyone who had the fortune to know him."

The director was in Denver for the premiere of his latest work Casino Jack, a political thriller starring Kevin Spacey and Kelly Preston.

The festival, which starts on Wednesday, "will be dedicated in its entirety to our friend George Hickenlooper," said festival director Britta Erickson.

Hearts of Darkness (1991) was a well-received documentary about the making of the film Apocalypse Now. It won several awards including the National Board of Review award for Best Documentary, while Hickenlooper himself won an Emmy for direction.

His other films include Factory Girl, Mayor of the Sunset Strip and the documentary Hick Town, based on footage shot while he followed his cousin around during the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

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