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Filmmaker Hickenlooper dies in Denver at 47

Filmmaker George Hickenlooper has died at age 47, just before the premiere of his new film “Casino Jack” at the Starz Denver Film Festival, the Denver Post newspaper reported on Saturday.

“We are devastated,” John Hickenlooper, his cousin and the mayor of Denver, said in a statement. “His passion for life, zeal for people and unquenchable curiosity enriched everyone who had the fortune to know him.”

The filmmaker appears to have died from natural causes and no foul play was suspected, the Denver Post said, quoting a statement from the mayor’s office.

“Casino Jack,” starring Kevin Spacey as jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff, was set to premiere on Thursday, it said.

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

Hickenlooper’s other films include “Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmakers Apocalypse” in 1991 and “The Mayor of Sunset Strip” in 2003.

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