Where are the screenings held?
What makes a film Jewish?
There is not simple answer to this simple question. Like many things Jewish, this is a topic that has been hotly debated. The Denver Jewish Film Festival presents films that illuminate the human experience from a Jewish perspective, or present a topic of interest to the Jewish community. Primarily focused on contemporary film, the festival presents a variety of genres probing Jewish identity, history, culture and experience. The selection of films simultaneously reveals the great diversity and complexity of the Jewish people and the universality of the themes that unite all people.
How are films selected for the festival?
This is a complex process that takes staff and volunteers many months. There are two main tracks by which a film can come to our attention.
1.) Looking to other festivals across the globe, working with our connections with film distributors, conducting extensive research, and accepting recommendations from the community, our festival director requests films for previewing.
2.) We also have an open call for submissions, by which any filmmaker can submit a film. Our selection committee prescreens and evaluates the films and meets throughout the summer and early fall to discuss and evaluate them.
Submission forms, guidelines, and deadline information is available on our on our Submission page.
I was not able to see a film. Can you show it again, can I purchase a DVD or can I see it somewhere else?
We do not own the films that we are showing. Like movie theatres, we rent them and pay for a specific number of screenings…generally one or two. The next day, we pack up the film, and send it off to its next destination. We have to set our schedule in October. So, we can not just add a screening at the last minute. Generally, we do not screen films that are publicly available on DVD, but they may become available in the future. Some of the films that we screen may open commercially. If a film is very popular at our festival, sometimes we can often work with the Denver Film Society to arrange an encore screening at a later date.
Why don’t you have multiple screenings of more films?
Our schedule limits us to screening about 18 to 20 films. So, every time we screen a film twice, it means that there is another wonderful film that we are not able to include in the festival at all.
Why does the festival include films that show Jews and Israel in a negative light?
The festival previews many films and tries to select films on a variety of topics on relevant themes including contemporary issues. With the goal of cultivating tolerance and awareness through education, dialog, and celebration we believe it is important to include films that encourage us to confront perspectives that we may not share, or that may make us uncomfortable if these issues are of relevance to the global Jewish community. In the spirit of tikkun olam, we have a responsibility to provide an environment for individuals to participate in thoughtful conversation on complex issues.
I don’t see ratings on these films. How do I know if a film is suitable for children?
The films that we show are typically not rated by the Motion Picture Association for a variety of reasons. Our films are often international or independent releases, and we generally screen films prior to commercial release. Our film descriptions should provide information to help you decide the appropriateness of any given film. And, while we can not rate a film, festival staff members are always happy to discuss any film with you. In the end, however, only you can decide what is appropriate for your own family.
Why do you show the films at MACC instead of at a commercial theatre?
There are several reasons that we screen films here at MACC. First and foremost is that unlike many Jewish film festivals, we are lucky enough to have our own theatre equipped with a professional 35mm projector, and capable of screening a wide range of other professional formats. This enables us to keep our expenses down, therefore making it possible for us to bring more films to the public. Also, with such a large public event, we are pleased to be able to host it at MACC and introduce new people to our facilities and wide range of programs that are offered here.
Why don’t you run the festival over several weekends instead of through the week? I have trouble making it weekday screenings.
By presenting the films over the course of 10 days we create the emotional intensity and thrill of a film festival. Presenting a number of films over the course of several weekends would be more like a film series rather than a festival, which could be nice, but would be something quite different. The festival format is proving to work quite well, with people anticipating the annual event which begins the Thursday after the Super Bowl. Our weekday screenings are often as well attended as our weekend screenings. So, mark your calendars in advance!
Why do some films have programs after them and others don’t?
Working within the parameters of our given time frame and budget, our staff and core of volunteers try to anticipate which films are best presented with some supporting programming such as a talk back with the director. Time and budget simply do not allow for us to do this with every film, and it might become a bit tedious if we did.
What is your seating policy?
When the doors open, our sponsors are seated first. All seats are general admission and available on a first come, first served basis. However, between screenings we must ask everyone to leave the theatre as our technical crew needs to conduct the sound check in quiet theatre. We do allow people to leave their coats on their seats, but ask people not to save seats for others who are not present. You can help our festival to run on time by leaving the theatre quickly at the end of each screening. When people do not leave the theatre, we can not begin the sound check, and the next program is delayed.
I love the festival and want to help it continue. How can I become a sponsor?
It takes a great many sponsors to make this festival happen and to present the fine quality films that the DJFF has become known for. We welcome your support. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or would like more information about sponsorship opportunities, please call our festival director at (303) 316-6319.
I love the festival and want to help it continue. How do I become a volunteer?
A tremendous volunteer effort is behind each DJFF. Our brilliant volunteer team share their time and expertise to assist with almost everything. Volunteers play key roles with fundraising, ticket selling, marketing, event planning, ushering, tallying ballots, meeting and greeting, hosting special events, and shuttling our guest speakers. To inquire about volunteer opportunities, please contact our festival director at (303) 316-6319.