Have you ever wondered how the Denver Jewish Film Festival gets programmed? Each film festival has its own process, and ours is truly a community effort.

You know how they say it takes a village? Well, no kidding. Your friends, family, and colleagues have been hard at work (or play?) reviewing content for the 2018 Denver Jewish Film Festival since before the 2017 DJFF—sponsored by Wagner Wealth Management and the Sturm Family Foundation—even began!

It all starts with a title. Sometimes, international distributors will send me the name of a recent release; sometimes, filmmakers will send me a link to their film directly; oftentimes, I research the program for an upcoming or recent film festival and track down the appropriate sales agent. Either way, it’s a game of contact hustle, which takes many emails across many time zones. And I’m proud to report that we currently have 245 total films (and counting!) in consideration.

From this database, I assign films to our wonderful volunteer pre-screeners to view and review –as of today, our 57 pre-screeners have submitted 622 reviews of our feature film and short film submissions, and this number grows daily! Each feature film in consideration is viewed by at least three pre-screeners and myself before I can determine which films to present to our film selection committee for potential programming.

Our film selection committee consists of ten dedicated members who diligently watch a calendar of films to determine our festival program. As you can imagine, we all have varying tastes and opinions, so it isn’t always unanimous! From May through October, our film selection committee will view as many as 75 or 80 films each – both feature films and short films as presented in short film programs that I’ve curated myself. It’s a monumental effort, and our film selection committee is vital to the process!

So no matter your viewing preference –documentary, narrative, short film programs, from anywhere around the world or from the USA—we will absolutely have a program you will love. Rest assured that we have been tirelessly viewing and vetting films to make sure we bring you our best selection yet! And when the time comes – next February 7-19, 2018—we can’t wait to share our picks with you.


Amy Weiner, MACC Director of Festivals