Lights, Camera…DJFF!  

With everything that’s happening at the JCC, it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of all the exciting events to attend. While we know it’s improbable to attend all programming, we wanted to bring special attention to an upcoming event so that you can clear your calendar – we promise, you’ll want to! 

The Denver Jewish Film Festival is back for another year of ‘reel’ talent and on-screen drama. With 39 films hailing from 14 different countries, DJFF is sure to have you entranced. Oh, and small but significant detail…concessions are back! In case you needed even more convincing. 

Pulling off DJFF is no small feat and takes a small army of dedicated and skilled individuals. To give more insight into the process behind the festival, and to hear even more reasons to go buy yourself a ticket, here’s a letter from Mizel Arts and Culture Center General Director, Rich Cowden.   

On behalf of all of us at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center and Jewish Community Center of Denver, please allow me to welcome you to the 27th annual Denver Jewish Film Festival! Once again back in person, emphasizing creating community around live screenings, but still offering virtual options to give audience members as many opportunities as possible to view our stellar lineup of Jewish cinema. As the General Manager of Arts, Culture, and Community and the Mizel Center at the J, it’s my distinct honor to work with a tremendous team on the curation and presentation of this year’s festival.  

With this in mind I’d like to lead with a few thanks to some tireless folks without whose contributions DJFF 2023 just wouldn’t be possible. In order to try and curate a more diverse and inclusive festival, we significantly expanded the membership of our Film Selection Committee this year. Both seasoned and new members watched hundreds of hours of films and participated in lively debate about the merits of each submission; finally, arriving on a consensus around which films would be the best fit for both our current audience, and new patrons. Each member gave dozens of hours of their time to this process, for which I thank them deeply. Additionally, our wonderful pre-screeners, who view dozens of films and determine which ones will reach the Film Selection Committee themselves—not an easy job when we have such extraordinary submissions each year. 

I also want to thank a tenacious and visionary group of staff members who have spent countless hours working on the festival—organizing and leading committee meetings, communicating with filmmakers and distribution companies, setting up the box office, arranging for the delivery of physical and virtual film content, contributing to the design and distribution marketing materials, and so much more. Jenna Gragg, Dan Rib, Alex Koszewski, Emily Diaz, and Joel Schleicher of the Mizel Center staff, and our superlative JCC Denver marketing team of Jeff Hoffman, Emily Reilly, Jamie Winter, and Callie Brennan have all done the heavy lifting necessary to bring DJFF 2023 to life. 

Finally, and certainly not as an afterthought, we want to offer our sincerest thanks to our generous group of DJFF contributors. They are listed prominently in this brochure and too numerous to reiterate here; but, from our title sponsor the Chotin Family Foundation, to those making individual contributions, their gifts are the catalysts that power the festival each year and enable us to attract the absolute best Jewish-themed films from around the world.  

Despite our best efforts to alleviate confusion and maximize accessibility, we know this can all be a bit overwhelming. Please don’t hesitate to reach out or use our “How to Fest” page on the DJFF website—we want you to join us however you can. 

As always, we thank YOU—our audience—for your steadfast support of the Denver Jewish Film Festival, which has become one of the finest of its kind in the U.S. We’re delighted that more and more of you are choosing to join us for some irreplaceable experiences in our two cinema venues.  

Now…lights, camera, ACTION!