Jewish Film Reimagined

Written by Shlomit Ovadia of JCC Denver.

This year’s 28th Annual Denver Jewish Film Festival invites Coloradans to interact with global, Jewish arts in a new way. Boasting an eclectic lineup of 20 carefully selected films, the festival brings an iconoclastic and invigorating flavor to the world of cinema, March 7 – 19.  

A documentary filmmaker himself, Kipp Adler is excited to partake in his second year of being on the film selection committee for the Denver Jewish Film Festival (DJFF).   

The committee is comprised of 4 groups who watch 5 to 6 films weekly and convene every week at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center at the JCC to talk about their select films in smaller groups, deconstruct content, assign ratings, and debate the likelihood of them being aired.   

“I enjoyed those meetings; they were vibrant discussions where people really cared and were opinionated in the best way possible,” remarks Kipp.  

“Because there were diverse opinions, we were able to really discuss the films in depth. As a filmmaker, it was fun for me because even if I had a strong opinion about a film, someone would bring a new perspective that would lead me to re-evaluate my own.”  

The democratic process was filled with lively discussions, and participants got to champion films they particularly felt a connection to. For Kipp, that was Last Man Standing. “The film gives you an interesting delve into the origins and growth of the Jewish mafia and organized crime,” he notes of the film, as well as DJFF’s opening night premiere of Remembering Gene Wilder. “I grew up with him and was a huge fan; this [movie] is a fantastic portrait of his life.”  

As a movie maker, Kipp also found inspiration in the alternative film styles represented in the festival’s indie selection, like Zohar Wagner’s docudrama, Savoy.  

“Israel Swings for Gold is also an interesting one that I thought gave a pretty cool perspective and insight on what being Israeli in a global competition can look like, and the complications about representing a controversial country,” Kipp shares.  

Due to Israel’s generous funding of the arts, Israeli films “can be quite thoughtful and deep and emotionally gripping as a rule and tend to focus more on emotional turmoil and conflict,” bringing thought-provoking experiences to this year’s film lineup.   

“I hope people can relate to the nuances of these Jewish films and delve into what it means to be a Jew in the modern world. These are Jewish-centric movies about our community. We can relate to the struggles depicted, or we can learn something about a different stream of Judaism we’re not a part of that’s enlightening,” referring to films like Matchmaker, which provides a glimpse into the lives of ultra-orthodox communities.   

This year’s festival promises a great lineup, so make sure to save your spot by purchasing tickets today. You can buy all-access or movie-specific passes to the 28th Annual Denver Jewish Film Festival online, or by calling our box office, 303.316.6360 or emailing us,