On behalf of all of us at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center (MACC), Jewish Community Center of Denver (JCC), and this year’s Film Selection Committee, we would like to welcome you to the 28th Annual Denver Jewish Film Festival. This year, although there will be opportunities for some virtual screenings, we are emphasizing community connection through in-person showings. We aim to bring to you the very best in Israeli and Jewish cinema from around the world with this year’s exciting lineup.
A little bit about our process: shortly after the end of each year’s festival, we solicit submissions for the following year from filmmakers whose focus is on Israeli and Jewish subjects and themes. A dedicated group of pre-screeners view hundreds of these submissions to determine which will be seen by our Film Selection Committee. From May through November, we view and review the entries that are highly rated by the pre-screeners, and then, our favorite part – we meet to engage in lively debate about the merits of each movie. By the end of November, we have reached a consensus about the films we will feature, which balance fiction and documentary, historical and contemporary with an additional consideration towards geographic, demographic, and political diversity and inclusion. Despite our differences in opinion, we tend to agree on the quality of the truly outstanding films and are happy to bring them to you. In addition to the aforementioned curated movie set, the Mizel Center incorporates other dynamics into the mix, such as conversations with filmmakers and even special programs. For example, the film, How to Make Challah, will be followed by a challah-making class for viewers, on Thursday, March 14.
Once the films and programs have been set, the talented and dedicated MACC and JCC staff take the reins completely, communicating with filmmakers and distributors, setting up the box office, arranging for the delivery of film content, contributing to the design and distribution of marketing materials, and so much more. A special thanks to Emily Diaz Brenes, Jenna Gragg, Ari Shahbazi, Dan Rib, the MACC and JCC executive team, and the JCC Denver marketing team.
In addition to our professional staff and volunteer committee members who have spent countless hours filtering through film content to bring you the best of Jewish and Israeli film, we also must thank our sponsors, without whom this festival would not exist. A special thank you to JEWISHcolorado for your support in funding our Israeli Film package and programming.
And finally, we thank you, our audience, for showing up year after year to watch the films and engage in lively discussions!
The Film Selection Committee