Denver Jewish Film Festival returns Feb. 14-March 1 – Boulder Jewish News

26and the annual festival will showcase 34 films and shorts through virtual and in-person events

DENVER, Colorado, January 18, 2022 – 26and The JCC Mizel Arts and Culture Center’s annual Denver Jewish Film Festival, powered by the Chotin Foundation, will be held virtually and in-person from February 14-22 and will be followed by an all-virtual festival from February 23-March 1, 2022. The festival includes 34 films and shorts featuring cinema from 14 countries. The films cover a variety of diverse topics, many of which feature stories of perseverance through different lenses. Tickets and festival passes went on sale January 19 at 10 a.m.

“Our goal in selecting films for this year’s festival was to present a wide range of cinematic subjects that would appeal to a variety of audiences, including films by Jewish and Israeli directors and filmmakers about friendship, hardships and love stories, to name a few themes,” said Rich Cowden, Executive Director of the JCC Mizel Arts and Culture Center. “We are also thrilled to announce that over forty percent of the festival’s films are directed by female directors. As COVID-19 continues to impact in-person events, we are delighted to offer virtual viewing options throughout the festival to extend its reach to people at across Colorado, not just those in our own community.

Film highlights include:

Persian lessons
  • Persian lessons – Monday, February 14 at 7 p.m. (opening): An unconventional friendship develops between a German chef in a concentration camp kitchen, Klaus Koch, and the young Belgian Jew, Gilles, who falsely claims to be Persian in order to survive a mass shooting. He is now forced to teach Klaus a language he only claims to know.
    • Tickets for the VIP opening night are $75 and include a champagne reception and hors d’oeuvres as well as a film screening.
  • Neighbors – Thursday, February 17 at 8 p.m.:A small village on the Syrian-Turkish border in the early 1980s: A six-year-old Kurdish boy experiences his first year in an Arab school and sees how his little world is drastically turned upside down by absurd nationalism. With a fine sense of humor and satire, the film recounts a childhood which, between dictatorship and black drama, also has its moments of light. How much friendship, love and solidarity are possible in times of repression and despotism?
    • WINNER! SF Film Critics Jury Award – 2021 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
    • Audience Award – Boston Jewish Film Festival 2021
  • Here we are preceded by A Father’s KaddishSunday February 20 at 1 p.m.:
    • Here we are – Aharon dedicated his life to raising his son Uri. They live together in a gentle routine, far from the real world. But Uri has autism, and now that he’s a young adult, maybe it’s time for him to move into a special home.
    • A Father’s Kaddish tells how Steven Branfman used the art of pottery to help him overcome his grief after the death of his 23-year-old son. The film is a powerful and moving journey through the universal experience of loss, grieving and rebuilding a life.
      • Steven Branfman, featured in the short A Father’s Kaddish, will be exhibiting her pottery at the Plinth Gallery in Denver beginning February 4. Plinth Gallery is located at 3520 Brighton Blvd. in Denver.
  • Plan A – Tuesday, February 22, 8 p.m. (closing evening of the hybrid festival): Based on the incredible true story of the “Avengers”, a group of Jewish vigilantes, men and women, who after surviving the Holocaust swore to avenge the death of their people.
  • Unbridled Available on request from Wednesday February 23 to Tuesday March 1: Nancy Zeitlin is fearless in adapting to a new country, breaking stereotypes and crossing societal barriers. Born in San Diego, she moved to Israel as a child. As she rises to become an Olympic-level equestrian, she must navigate a religious and secular Israeli society divided outside and within her own family.
Here We Are (2020)

“We are thrilled to sponsor the Denver Jewish Film Festival for the second year,” said Robin Chotin, director of the Chotin Foundation. “Our goal is to support organizations that provide expanded access to arts and culture programs to Colorado communities, as well as fundraising programs that create cultural and educational experiences for families, children, and individuals with an emphasis on the Jewish community. The Denver Jewish Film Festival fits perfectly into this framework by offering varied and stimulating films. »

To view the full film lineup and purchase tickets, visit Tickets can also be purchased in person at the JCC Mizel Arts and Culture Center box office located at 350 S. Dahlia Street in Denver Monday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and one hour prior to all in-person screenings. Prices for individual tickets and festival passes are as follows:

  • Virtual movies are $20 per household per movie.
  • Individual tickets for in-person events are $15 per person for adults, $13 for students and seniors.
  • All-Access Festival Pass for 16 admissions and 26 virtual unlocks (All films are also available on demand for seven days after the in-person screening) – $499 ($760 value)
  • In-person pass only for 16 entries (all films are also available on demand for seven days after the in-person screening) – $189 (value of $240)
  • Festival Pass on demand only for 26 virtual unlocks – $349 ($520 value)

During the first week of the festival, February 14-22, films will be available virtually through Eventive the day after the in-person screening for seven days. Films released only through the Virtual Festival will be available from February 23 to March 1. Virtual movies can easily be watched by Chromecast on your TV or through the Eventive Smart TV apps for Roku or Apple TV.

The JCC Mizel Arts and Culture Center follows the direction of the CDC, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and Denver local government for its health and safety policy. Ticket holders will be responsible for affirming their commitment to following all health and safety policies when purchasing seats for in-person screenings. While these guidelines continue to evolve, please expect to wear a mask and be prepared to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination when visiting the theater for in-person events. For more information on policies, visit


As one of the premier arts organizations in the Rocky Mountain region, the JCC Mizel Arts and Culture Center illuminates the human experience through creative and cultural programs in the performing, visual, film and literary arts for the community. Jewry and the Denver community as a whole. The Mizel Arts and Culture Center is a Tier II member of the Science and Culture Facilities District (SCFD) and is guided by a mission that specifically focuses on arts and culture programs. A variety of festivals are offered throughout the year, including the Denver Jewish Film Festival, the JAAMM Fest (Jewish Arts, Authors, Movies and Music Fest), and the ReelAbilities Film Festival. The JCC Mizel Arts and Culture Center is located at 350 S. Dahlia Street in Denver. For more information, visit or call 303-316-6360.


The Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center (JCC Denver) serves the Denver metropolitan area through educational, social, cultural, fitness, athletic, and other programs rooted in Jewish values. The mission of JCC Denver is to create a vibrant and inclusive family and social gathering place guided by these timeless Jewish values. The four program areas of JCC Denver focus on connection, community, and well-being and include: a robust fitness, sports, tennis, and aquatics facility; Early childhood engagement, including an early learning school and a variety of programs for families; the Mizel Arts and Culture Center which offers the Festival of Jewish Arts, Authors, Films and Music (JAAMM Fest), the Denver Jewish Film Festival and the ReelAbilities Film Festival; summer camps including Ranch Camp and Camp Shai; engagement programs for teens, young adults, seniors, and the LGBTQ+ community. The JCC Denver is located at 350 S. Dahlia Street in Denver. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook and Instagram @jccdenver or call (303) 399-2660.


The Chotin Foundation is a private foundation established in 1994 as a charity for the Steven B. Chotin and Robin D. Chotin family and The Chotin Group Corporation. The Foundation is dedicated to enhancing and enriching the lives of individuals, children and families with a special interest in Jewish community causes as well as secular charitable initiatives in the arts and culture, education, health and well-being.

Gerald R. Schneider