By Libby Smith

DENVER (CBS4) – The 43rd Annual Denver Film Festival went virtual this year due to coronavirus. That means about 100 festival titles are available for streaming right into your home. Festival goers buy tickets at the Festival website and then access the videos, and related content like pre-recorded interviews with people associated with the film. It all comes with a few taps on the remote or clicks of the mouse.

“I have the freedom to watch them whenever I want,” said Rachel Lederman, a professional member of Denver Film, and a regular Festival-goer.

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(credit Rachel Lederman)

Recently Lederman curled up on the couch with her 13-year-old daughter, Sadie, and dog, Apple to watch an Irish documentary called “The 8th”, about the effort to overturn the 8th Amendment which bans abortion in Ireland.

“I love the documentaries. There are so many different documentaries,” Lederman told CBS4.

While she misses the in-person gatherings to discuss the films and network, Lederman said she’s glad she can still access all the great content. She said the in-home experience gives her the flexibility to stop the movie and get a snack or discuss the content with her daughter.

“I try to expose her to as much as possible,” Lederman said.

“The Festival has been great so far,” said Kevin Smith, Director of Marketing and Partnerships at Denver Film.

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Organizers were not sure what to expect, but so far ticket sales are on a par with previous years. Smith said that the biggest benefit has been accessibility.

“Getting people who might be in Aspen or other areas throughout the state who haven’t been able to participate in it for whatever reason, now have the opportunity to do so,” Smith explained.

Everyone misses the red carpet event, and round table discussions, but the use of technology will likely become a regular part of the Festival.

“We see this virtual component continuing to be, sort of like, a fourth screen for us going forward,” Smith told CBS4.

Smith said that the pandemic has hit Colorado’s film industry hard, but that as restrictions were lifted this summer some production started to ramp up again. He called this an opportunity for many Colorado filmmakers to be creative with the resources they have at hand.

“So I think we might not see that today, but over the next couple of years, I think the films and the filmmaking that will come out of Colorado will hopefully benefit from that kind of creative push,” Smith said.

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LINKS: Denver Film Festival | Denver Film

Libby Smith