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Four Questions with Jenny Bloom


Arguably Colorado’s most famous haunted landmark, the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park is best known for providing the incomparably creepy backdrop for one of the scariest horror films ever released: The Shining. It stands to reason, then, that the nation’s newest horror film fest should take up residence here, and the Stanley Film Festival promises to be a breakout annual hit. We caught up with Festival runner Jenny Bloom, whose credits include the Starz! Denver Film Festival, Film Independent’s Los Angeles Film Festival and the Palm Springs International Film Festival. She’s also the co-founder and co-chair of Reel Social Club, the Denver Film Society’s official young patrons group and sits on the DFS’ Board of Directors. Here, Jenny talks about the horror genre, film in Colorado, and the horrors of coding HTML.

French Davis How did the festival come to exist?

Jenny Bloom: John Cullen (president of the Grand Heritage Hotel Group, owner of The Stanley Hotel) had a vision to host a cinematic celebration on the property to honor the imprint Hollywood has made on The Stanley Hotel. My colleague and mentor, Donald Zuckerman (Colorado Film Commissioner), introduced me to John and in our first meeting in December, I pitched my concept of the perfect four-day horror film festival. Within weeks we were moving forward with preproduction and the rest is history.

FD: What’s the draw to horror these days? It seems like horror made a leap to mainstream in the last few years.

JB: Suspending disbelief and watching a horror movie perhaps makes people feel a little bit better about issues happening in real life versus the extreme situations playing out on screen. We are hoping to build a niche audience through the Stanley Film Festival, one which really understands and appreciates the horror genre.

FD: Colorado seems to be carving out a niche in terms of indie film. Why is that? How do we continue to foster that growth?

JB: The Colorado film community is so passionate about their craft and committed to seeing the industry grow. It’s exciting to see it expand on the international film festival circuit and even in Hollywood. The state has it all, from mountains to cities, and with a new film incentive in place on a legislative level, we are going to see a lot more Hollywood productions coming to Colorado. Not to mention, we have a great talent pool of local actors, crew and emerging filmmakers.

FD: What does it take to create a film festival from scratch?

JB: I have worked for a few film festivals and keep close relationships with staff in various departments and levels of hierarchy. I think my biggest asset as a first time film festival director is really understanding what everyone on the team does and trying to enforce an open line of  communication. It has helped immensely in starting from scratch, as I was able to hand pick the entire team from various festivals I’ve worked on or through recommendations from Fest friends. Everyone on the SFF team is an expert in their role and collectively we represent more than 15 leading film festivals worldwide. It’s amazing to work in such an incredibly tight-knit industry. As far as actual tasks, if you asked me 5 months ago if I would be building a website and writing HTML code, I would have never believed you.

The inaugural Stanley Film Festival infests the Stanley Hotel, 333 E Wonderview Ave, Estes Park, May 2 – 5. Passes vary based on access and lodging. Check out http://stanleyfilmfest.com/ for more information.


French Davis
Meet Dave Flomberg | Writer, musician, creative director (aka French Davis). There is so much to say about Dave aka French that we think you should read these articles: https://yellowscene.com/2020/02/29/french-davis-a-master-of-many/ ••• https://shoutoutcolorado.com/meet-dave-flomberg-writer-musician-creative-director

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