We had the good fortune of connecting with Jesse Nyander and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jesse, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Community. We are a community of Filmmakers and that is how we function. There is a lot of misleading information on how to act as a creative in the filmmaking world. Hollywood has jaded the whole system and now you have to be enemies with filmmakers in the town your in. That is in fact how Hollywood keeps a stronghold on filmmaking in America. Convincing you that you need to go to a Filmmaking hub like LA to be successful. Even in the Denver community, there is some disconnect. There is a lot of filmmakers in Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Greeley, and Even up in Cheyanne, WY. Now that attitude I have even hurt is “Are you making (insert local town) films, or are you making REAL films.” That is just not intuitive of what a film scene needs to grow. Great! You’re the best filmmaker in the state! Well what’s the benefit of that if you can’t work with your state, your local talent, crews, your local distribution chain, Film challenges and event organizers to make some of the greatest films in the world because you have isolated yourself as “The Best”. It isn’t how the future of film is and it isn’t how we are going to function if we are going to be a powerhouse like Georgia or New Mexico. It all starts by helping your fellow man, teaming up to get more funding for film in the state. That is how we become a player in the Film game.

What should our readers know about your business?
At the Horsetooth International Film Festival (HIFF) we are film festival by filmmakers for filmmakers. Created out of the need for a new festival based in the new age of film. We see what the future of film is and what is coming next and we love it! The traditional hang ups and taboos about “What films are good” has changed over the last 20 years. We are here to embrace the new wave of young filmmakers making groundbreaking content that you wouldn’t see at a more established festival due to hang ups, and rules that they have applied 20-40 years ago. We have the opportunity to see what is happening in the film world and adjust. We have a very large focus on Local Film. We also bring in some of the worlds greatest unknown filmmakers, this year from all 7 continents (Yes we do have a film from Antarctica too!) Our aim is to lift up local talent along with showing them films from outside of the community to enhance there drive and want to be better filmmakers. We are striving for more diversity in a very white washed area of the United States. We have noticed changes in the community every year, as they embrace the festival as there own! We want to make film an inclusive sport. it takes almost 300 people to make a legit feature film. We can’t achieve that without working together. That is where HIFF comes in. We are here to help bring everyone together in an effort to be a beacon for Filmmakers in a new frontier.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The Horsetooth International Film Festival in Northern Colorado, The Lyric Cinema, The Museum of Discovery, just to name a few.

There are hundreds of Filmmakers and artists I would love to mention here, but I think it might be more than what you want. So I will just put a few.

Ben Hess, Filmmaker
Ryan Frazee, Filmmaker
Jamal Page, Filmmaker & Producer
Doug Usher, Producer, and Creator of the 53:14 Music video experiment
Ben Mozer, Owner of the Lyric Cinema,
John Hunt, Filmmaker, Co-Founder of HIFF
Alex Stephens and Blue Stephens, Filmmakers and Curators of HIFF 3
Katrina Pfannkuch, Communications director at HIFF
Taylor Strope, Event Manager at HIFF
Natalie Scarlett, Playwright, Filmmaker, writer

Website: hiffco.com

Instagram: @hiffco @jessenyander

Image Credits
Maddie Steele for most of the pics. plus Ryan Waneka

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.