Project NEXT is the educational programming of the Denver Film Festival. Students K-12, college students and educators can all find a place to participate, access and engage educationally within the Festival to enrich the next generation of filmmakers and audiences through cinema. Past Project NEXT special guests include: Emma Stone, Christopher Lloyd, Zoë Bell, Chiké Okonkwo, Hayden Szeto, Jim O’Heir and Alex Wolff.

Project NEXT Makers

Project NEXT announces the 3rd annual high school film festival that will coincide with DFF42. High school short-subject films may be submitted through a web portal and will be judged for inclusion by a panel of industry professionals. Students are encouraged to promote their inclusion in the programs, as there will be a Viewer's Choice Award chosen through popular vote. CALL TO ACTION: KIND® Snacks and Denver Film want to see your best 1-2 minute video about your definition of Kindness. What does kindness mean to you? How do you show kindness to others? How are you KIND® yourself? Enter YOUR Kindness video for a chance to win a Mike's Camera Swag Bag, a 42nd Denver Film Festival badge, and get your video on the big screen.Submissions Project NEXT and KIND® Snacks Video Competition are now open and will close on November 3rd. The selected films for both competitions will be announced on November 6th and will screen at the Sie Filmcenter on November 10th. Finalists will be invited to walk the red carpet on Closing Night of the Festival. For any questions please contact Education Manager, Cynthia Valenzuela at

Project NEXT Collegiate Fellows

DFF42 announces a special curated program for Project NEXT college students. This special fellows badge will give students access to exclusive screenings and panel events, one-on-ones with industry guests—including directors, actors, and producers. The curated badge will come with a complete schedule of events for the 12-day Festival, all chosen and created to give students an inside look at the Festival, and place them firmly within the filmmaking industry as it celebrates the best in film from 2019.  Liberty Global and SeriesFest are partnering with DFS on this initiative through a sponsorship that will allow 40 students all-access to the Festival through an application process. The application deadline is Friday, October 11th. Contact Collegiate Fellows Manager, Therese Gardener at regarding any questions.

High School Day

High School Day returns for the 3rd year and expands to two days, November 1st and November 8th! High School Day is an all-day conference for teenagers at the Denver Film Festival. High School teachers from around the state are encouraged to register their school troupe for High School Day on either November 1st or November 8th. Students will attend a festival screening with the filmmaker and participate in hands-on workshops throughout the rest of the day. Schools are encouraged to bring up to 50 students. We ask schools intending to bring more than 50 students to secure their spot as early as possible. Please contact Education Manager, Cynthia Valenzuela.

K-8 Educational Programming

Project NEXT will connect K-8 students to age-level appropriate content for teachers in the community who wish to engage with the Festival. Through a partnership between DFS and the SCC (Scientific & Cultural Collaborative), teachers can register their school groups to attend private screenings. Teachers interested in engaging with DFF42 or wishing to bring their students to the Festival can register their school group online or contact the Festival's Education Manager, Cynthia Valenzuela to book their private screening.

Denver Film’s vision is to cultivate community and transform lives through film, and there’s no better place to begin than with its young minds. Opening an avenue for students to showcase their vision, while also creating the opportunity for current, working filmmakers to share their knowledge is an obvious win-win. Our goal through Project NEXT is to cultivate the next generation of filmmakers, festival audiences and cinema lovers right here in Denver.