Arts & Entertainment  April 12, 2022

Horsetooth International Film Festival goes nonprofit

FORT COLLINS — Northern Colorado’s homegrown film organization, the Horsetooth International Film Festival, is working to serve the community in new ways ahead of its fourth annual festival in September. After receiving nonprofit status in February 2022, the organization has opened submissions for its fourth festival and organized events for Northern Colorado’s filmmaking community.

The four-year-old festival started with a filmmaker and a dream. When animator and videographer Jesse Nyander first moved to Fort Collins and discovered there wasn’t much of a film scene, he decided to create one himself. He organized monthly meetups for filmmakers from around the region to network and screen their projects.

Soon after, his network of filmmakers was hosting biannual screenings. From there, a film festival seemed like the next logical step. 

“It’s really a community-driven thing,” Nyander said.

The first Horsetooth International Film Festival was held in 2019, and festivals in subsequent years have included screenings at the Holiday Twin Drive-In and the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery’s planetarium. 

After a few festival runs, Nyander and his business partner John Hunt began working with the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center on gaining nonprofit status.

“We decided in year three that we wanted to go nonprofit after that year,” Nyander said.

Many film festivals are run by nonprofit organizations, including the Denver Film Festival, run by the Denver Film Society, and the Boulder International Film Festival, run by the Colorado Film Society.

“Pretty much 95% of film festivals are nonprofit already; we figured there was probably a reason for that,” Hunt said.

Nyander said part of the motivation for becoming a nonprofit is to improve community access to resources for making films, whether it’s through networking, educational opportunities or creative development as Colorado’s film scene grows.

“We can make films anywhere, so let’s help you make something,” Nyander said.

Nyander sees Colorado’s film industry expanding in the future, as productions move to the region and local filmmakers get more recognition. 

“In the next 10 years, Colorado’s gonna turn into a Georgia,” Nyander said, referencing Georgia’s role as a hub home to Marvel movies, CNN and the Weather Channel.

As the organization gears up to host its fourth annual festival, it is also offering film fans a chance to rewatch old festival favorites, including shorts like “Black Hole” and animated short film “Seoulsori.” The next “Best of Fest” event is 7 p.m. April 21 at The Kress Cinema & Lounge in Greeley.

FORT COLLINS — Northern Colorado’s homegrown film organization, the Horsetooth International Film Festival, is working to serve the community in new ways ahead of its fourth annual festival in September. After receiving nonprofit status in February 2022, the organization has opened submissions for its fourth festival and organized events for Northern Colorado’s filmmaking community.

The four-year-old festival started with a filmmaker and a dream. When animator and videographer Jesse Nyander first moved to Fort Collins and discovered there wasn’t much of a film scene, he decided to create one himself. He organized monthly meetups for filmmakers from around the region to…