#DFF38 with Gina Cuomo


Fest life is the best life

Denver! It’s day 9 of the Denver Film Festival and what a ride it’s been. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve tweeted, and have used my weight in eye drops. And yet there is still more fun to be had, including the One-on-One Conversation with John Turturro, the Red Carpet Matinee screening of Carol (#OscarBuzz), the Closing Night presentation of Coming Through the Rye, the One-on-One Conversation with Zoë Bell, the Denver Film Festival Awards Brunch, and more screenings than you can shake a stick at!

In this edition of #DFF38 tips and tricks, we shift the focus to the festival operations staff to give you an inside look at what it takes to run a world-class film festival. Although I am guessing she is running on fumes right about now, Sie FilmCenter General Manager, Gina Cuomo was kind enough to chronicle a typical day at this year’s fest. Continue on for a behind-the-scenes look, and if you see Gina during the fest, feel free to give her a high five or at least a wave; homegirl deserves it…

Describe your job in five words or less: Cat wranglin’ hype woman.

How long have you been involved with the Denver Film Festival? 9 years.

What do you enjoy most about your job? My incredible staff. Without them, I’m nothing.

Describe the fest in five words or less: Chaotically beautiful.

If someone has never been to the festival before, what are they missing out on? Superb programming.

A Day in the Life of a #DFF Staffer

Saturday, November 7, 2015

9:13AM [Sie FilmCenter, SFC] – I arrive at the FilmCenter only to find an older, seemingly homeless gentleman trying to get into the Canteen. He asks me, “Where’s this party at?”

10:05AM [SFC] – Staff arrives and we gear up to open the doors, some of us looking a little more hungover than others…

1:25pm [Tattered Cover Cafe] – Am waiting in line for some caffeine and the folks in front of me are buzzing about the fest. They’re from Wyoming and they wait all year for this event.

3:00pm [SFC] – We start a standby line for the sold-out screening of Once Upon a Crime. Two older women start fighting over who was first in line and some pushing begins to occur. My faith in humanity drops a couple of points.

3:55pm [SFC] – A customer that I had helped with some ticketing issues the week prior comes by just to thank me and offers to buy me a coffee. My faith in humanity is restored.

4:10pm [SFC] – Bummed that they missed the screening of Once Upon a Crime, the box office attendee suggests that a family of five get tickets to the Sunday showing. They decline due to the conflicting time of the Broncos game #HailPeyton

5:45pm [SFC] – I’m asked for the hundredth time about a particular film that I haven’t a clue about. I still have yet to open the film guide and my shame is evident.

8:13pm [SFC] – Customers pour out of a sold-out screening of Embrace of the Serpent, complaining of the smell of smoke. We stop the film and investigate.

8:20pm [alley behind SFC] – We determine that the smoke is coming from a bonfire in a neighbor’s backyard and that the wind has carried it into the building. I give the neighbors movie passes to put the fire out. We roll film.

11:13pm [Late Night Lounge, LNL] – An intoxicated woman is seductively dancing by herself in front of the DJ booth, slowing taking off layers. The party has been going for approximately 13 minutes.

12:45am [LNL] – Someone broke-out roller blades! The staff is now taking turns wheeling around the entire freakin’ warehouse.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

3:30am [LNL] – The last few drunkards stagger out of the Lounge and safely into an Uber. I follow suit, only to do it all over again tomorrow #DFF38