Front Range

Get To Know Andrew Rodgers

The new executive director of the Denver Film Society runs through his resume.

March 2016

Andrew Rodgers, "Crooked Candy" Director
—Photo courtesy of Andrew Rodgers

The Denver Film Society (DFS) runs more than the Denver Film Festival, which attracted 47,000 movie-goers last fall. There’s also the Sie FilmCenter (a theater on East Colfax Avenue that mostly shows artsy flicks) and Film on the Rocks (summer showings at Red Rocks Amphitheatre that mix classic films like The Shining with movies that go well with cannabis, like Super Troopers). In short, DFS’ leader better have diverse expertise. That’s why we rolled the credits on Andrew Rodgers, DFS’ new executive director, and asked him to explain why his past experiences make him perfect for this
role.


Class of 1993: Champaign Central High School, Champaign, Illinois
Class of 1997: Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Illinois, B.A. in journalism
Class of 2013: Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, MBA

"I would fantasize in my little teen-angst-riddled brain about sitting next to Han Solo at the Oscars, but it was a vague, vague thing. I didn’t even know what a director or producer really did." - Rodgers


1997-1990: Editorial assisstant, Chicago Tribune

“The faculty adviser for our college newspaper got me an interview with the Tribune’s recruiter because—I later learned—he thought I had an inflated sense of myself and needed rejection. The recruiter was looking at my resumé and was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, I’m going to throw this away…. Wait, you know something about the Internet?'"


1999-2002: Staffwriter, zap2it.com (the Tribune Co.'s film and TV website), Santa Monica, California

2003-2004: Publicity director, Chicago International Film Festival

2002-2005: Publicity coordinator/publicity manager, Sundance Film Festival, Salt Lake City

"When you work for Sundance, you don’t actually get to hang out at Robert Redford’s house. I met the guy one time. He was a little bit shorter than I expected.”


2005-March 2016: Executive director, RiverRun International Film Festival, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

“I happened to be at the festival working as a consultant when the director quit. The board looked around and said, ‘You seem to know what you’re doing. You run the show!’ There were times I wasn’t sure I could make payroll. Now, revenue has increased 208 percent and RiverRun is an Oscar-qualifying festival in the documentary- and animated-short categories.”


2014: Crooked Candy director and producer

"It’s a short documentary about Kinder Surprise eggs—chocolate candies from Europe that are illegal in the United States because the toy inside is a choking hazard—and a guy who smuggles them into the country. The very first film festival I attended as a director was the New York Film Festival. I went from, I hope someone likes my movie, to, Holy crap, my movie is playing Lincoln Center.”


March 2016: Executive Director, Denver Film Society 2016: Dark Station director, producer and editor

"I think more can be done to make Denver among the foremost places you think about as a filmmaker. Another area I think is important is using film in classrooms to shape minds. [At RiverRun, Rodgers instituted a program called Films With Class that reached more than 23,000 students."