RiNo has become known as a neighborhood filled with art— especially street art and murals. At the end of February though, short films will add a new artistic element to the area with a 10-day film festival, projected on exterior walls from Broadway to 36th Street on both Blake to Larimer Streets. This event, called Side Stories, will include an interactive map, complete with audio for each film, so you can hear about the pieces while also receiving block-by-block suggestions for where to eat or find a drink (warm or cold) while exploring the different films.

Ten Colorado artists will project their digital works, each having received a $5,000 grant to produce a three to five-minute video loop. The only requirement for the videos is that they must relate to the historic significance of the surrounding neighborhoods. Currently, RiNo will project the films directly on blank walls and will not use murals yet, but it is something they are considering for the future.

“It’s a priority for us to support different artists and art forms while activating our neighborhood and small business,” said Jamie Licko, president of RiNo Art District. Part of the appeal of projecting films on the exterior walls in EastRiNo during this time of year is to engage the public with exploring the neighborhood in a new way, in the hopes that some people will find other favorite businesses in the area to support.

Side Stories will happen on February 21 to March 2, 2018, from 6 to 10 p.m. every day. It is a result of a partnership between Mainspring Developers, Mary Lester/Martin Family Foundation, RiNo Art District, the Colorado Office of Film, Television, & Media and the Denver Film Society. The 10 Colorado artists/art groups participating in the inaugural event are: Postmodern, Futuristic Films, Gary Emrich, Ivar Zeile (Denver Digerati who has done a similar project in the theater district), CU Denver Student & Faculty Collaboration, David Zimmer, HaveyPro Cinema, The Made Shop, Mighteor and Studio Hippo. As stated before, all films must adhere to a site-specific theme, through genres of film include documentary, animation, historical, live action, motion graphics and experimental.

“Side Stories supports local artists, enlivens a neighborhood and small businesses during winter evenings, and creates an experience to encounter art while exploring our city,” said Fiona Arnold, president of Mainspring Developers, who had the initial idea for Side Stories. “Our goal is to combine all three elements together in a new way that we hope will be interesting, inspiring and just plain fun.” Visitors to the event are encouraged to bring headphones and smartphones to listen to the audio tour while they explore, and to remember to wear proper clothes if it’s cold.

For the most up-to-date information, stay tuned to Side Stories website.