Julian Rubinstein


Julian Rubinstein is a journalist, author and documentary filmmaker. His recent documentary feature, THE HOLLY, won multiple awards on the festival circuit and was distributed by Gravitas Ventures. It was recently selected to play in the International Documentary Association’s FallDocs series for Oscar eligible feature documentaries.  

Rubinstein began filming THE HOLLY while reporting his nonfiction book, also called The Holly. The book was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and winner of the 2022 Colorado Book Award and the 2022 High Plains Book Award. 

The documentary goes deep inside a gentrifying community in northeast Denver, where a shooting involving an activist becomes a window into urban development and the city’s gang activity. It uncovered corruption in Denver’s anti-gang effort and close ties between high-ranking officials and organized crime.

Rubinstein’s journalism has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, and others. He has taught longform storytelling at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Colorado College and University of Denver. He is currently Visiting Filmmaker at Western Colorado University.

Participating Sessions

Investigative Filmmaking Under Fire: The Holly, a Case Study

The Holly documentary goes deep inside a gentrifying community in Denver, where a shooting case involving an activist exposes the political machinations of urban development and the city’s gang activity. From production all the way through distribution, a variety of legal issues threatened to shut the film down. In this session, we take a look at the legalities of filming in a courtroom, what to do when you’re being sued...

Working Intersectionally – Race & Ethnicity

As documentary filmmakers strive to become accountable to the communities in which they film, filmmaking teams are becoming more diverse. These new alliances can be fraught with misunderstandings and may impede the progress of the project. In this workshop, we’ll develop best practices for working with people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures in ways that recognize and honor differences to produce meaningful content. We’ll hear from the directors...