As with many other annual events, the wait for the gathering is over as the Nevada City Film Festival (NCFF) kicks off its 22nd event August 26-28. NCFF Executive Director Jesse Locks explained as organizers proposed changes in 2020 and 2021, the best festival is the one that meets in person and this year is full of opportunities to meet filmmakers, socialize with attendees and enjoy an impressive selection of international and independent award-winning films, shorts and features.
“We are thrilled to welcome filmmakers to Nevada City,” Locks said. “It will be great to have them available in person to do Q&As after screenings and to be able to forum, link up and discuss cinema and the topics their films are about or what they explore, so that will be good. to have these people with us again.
The films will primarily screen at the Nevada Theater on Broad Street, which Locks says has seen some upgrades.
“We’re completely in person,” she said. “We are at the Historic Nevada Theater which has received a nice upgrade with a beautiful new mural, new sound system, new screen and projector, so I think people who love movies and historic buildings will benefit from their experience there. ”
They will also screen films at the Onyx Theater on Argall Way, also in Nevada City, which Locks described as a “jewel box, beautiful, small, artsy theatre” and the festival will also include a free event for children on Friday night outdoors. in Pioneer Park.
“There’s something for everyone,” Locks said. “It’s really for that person who’s willing to explore and take risks to see what’s going on and what’s happening in independent and international cinema, and for those who just want to get a bit of an insider’s edge, who might look for topics that match their interests, there are plenty of movies like that.
This year, the shorts are very different. Rather than a track with a specific topic or genre, they are instead lined up like a list of results.
“For those who are open and excited but undecided, take a look at the shorts,” Locks said. “They’re sweet and short and easy to take in, but you get these beautiful glimpses of these places all over the world.”
With films from 16 different countries and many rookie filmmakers, the shorts will give the most exposure.
Many narrative and documentary feature films are also on the program. “Jack has a Plan” is getting a lot of local attention outside of the festival. Locks said the filmmakers were surprised at the excitement generated by a film about a man who lived 25 years with a terminal brain tumour, who decides to take the end of his life into his own hands. The three-year journey is captured by family and friends struggling to make the decision.
“There’s an untapped vein of defenders here and the filmmakers are pretty surprised,” Locks said. “So were we. We didn’t schedule it, knowing that there’s a large group of people here who are passionate about that kind of stuff.
Another “must see” is “Pasang: In the Shadow of Everest,” a documentary that chronicles the first Nepalese woman to summit Everest, Locks said.
“It’s just an incredible story about the tenacity and the courage of this woman,” she said. “It’s less a movie about mountaineering and more about social justice, a freedom fighter and all the things she had to overcome to get to the top of the biggest mountain in the world.”
Pasang’s brother will be at the festival, participating in the Q&A, along with one of the filmmakers.
“If you like outdoor adventure films, you get that element, but if you want to know what indigenous culture was like in Nepal in this Hindu kingdom in the 80s, there’s a lot to learn,” said said Locks.
The 2001 cult classic, “Ghost World” will also be shown, with director Terry Zaigoff on hand.
“He’s about as independent as it gets,” Locks said. “It will be fun to watch this.”
Another film, “The Unknown Country”, stars Lily Gladstone. Locks said everyone will know who Lily Gladstone is this fall as the actress stars in a new Martin Scorsese film with Leonardi DiCaprio, but this film is about a woman (Gladstone) traveling from the Midwest to the Texas-border. Mexico reconnect with his native family. Locks described it as a “great example of a solid independent film”.
Animation fans will want to check out “Quantum Cowboys.” Locks said it was totally different and visually amazing with a great story behind it.
For those really limited on time, Sunday night’s Best of the Fest is a great way to see a variety of films in one place.
Locks shared that “For 22 years, NCFF has been on a mission to foster and advance independent creativity, earning them a reputation as a haven where films and filmmakers are discovered, ideas are challenged, creative partnerships are forged, friendships blossom and memories are made to last a lifetime. It takes perseverance and audacity to express yourself through cinema. This year, the festival honors those who are ready to take the leap and bring something new.
Explaining the importance of continuing to shine a spotlight on the independent filmmaker, Locks said, “Any kind of event or festival that spotlights storytelling that is done in a non-traditional, corporate, standardized way is really important. It is an opportunity for people to tell their story or that of others who are not necessarily heard. It’s important for the festival goer, the viewer, the moviegoer to participate, because they can see what it’s like to live on a reservation in the Midwest, or what it’s like to grow up in a rural part of Spain or what it is I love being an immigrant from Syria living in Greece.
She concluded that the festival is also about building community and finding your people while introducing people to our community. Social events and a full program, as well as ticket information, are available at http://www.nevadacityfilmfestival.com.