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Film fest organizers gear up for 13th annual event

Filmmakers from all over the country will converge on Boulder City on Feb. 8 for the Dam Short Film Festival at Boulder Theater.

The three-day festival will feature more than 100 short films lasting up to 40 minutes in genres from comedy to science fiction.

Lee Lanier, executive director and co-founder, said that Southern Nevada should be excited by the cinematic talent showing their films at the festival.

“We have a lot of filmmakers who have submitted some great work,” Lanier said. “The cool thing about our festival is we don’t care about where you come from or what past work you have done. We only care about good filmmaking and we have a lot of filmmakers who have made some incredible films.”

In celebration of the event’s 13th year, Lanier has organized a special screening Feb. 7, the night before the festival’s official start. The screening will feature music videos directed by Nevada filmmakers as well as another film collaborated by six Southern Nevada filmmakers.

“Music videos are a new category we thought we would add this year since some directors can make some excellent work on music videos,” Lanier said. “We also have six Nevada directors premiering a collaborative film that night which I think is going to be really exciting.”

Barb Morris, who has volunteered at the festival since it began in 2005, said the event just gets bigger and better every year.

“There are so many films now that you can watch whatever you want,” Morris said. “They get directors with big budgets to come to the festival.”

Lanier said the cool aspect of the film festival was that filmmakers with $75,000 budgets and $50 budgets get to share their work on equal ground.

Another longtime volunteer, Ihla Crowley, said the festival has only gotten stronger because of support from communities like Boulder City, Las Vegas and Henderson.

“The community has always been great at coming out to see the films,” Crowley said. “We always have so many people from all over Southern Nevada coming to watch the filmmakers’ work and ask them questions afterwards.”

Lanier agreed, stating that Boulder City makes it a fun film festival for patrons and filmmakers alike.

“If you look at the event, everything from the theater to where we hold the party is within a 100 feet of each other,” Lanier said. “The smallness of Boulder City gives the festival a really close-knit feel for everyone involved.”

Morris said that Boulder City residents should thank Lanier and his co-executive director and wife, Anita Lanier, for setting up such an important event for 13 years.

“Year after year Lee and Anita do one hell of a job putting on this festival and year after year everyone loves it,” Morris said. “I don’t know how they do it and they deserve our thanks.”

Advance tickets are on sale, which Lanier said he recommends for the Friday and Saturday shows, which sold out last year.

Tickets are $9 per program, which includes three to nine films, or $35 for a one-day pass. Four-day passes are $100; VIP and sponsor passes also are available.

The festival also is still searching for volunteers.

For tickets or more information, visit damshortfilm.org.

Contact reporter Max Lancaster at mlancaster @bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow him on Twitter @MLancasterBCR.

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Weekend’s Best Bets, March 19

1 BLOOMIN’ FUN: After winter rains, the desert surrounding Boulder City and throughout Lake Mead National Recreation Area is in bloom. The southern end of the park has seen the most wildflowers. As temperatures warm, the flowers will begin to bloom in the northern parts.

Weekend’s Best Bets, March 12

1 PATRIOTIC PANCAKES: Help raise funds for the local American Legion, Post 31, and veterans by joining members for breakfast Saturday. Scheduled from 7-10:30 a.m. at the post, 508 California Ave., the menu includes pancakes, sausage, orange juice and coffee. Cost is $6 for adults and $4 for children.

Weekend’s Best Bets, March 5

1 ‘MALEFICENT’ MOVIE: Boulder City Library will show “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” at 6 p.m. Friday. The film tells the story of Maleficent, who travels to an old castle for the wedding of Aurora to Prince Phillip. While there she learns of a plot by Aurora’s future mother-in-law to destroy the land’s fairies and she joins a group of outcasts to stop her. Those attending are welcome to bring snacks, comfortable chairs and blankets. The Friends of the Library will have snacks and books available for a donation. The library is at 701 Adams Blvd.

Weekend’s Best Bets, Feb. 27

1 HISTORIC TALE: “Harriet,” the story of Harriet Tubman, who escaped from slavery in 1849 and then helped hundreds of others through the Underground Railroad, will be shown at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the community room of the Boulder City Library, 701 Adams Blvd. Snacks and drinks, along with comfortable chairs and blankets can be brought to the screening.

Weekend’s Best Bets, Feb. 20

1 RIVER HISTORY: Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum’s Third Thursday educational lecture series resumes tonight with a presentation about the Colorado River by local resident George Rhee. A native of Geneva, Rhee has taught at UNLV in the physics and astronomy department since 1993 and also works on climate, water and energy research. The museum is inside the Boulder Dam Hotel, 1305 Arizona St. Call 702-294-1988 for more information.

Weekend’s Best Bets, Feb. 13

1 MOVIE TIME: The Dam Short Film Festival returns for its 16th incarnation today, Feb. 13, and continues through Sunday, Feb. 16, at the historic Boulder Theatre, 1225 Arizona St. More than 145 films in a variety of genres will be shown. The festival also includes a meet and greet event, a mixer and an awards party. Special screenings of the award-winning films are scheduled for Monday, Feb. 17. Visit https://damshortfilm.org/ for a full schedule and more information.

Weekend’s Best Bets, Feb. 6

1 STORY ON THE GO: Learn what happens “If You Give a Moose a Muffin” as you stroll through the Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum as part of Storywalk, a joint project with Boulder City Library. There is no cost to participate and all children who complete an activity sheet and turn it in at the library, 701 Adams Blvd., will get a prize. The museum is inside the Boulder Dam Hotel, 1305 Arizona St., and is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is free.

Weekend’s Best Bets, Jan. 30

1 HEAVENLY GAZING: Rangers from Lake Mead National Recreation Area are joining with members of the Las Vegas Astronomical Society for a star party Saturday at the amphitheater at Boulder Beach. A program to learn about the night sky, as well as how to protect and view it, at 5:30 p.m. will begin the event. A telescope will be available from 6-8 p.m. to view constellations and planets. Those attending should bring water and a flashlight, preferably with a red filter. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 702-293-8990.

Weekend’s Best Bets, Jan. 23

1 FULL STEAM AHEAD: Immerse yourself in a large-scale, outdoor model railroad that you can ride on. The trains, powered by live steam engines or diesel-electric locomotive replicas, run along a 7.5-inch gauge line near the depot at the Nevada State Railroad Museum, 601 Yucca St. The steamers run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the second and fourth Saturday of each month. Rides are free and no tickets are required. The trains are owned and operated by volunteer members of the Friends of the Nevada Southern Railway. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/2R01Vq9.