74°F
weather icon Clear

Film fest returns minus founder

The Dam Short Film Festival is back for another year in February with its familiar audience favorites even though one its founders recently stepped down.

Boulder City resident and festival co-founder Lee Lanier retired from the organization to work on other projects.

“I felt it was a good time to move on and work on other things. … It was very rewarding to gather all those amazing films from all over the world and show them to people,” he said. “It’s an amazing art form.”

Lanier and his wife, Anita, had been involved with the festival since 2003, when they co-founded the Dam Short Film Society. The first festival was held in 2005.

Lanier said one of the goals for the event was to create it without its success being dependent on any one person.

“I’ll definitely miss it,” he said. “It’s a little bittersweet. I’ll miss helping with the festival, but I know it will be great.”

Lanier is an artist and has pursued his painting career more in the past four years. He has items showing at the Perfect Darkness Fine Arts Studio, 107 E. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas.

“Lee’s departure is a big loss for the organization, but we are going to try to move forward in the vein he started it, which is showing great films and taking care of filmmakers,” said John LaBonney, festival director.

For the festival this year, there will be more than 130 films shown at the Boulder Theatre, 1225 Arizona St., and LaBonney said he is not worried about Lanier’s absence with showcasing them.

“Our primary goal is to get the best festival put on this year,” he said.

More than 20 thematic film blocks are scheduled, including four for documentary films, two for Nevada filmmakers and eight for drama films as well as comedy, action, horror and music videos. There will also be a showcase from the College of Southern Nevada.

The schedule, released Tuesday, includes films featuring Hollywood stars such as Marisa Tomei, Minnie Driver and David Silverman.

“Our festival had a record number of submissions this year, just under 1,000, and we’ve narrowed it down to the best of the best. Known for its past surprise celebrity appearances, such as Naomi Grossman (‘American Horror Story’) and Trevor Zhou (‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’), we’re expecting the featured shorts in all categories to sell out,” said Tsvetelina Stefanova, the festival’s director of development. “Plus, we have many shorts featuring Hollywood’s most elite actors.

Among the featured selections are “Laboratory Conditions,” which stars actresses Marisa Tomei and Minnie Driver,” and “The Producer” staring David Silverman (“Stranger Things,” “The Founder,” “House of Cards”). “Five Star Foaud” features actor Dominic West “Chicago,” “Tomb Raider”) as Gary.

Additionally, the festival is returning to a paper ticket system for its presale, meaning attendees who purchase advance tickets can print them out or have them sent to their phones rather than picking them up at will call.

“It will help ease the congestion at the theater,” LaBonney said.

In 2018, the festival had its best year to date when it sold almost all of its 4,600 seats at the theater. LaBonney said he is not focusing on beating that number this year.

“The reality is I’m worried about smiles on faces,” he said. “I’m not focused on beating last year’s attendance. Our goal is to have a great festival. It will be successful if there are good movies, people enjoying them and new people introduced to Boulder City.”

To purchase tickets or for more information, visit http://damshortfilm.org/.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Weekend’s Best Bets, Nov. 14

1 MUSICAL GENIUS: Red Mountain Choir will pay tribute to musicians who left indelible marks on the world such as Elton John, the Beatles and the Carpenters during its “Strokes of Genius” concerts, set for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Elaine K. Smith Building, 700 Wyoming St. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, 465 Nevada Way, or at the door. Child and student admission is free; children younger than 5 are not permitted.

Weekend’s Best Bets, Nov. 7

1 ART APPRECIATION: You can admire the talents of local artists while seeing what it takes to create works of art during Boulder City Art Guild’s Artists in Action Holiday Show and Sale on Saturday. Scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the event will showcase about 20 artists as they show their works and demonstrate their techniques inside the gym at the Boulder City Recreation Center, 900 Arizona St. Admission is free.

Weekend’s Best Bets, Oct. 31

1 BY THE SEA: Artist Annalea DeFazio will showcase her work featuring glass throughout November in Boulder City Art Guild’s gallery inside the Boulder Dam Hotel, 1305 Arizona St. She incorporates crystal with an array of objects including seashells, old oil lamps and vintage perfume bottles. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. For more information, visit http://www.bouldercityartguild.com.

Weekend’s Best Bets, Oct. 24

1 I WANT CANDY: The Boulder City Chamber of Commerce will present Trunk or Treat on Saturday at Veterans’ Memorial Park, 1650 Buchanan Blvd. Visitors can go trunk to trunk for treats. The event includes costume and trunk decorating contests, games and a haunted hayride. Gates will open at 3:30 p.m., and trunk-or-treating starts at 5 p.m. Admission is $10 per vehicle. For more information, visit http://www.chamberorganizer.com/Calendar/moreinfo.php?eventid=210915.

Weekend’s Best Bets, Oct. 17

1 SHOP, SHOP, SHOP: Grace Community Church, 1150 Wyoming St., presents its 72nd annual Country Store on Friday and Saturday. Items will be sorted into 16 departments, including furniture, clothing, shoes, jewelry, linens and collectibles. A cafe will offer pie, coffee and chili. Proceeds benefit local charities and church missions. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Visit https://bcgrace.org/?page_id=26 for more information.

Weekend’s Best Bets, Oct. 10

1 GRAB THE SYRUP: Pancakes are on the menu Saturday at the Boulder City Fire Department, 1101 Elm St., as the Boulder City Firefighters Association hosts its annual breakfast. You can also tour the newly renovated fire station, see equipment used to fight fires and meet local firefighters. A blood drive is being held during the event. The breakfast is scheduled from 8 to 11 a.m.

Ghosts, monsters to haunt town for Halloween

Local business owner Tom Devlin has turned one of his passions into another memorable event by teaming up with the creator of Bonnie Screams to offer more Halloween experiences.

Weekend’s Best Bets, Oct. 3

1 ARTFUL PURSUIT: More than 300 artists from throughout the country will showcase their work during the 56th annual Art in the Park show. Benefiting Boulder City Hospital, the juried show will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Bicentennial, Wilbur Square and North and South Escalante parks. There will be entertainment, demonstrations and a raffle. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.artinthepark.org or 702-293-0214.

Weekend’s Best Bets, Sept. 26

1 BEST WÜRST: Head over to Bicentennial Park, 999 Colorado St., on Saturday for the 23rd annual Würst Festival presented by the Boulder City Sunrise Rotary. Scheduled from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., the daylong event includes silent and live auctions, the Würst Dam Car Show, presented by the Boulder City Cruisin’ Association, entertainment, a cornhole tournament, a kids play zone and, of course, bratwurst. Proceeds benefit the club’s charitable activities, including the all-night graduation party for Boulder City High School seniors.

Weekend’s Best Bets, Sept. 19

1 LIVING HISTORY: Noted pilot Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman and famed undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau will appear to return to life to share their stories at Boulder City Chautauqua presents “Pioneers of the Sky and Sea” on Saturday at Boulder Theatre, 1225 Arizona St. Scholars Juanita Westbrook and Doug Mishler will portray the historic figures at the 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. presentations. Tickets are $15 per performance. A scholars reception is planned for immediately following the afternoon show; tickets are $30 each. A $55 VIP ticket includes a ticket to both performances and the meet and greet event. Tickets are available at Ace Hardware, 541 Nevada Way; Boulder Dam Hotel, 1305 Arizona Street; or Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, 465 Nevada Way. For more information, call 702-293-7853, email info@bcchautauqua.org or visit http://www.bcchautauqua.org.