64°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
Best Bets: Jan. 20-26

1 BOND, JAMES BOND: “No Time to Die” will be shown at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the community room at the Boulder City Library, 701 Adams Blvd. There is no cost to attend and moviegoers are invited to bring blankets, pillows, chairs and snacks.

Best Bets: Jan. 13-19

1 SAY CHEESE: Head over to the Boulder City Library to get a cooking lesson as part of its “How Not to Burn Toast” series. “Cheese Please” will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday in the community room at the library, 701 Adams Blvd. The class is for those 18 and older. For more information, contact the library at 702-293-1281.

Best Bets: Jan. 6-12

1 RING-A-LING: Join handbell ringers from throughout the state and Southern California as they culminate the annual two-day Las Vegas Twelfth Night Handbell Festival with a concert from 5-6 p.m. Saturday in the old gym at the city’s recreation center, 900 Arizona St. There is no cost to attend, but donations will be accepted.

Best Bets, Dec. 30-Jan. 5

1 RING IN 2022: Boulder Dam Brewing Co. will host its annual New Year’s Eve bash from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday. The festivities will include music by DJ Sol, cocktail specials, raffles, prizes and a free champagne toast at midnight. The Brewpub is at 453 Nevada Way. Call 702-243-2739 or visit www.boulderdambrewing.com for more information.

Film fest remains virtual for 2022

The 2022 Dam Short Film Festival is following in the footsteps of 2021 and will once again be held virtually.

Best Bets: Dec. 23-29

1 CHRISTMAS HOUSE: There’s still time to visit Dale Ryan and Dyanah Musgrave’s award-winning holiday decorated home at 1525 Fifth St. The display includes a ferris wheel, merry-go-round and thousands of lights. It is lit from 5-9 nightly through Dec. 31 unless it is raining or windy.

Best Bets, Dec. 16-22

1 SOUNDS OF CHRISTMAS: Red Mountain Music Company will present its annual Christmas concert, themed “Star of Wonder,” Friday and Saturday at the Elaine K. Smith Building, 700 Wyoming St. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. both days. Tickets are $10 for adults and will be sold at the door. Students and children 5 and older will be admitted at no cost. Children younger than 5 will not be admitted.

Best Bets: Dec. 9-15

1 HOLIDAY CLASSIC: Duffy Hudson returns to Boulder City Library to present his one-man version of Charles Dickens’ classic tale “A Christmas Carol.” It will be presented at 3 p.m. Saturday in the community room of the library, 701 Adams Blvd. There is no cost to attend.

Best Bets, Dec. 2-8

1 DOODLEBUG: Boulder City Community Club’s annual holiday extravaganza, the Doodlebug Craft Bazaar, returns to the city’s recreation center, 900 Arizona St., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The bazaar will feature about 120 vendors, who will be showcasing a variety of handmade crafts and décor. There also is a raffle with prizes from the vendors as well as cash. Proceeds are used by the club year-round to benefit the community.

Best Bets, Nov. 25-Dec. 1

1 ART GALLERY: Join Alan Stevens, co-owner of the World Famous Coffee Cup Cafe, for a one-night-only showing of his artwork. The gallery opens at 6 p.m. Friday at Forge Social House, 553 California Ave. Prints of his artwork will be available, with proceeds from sales benefiting the Shane Patton Foundation.