89°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, Sept. 22-28

1 WÜRST OF TIMES: Boulder City Sunrise Rotary presents the all-day festival from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday in Bicentennial Park, 999 Colorado St. Highlights include silent and live auctions, entertainment, the Würst Dam Car Show (in Wilbur Square Park, 1100 Colorado St.) and, of course, bratwurst. New this year is an antique marketplace. Proceeds benefit the club’s all-night graduation party for Boulder City High School seniors.

Best Bets, Sept. 15-21

1 SOAR TO NEW HEIGHTS: Learn about the exploits of record-breaking aviators, both in the air and on the ground, when Boulder City Chautauqua presents “Pushing the Envelope” on Friday and Saturday in the pavilion at Boulder Creek Golf Club, 1501 Veterans Memorial Drive. Amelia Earhart, Jackie Cochran and Chuck Yeager will be portrayed by the actor-scholars. Performances are scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday and 1 and 6 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $15 per show. Visit www.bcchautauqua.org or call 760-877-0425 or 702-294-4365 for more information or tickets.

Best Bets, Sept. 8-14

1 SUPER EVENT: The Best Dam Wine Walks return Saturday to downtown Boulder City. Those attending are invited to dress as their favorite super hero. Scheduled from 4-8 p.m., check-in is at My 4 Sons Comic Cards & Games, 1308 Wyoming St., from 4-6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 plus fees in advance through Eventbrite or $30 at the door. To purchase tickets, or for more information, visit https://bit.ly/3TF0gEz.

Best Bets, Sept. 1-7

1 3D CREATIONS: Art pieces created by Sue Burger, a member of the Boulder City Art Guild, will be showcased throughout September in the gallery inside the Boulder Dam Hotel, 1305 Arizona St. A self-taught artist, Burger said much of her work is inspired by the culture and history of Native Americans. The gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily; admission is free. Visit www.bouldercityartguild.com for more information.

Best Bets, Aug. 25-31

1 SMOOTH SOUNDS: The duo Lounge Orfanz will perform at Jack’s Place on Saturday night. They will be offering their interpretations of favorite classic and modern tunes dating from the 1960s through today from 6-10 p.m. at the bar and grill, 544 Nevada Way. Visit www.jacksplacebc.com or call 702-293-2200 for more information.

Best Bets, Aug. 18-24

1 TELL ME A STORY: Children of all ages are invited to join the fun when Southern Nevada Railway presents its monthly storytime train ride Saturday at the Nevada State Railroad Museum, 601 Yucca St. In addition to the ride and story, there will be a craft. Departures are scheduled for 10 a.m. and noon. Fares are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Visit www.nevadasouthern.com for more information.

Best Bets, Aug. 11-17

1 ANNIVERSARY PARTY: Family fun blends with a history lesson Saturday when St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church celebrates its 90th anniversary. There will be games, music, prizes and food during the celebration, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Additionally, visitors will be invited to tour the church and learn its history. The celebration continues at 10 a.m. Sunday with a special service conducted by Bishop Elizabeth Gardner. The church is at 812 Arizona St.

Best Bets, Aug. 4-10

1 HAVE SOME YUM: Head over to the Boulder Dam Credit Union, 530 Avenue B, on Friday for its annual employee bake sale and back to school bash. The bake sale, scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., will benefit the Children’s Miracle Network. The back to school bash is scheduled from 2-4 p.m.

Best Bets, July 28-Aug. 3

1 STRIKE ONE: Knock down some pins and get some exercise while having fun. Head over to Boulder Bowl, 504 California Ave., for a game or two. Open bowling is offered from 3-5 p.m. Monday; 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday; 1-5 p.m. Wednesday; noon to 5 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 9-10 p.m. Friday; from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Call 702-293-2368 for lane availability or more information.