With spring now in full bloom and summer right around the corner film lovers often turn their thoughts to the movies. While many seek the latest blockbusters others prefer to experience more independent films and enjoy patronizing local festivals where they have the chance to see the work of undiscovered and up and coming artists and view thought provoking pieces that are not so mainstream. If you are one of those individuals below are six film festivals that are sure to delight and entertain.
First of all the Las Vegas 48 Hour Film Project returns once again the weekend of May 9 – 11. Featuring local filmmakers from all over the area, these talented teams will compete against each other to see who can make the best short film in only 48 hours and then the winner will take on other shorts from around the world. The fun starts on Friday evening May 9th with a genre drawing and kick off from 6-7pm on the patio of Atomic Liquors located at 917 Fremont Street. Completed films will be submitted on Sunday, May 11th at the same location and then the public will be invited to view the premiere screenings on Sunday, May 18 from 1-3PM, 3:30-5PM and 5:30-7PM at Sam’s Town Casino Movie Theaters located at 5111 Boulder Highway. Tickets are $10 for one screening or $30 for all three screenings and can be purchased online through their website.
The Vegas Indie Film Fest (VIFF), which was founded by the Las Vegas Producer of the 48 Hour Film Project Derek Stonebarger, will share the spotlight at Sam’s Town on the 18th before offering more independent film premieres from May 28 – 31st. Among those being featured are “God Bless Vegas”, directed by Logan Sekulow, on May 29th at 7PM which screens along with bonus International and short films being shown at 8:30PM at the Cockroach Theater located at 1025 S. First St. #110. Another highlight of the festival will be the long awaited premiere of director Ousa Kuhn’s “Red Herring,” which will debut on Saturday, May 31 at 8PM at the Brenden Theater in the Palms Hotel.
Benefitting the Pahrump Arts Council, The High Desert International Film Festival kicks off on Thursday, May 22nd with an inaugural poker tournament. Before the closing awards ceremony on the 25th there will also be a Black Tie Governor’s Reception on Friday the 23rd, a Q&A Session and Book Signing with Author Anne Serling (As I Knew Him – My Dad, Rod Serling), and an appearance by actress/singer Sophie Simmons, who will participate in special insider events including select panels along with Meet & Greet.
Coming to the Brenden Theater in the Palms Hotel and Casino on June 25th and 26th will be the Las Vegas Lift-Off Film Festival. Promoting itself as one of the first film festivals in the state of Nevada offering free attendance to the general public, the event will showcase both Nevada filmmakers and international artists regardless of the budget or technology used in their work. One of several Lift-Off International Film Festivals, winners in the best narrative and documentary categories will get screenings at other events held in London, Liverpool and Los Angeles while Special Mentions will be shown at either one of the UK based locations.
Those who are looking for more serious content might want to check out Anthem – The Libertarian Film Festival being held at Planet Hollywood from July 9 – 12. Dedicated to finding and showcasing films about personal and civil liberty, the festival’s subject matter includes: self-reliance, innovation, commerce, individual rights and the power of persuasion over force. They like to feature films about choice, opportunity and the overcoming of obstacles and show heroes who follow their own paths rather than conforming to the expectations of others. Anthem is a part of FreedomFest, which is the world’s largest gathering of free minds with over 2,500 attendees and 150 speakers covering topics that include: politics, economics, science, health, history, art and literature.
Last, but most certainly not least, is the Las Vegas Film Festival, which will be held from July 30 – August 3. Now, in its seventh year, the event has recently taken place at the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino and prides itself on being a celebration of cultural discovery, cinema mysticism, community and adventure. Known for connecting industry professionals with independent filmmakers from around the world, the festival showcases documentaries and short, foreign and feature films along with hosting panel discussions, parties and special awards ceremonies.