‘Freeland’ helps launch 20th Nevada City Film Festival | TheUnion.com
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‘Freeland’ helps launch 20th Nevada City Film Festival

“Freeland” follows the story of Dev, a veteran cannabis grower who must come to terms that her industry — and subsequently, her life — is rapidly changing in the face of marijuana legalization, advances in technology, and the unavoidable aging of herself and her friends.
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KNOW & GO

WHAT: Nevada City Film Festival opening night screening of “Freeland”

WHERE: Online at nevadacityfilmfestival.com or drive-in experience at Nevada County Fairgrounds, 11228 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley

WHEN: Aug. 28, Gates 6:30 p.m. Film 7:30 p.m.

TICKETS: Drive-in $30 per vehicle, includes Onyx Concessions Snack Pack of a jumbo popcorn and two drinks, Online Festival Pass $35, Industry Festival Pass $25, Watch As You Go $8 per film.

INFO: nevadacityfilmfestival.com or 530-362- 8601

The Nevada City Film Festival turns 20 this year and will begin Aug. 28. Kicking it off will be the official opening night selection “Freeland” during the festival’s special drive-in at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, Gate 1, in Grass Valley.

“Freeland” follows the story of Dev, a veteran cannabis grower who must come to terms that her industry — and subsequently, her life — is rapidly changing in the face of marijuana legalization, advances in technology, and the unavoidable aging of herself and her friends.

Co-directed by Kate McLean and Mario Furloni, the movie was filmed in Humboldt County, and captures much of the beauty of the area, where the economy has largely revolved around marijuana for many years.



McLean and Furloni first became interested in the location after filming a documentary there 10 years ago, and knew they’d have to return to capture a fictional story based on the pot trade for which the county is so well known.

“We were hoping to tell a kind of universal story about coping with loss and change. We made this film pre-pandemic, but I think with so much loss in the world presently, I feel that theme even more when I watch it now.”— Kate McLeanCo-directed of ‘Freeland’

“As legalization loomed, it became clear that this had to be a part of the film,” co-director McLean said. “Then our producer introduced us to Krisha Fairchild (who plays Dev) and it was clear that we should shape the narrative around her because she is incredible and her performance could carry the movie.”



McLean added that she and co-director Furloni are thrilled to be the official opening night selection of the Nevada City Film Festival, which this year will take place both online and in a drive-in setting due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s a huge honor to be chosen for opening night,” she said. “This film has never been seen by an in-person audience. To me, it means the world to have the chance to come to a drive through and see the movie alongside a (socially distant) group of people.

“We were hoping to tell a kind of universal story about coping with loss and change. We made this film pre-pandemic, but I think with so much loss in the world presently, I feel that theme even more when I watch it now.”

A Q&A session will take place with the filmmakers directly following the screening.

Jesse Locks, executive director of the Nevada City Film Festival, said choosing “Freeland” was made easier due to the poignant nature of the film.

“We selected ‘Freeland’ as our opening film not necessarily for its subject matter — though the story of how modern life has disrupted the idealism of the back-to-the-landers will resonate with many — (but) it is a fine example of independent filmmaking where all the components come together seamlessly.

“I think we all (relate to ‘Freeland’) on some level, how while living our lives, life can just pass us by, but in the end you can’t hold on to the past.”

The Nevada City Film Festival runs Aug. 28 through Sept. 4. For tickets and more information please visit nevadacityfilmfestival.com or call 530-362-8601.


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