Nevada City Film Festival brings laughter to the Miners Foundry this weekend
Special to Prospector
KNOW & GO
WHAT: Nevada City Film Festival and the Miners Foundry Cultural Center present the NCFF Winter Comedy Show with Tig Notaro and Special Guests
WHEN: Saturday, April 4, Comedy Short Films 6 p.m. doors / 6:30 p.m. show; Live comedy show 8:30 p.m. doors/ 9:30 p.m. show
WHERE: Miners Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City
TICKETS: Comedy Short Films $7/Adv, $9/Door, Live Comedy Show $25/Adv, $30/Door. Tickets are available online at http://www.minersfoundry.org, by phone (530) 265-5040, or in person at the Miners Foundry, and in person at Briar Patch Co-Op. Ticketing fees may apply.
A comedy show is one of the last sacred places where no smartphones or videos are allowed and everyone is forced to pay attention to what is really happening in the room, says two-time Emmy Award winning comedian, writer and producer Sara Schaefer.
It’s that atmosphere of togetherness — not unlike a concert or rare church experience — that keeps her coming back to stand up comedy.
“When people are really laughing, you are eliciting a reaction. Everyone is living in the moment,” she said.
Schaefer is excited to travel to the small town of Nevada City from her home base in Los Angeles to perform with comedian and actor Nick Thune and critically acclaimed headliner Tig Notaro this Saturday at the historic Miners Foundry Cultural Center. The lineup is part of the first ever Winter Comedy Show produced by Nevada City Film Festival.
“It’s a bit of a test to see if people will want to see new, up and coming comedy more than once a year, or if our community can support it,” said Film Festival Director Jesse Locks.
Dubbed “the Sundance of the Sierra,” the Nevada City Film Festival is known for bringing independent cinema to the Sierra Nevada foothills.
“We try to cultivate and support artists that are doing something different, be that through comedy, film, or storytelling. They are taking creative risks, challenging themselves and the audience, and pushing the envelope,” said Locks.
About eight years ago, organizers first introduced the idea of comedy during the summer film festival when they hosted two editors, Doug Lussenhop (DJ Douggpound) and Jonathan Krisel (Portlandia, Saturday Night Live) from the alternative cable network, Adult Swim.
“The audience up there is smart and they respond great to the shows we’ve done,” said Doug Lussenhop who returns for this weekend’s Winter Comedy Show with a program of handpicked “awesome and hilarious short films” with lots of sound effects and lo-fi 3D animation.
“If the audience likes absurd and surreal comedy, they will love the program I put together,” Lussenhop said. He has worked on Tim & Eric’s Awesome Show and was the editor for the first three seasons of Portlandia starring Fred Arminsen and Carrie Brownstein. He is currently a writer and editor on The Eric Andre Show.
For seven years, Nevada City Film Festival organizers have hustled to get 20-30-40-something audiences from neighboring communities in Tahoe/Truckee, Roseville/Sacramento and Chico. The hard work has paid off and the comedy shows featuring artists on the brink of mainstream stardom — like Marc Maron and Nick Kroll — sell out year after year.
“It has been a great way to attract new audiences to the film festival. I can see this growing into its own festival in the near future; something in the winter to compliment the summer film festival, but for right now, this one-night showcase is perfect,” said the film festival’s Executive Director Jeffrey Clark.
Watching acts on stage at the Miners Foundry is a different vibe than seeing a comedian perform at a club in the city, said Locks.
“There is something to be said about being at the Miners Foundry with 200 people around you laughing till your cheeks hurt and you are crying. We don’t get that every day. It’s not just about the laughter but about being challenged to think differently about something maybe a comedian touches on in his or her act,” said Locks.
Sara Schaefer comes from a funny family and grew up cracking jokes and making the kids laugh. She has won two Emmy Awards for her work at Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and was recently the co-host of MTV’s late night show, “Nikki & Sara Live.” Currently on the road touring promoting her first stand up album, the “always honest always self-deprecating” Schaefer has two big, not-yet-announced TV projects in the works.
Comedian and actor Nick Thune opened up last summer’s Comedy Show with Marc Maron. His unique style of comedy is distinguished by his absurdest view and deadpan with combined with the soothing lull of his guitar. He has appeared on the Tonight Show eight times as well as on Conan, The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon and has his own special on Comedy Central.
Headliner Tig Notaro has been included on such lists as Business Insider’s “50 Women Who Are Changing the World” and Rolling Stone’s list of “50 Funniest People Now.” She was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2014 for her sophomore release LIVE and has been profiled by The New York Times, The New Yorker, Entertainment Weekly, Vanity Fair, GQ Magazine, and Time Magazine.
Notaro has remained a favorite on both Conan and This American Life and continues to host her own weekly podcast, “Professor Blastoff,” which ranks consistently at the top of the iTunes charts. In previous years Notaro has Guest Starred on shows such as NBC’s “The Office” and “Community,” FOX’s “Bob’s Burgers,” HBO’s “The Life and Times of Tim.” She has toured nationally and internationally. Her fight with cancer in recent years has led her to develop more personal comedy.
“We’ve been working on bringing Tig to the festival for a very long time, and luckily the timing was right this time around. I think it is a testament to the area and our reputation that these folks want to come back to perform in front of such supportive audiences and enjoy such a beautiful place,” said Locks.
Doors open at 6 p.m. for DJ Douggpound’s comedy short films followed by the live comedy show at 8:30 p.m. at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring St. in downtown Nevada City. Buy tickets for the comedy shorts in advance for $7 or $9 at the door. Tickets for the live comedy show is $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Tickets are available online at http://www.minersfoundry.org, by phone (530) 265-5040, or in person at the Miners Foundry, and in person at Briar Patch Co-Op.
Visit http://www.minersfoundry.org for more information.
Contact freelance writer Laura Petersen at email@example.com or 913-3067.
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