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Best of the fest: Nevada City Film Festival announces 2021 winners

 

Earlier this week the Nevada City Film Festival (NCFF) announced the winners of their 21st annual festival.

Festival programmers watched 500 films submitted from 41 countries around the world – for a total running time of 219 hours, 29 minutes, and 13 seconds, give or take a few. And if that wasn’t enough, the NCFF program committee watched an additional 100 films from other film festivals and film schools to finally narrow this year’s program down to the 80+ short and feature length films that were shown online over the last two weeks.

From those 80+ films, the festival directors suggested a dozen films for award consideration to Festival Judges who then decided the winners of Best of the Fest, Best Documentary Feature, Best Short Narrative, Best Short Documentary, Best Short Animation, Best Director, Best Performance, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and Best Musical Score. For a total of $9,000 in awards!



The following films can all be streamed online for $8. Between now and through the end of the festival on Sept. 12, audiences can still vote for their favorite film. The highly coveted Audience Award also includes a $500 cash award. Go to http://www.nevadacityfilmfestival.com to rent this year’s award-winners and more.

BEST OF THE FEST and BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY: QUEEN OF BASKETBALL

Director Ben Proudfoot, USA, 22 min. She is arguably the greatest living women’s basketball player. She’s won three national trophies; she played in the ‘76 Olympics; she was drafted to the NBA. But have you ever heard of Lucy Harris?



BEST SHORT FILM SCREENPLAY: A LESSON ON DYING

Writer Jess Waters. Pearl cannot face her dying mother until she gets a much-needed lesson from her father.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: TELL THEM WE WERE HERE

Director Griff Williams, Keelan Williams, USA, 1hr 28min. 
Framed within the last 25 years of artmaking in the Bay Area, the film is not an all-encompassing historical document, but rather a glimpse into a select group of artists who’ve chosen a less worn path. It touches on the disappearance of cultural communities due to gentrification and economic instability and celebrates an intertwined art community that has flown just below the radar, but influenced generations. Music by Marc Capelle, Vetiver, Virgil Shaw, Clare Rojas (Peggy Honeywell), Tommy Guerrero, Kelley Stoltz, Devendra Banhart, Fruit Bats, Monte Vallier, and Pat Mesiti-Miller.

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE: I’m FINE
(Thanks for Asking)

Director Kelley Kali, Angelique Molina, USA, 90 min. When a recently widowed mother becomes houseless, she convinces her 8-year-old daughter that they are only camping for fun while working to get them off of the streets.

BEST NARRATIVE SHORT: BETWEEN YOU & MILAGROS

Director Mariana Saffon, Colombia, 20 min. At fifteen, Milagros’s world still revolves around her mother’s affection, until an unexpected encounter with death makes her question not only their relationship, but her own existence.

BEST ANIMATED SHORT: O BLACK HOLE

Director Renee Zhan, UK, 15 min. A woman who can’t stand the passing of time turns herself into a black hole. A thousand unchanging years pass until one day, the Singularity wakes inside her. An immovable woman meets an unstoppable girl in this 2D/stop motion opera about the beauty of transience and letting go.

BEST DIRECTOR: Sebastian Torres Greene, Manuel Del Valle, Nahjum

Director Sebastian Torres Greene, Manual Del Valley, Mexico, 17 min. 
A prehistoric family’s desperate search for a mythical source of life turns into tragedy when the egos and obsessions of their male members rise to the surface.

BEST PERFORMANCE: Mark Duplass and Natalie Morales, LANGUAGE LESSONS

Director Natalie Morales, USA, 1hr 31 min. When Adam’s (Mark Duplass) husband surprises him with weekly Spanish lessons, he’s unsure about where or how this new element will fit into his already structured life. But when tragedy strikes, his Spanish teacher, Cariño (Natalie Morales), becomes a lifeline he didn’t know he needed.

BEST EDITING: Amar Chebib, JOE BUFFALO AND BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Liam Mitchell, JOE BUFFALO

Director Amar Chebib, Canada, 16 min. 
Joe Buffalo is an Indigenous skateboard legend. He’s also a survivor of Canada’s notorious Indian Residential School system. Following a traumatic childhood and decades of addiction, Joe must face his inner demons to realize his dream of turning pro.

BEST MUSICAL SCORE: Beta Pictoris, CUBAN DANCER

Director Roberto Salinas, Italy, 94 min. At 15, Alexis is a promising dancer at Havana’s Cuban National Ballet School. Confident in his abilities, Alexis already envisions a future of stardom. But when his family joins his sister in Florida, Alexis’s joy at their reunion is tempered by the need to start over in an alien environment. Shot over five years, this captivating, coming-of-age documentary soars on tremendous dance sequences and Alexis’s immense talent as he leaps toward his destiny.

Source: Nevada City Film Festival

KNOW & GO

WHAT: 21st Annual Nevada City Film Festival “Best of the Fest”

WHERE: Streaming Online at http://www.nevadacityfilmfestival.com

WHEN: Aug. 27-Sept. 12

TICKETS: $8/per Feature or Shorts rental

Best of the Fest and Best Shot Documentary awards went to "Queen of Basketball,“ directed by Ben Proudfoot, telling the story of basketball star Lucy Harris.
Lucy Harris

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