Jesse Locks: What’s new at this year’s film fest? |

Jesse Locks: What’s new at this year’s film fest?

The Nevada City Film Festival has quickly become a favorite stop on the independent film circuit with filmmakers from all around the world eager to show their films. This year, 40 films will be screened over four days at the four historic locations of the Nevada Theatre, Miners Foundry, National Hotel and Magic Theatre. The films selected, span genres, languages, and format with something for every kind of film enthusiast.

Judging this year’s films are Peter Relic from Rolling Stone Magazine, Reyhan Harmanci of the San Francisco Chronicle, Eli Horowitz editor of McSweeney’s and the Wholphin, filmmaker and actress Susan Traylor, and The Union’s very own Chuck Jaffee. The judges are looking for a combination of exceptional quality in the writing, directing, editing, acting and overall impact of each film. They will be selecting one of the films to receive the coveted Juror’s Award.

Festival attendees also have the opportunity to vote for their favorite film to receive the Audience Award. And don’t forget the local filmmakers contest still up on the Union Web site ( for readers to select their favorite film to win $300 and be shown in the special local filmmakers series during the festival.

More than a dozen filmmakers will be available to answer questions from the audience after each of their films. This year’s festival includes an exciting Director’s Spotlight with Mike Mills, who is best known for his directorial debut “Thumbsucker,” starring Keanu Reeves, Benjamin Bratt and Vince Vaughn. Mills is also an accomplished graphic designer, having designed album covers for the Beastie Boys and Beck. He will be in attendance to show a selection of short films and answer questions.

Inspired by last year’s provocative and exciting panel on New Media, the Nevada City Film Festival raises the bar this year with informative and inspiring panels on editing and music selection.

“The Editor: Telling Your Story with Cuts” is a panel on the art form, theory, practices and technologies surrounding film editing. It is lead by editing professionals of the locally based Thomson/Grass Valley, along with the writers and editors of the popular Adult Swim program Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

Local musicians and aspiring filmmakers interested in how music is selected, used and created for films shouldn’t miss The Music in Film panel. Brian Reitzell, a composer and producer of ambient and electronic music who has supervised the music for films such as “Stranger than Fiction” and “Lost in Translation” leads this panel.

Also lending her knowledge of the laws and rights of musicians and filmmakers is Brooke Wentz, the founder of The Rights Workshop and author of “Hey, That’s My Music! Music Supervision, Licensing, and Content Acquisition.”

Finally, if all the films and panels weren’t enough for folks, the Nevada City Film Festival will host two exciting after parties. Thursday night’s party kicks off at the Chief Crazy Horse Saloon & Grill with the pitch-perfect harmonies of the Moore Brothers and magician, storyteller, the Great Merlini.

But it’s the final party Aug. 16 at the Miners Foundry when attendees will learn what films won what awards and can celebrate with the explosive all-female Led Zeppelin inspired Zepparella. Much more than a cover band, Zepparella moans, grooves, pounds, blazes its way through Led Zeppelin’s extensive catalogue with its own unique style. Sacramento’s favorite surf rock band the Pyronauts open up the show.

The 8th annual Nevada City Film Festival combines it all this year – inspiring independent filmmaking, respected members of the film industry sharing their knowledge and experience, and a whole lot of fun. For more information on films, parties and a festival schedule see


Jesse Locks is a freelance writer who has worked for such esteemed and well-loved publications as Arthur Magazine, Seattle Weekly, and Thrasher Magazine. This is also her second year involved with the Nevada City Film Festival. You can reach her at

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