Know your nonprofit: Nevada City Film Festival |

Know your nonprofit: Nevada City Film Festival

The Nevada City Film Festival features a number of different films, venues and age groups.
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More Information

Contact information (phone and email):

Phone: (530) 362-8601

Email: jesse@nevadacityfilmfestival




Know Your Nonprofit is a weekly Q&A feature with western Nevada County nonprofit organizations.

What is your mission statement?

The Nevada City Film Festival and its nonprofit, the Magic Lantern Corporation, are a community service organization located in Nevada City, California. We serve Nevada County and the nearby regions by providing art, entertainment, information and culture through the medium of film and video.

We are committed to:

Presenting creative, diverse, independent films from around the world that would otherwise have little or no other outlet in our region.

Curating and presenting film programs and producing film festivals and other related events.

Encouraging and supporting local filmmakers and their work.

When and how did your nonprofit start?

Since 2001, the Nevada City Film Festival has brought top independent cinema to the Sierra Nevada Foothills. In 2008, the festival formed the Magic Lantern Corporation, a nonprofit 501(C)(3) organization, to better serve Nevada County and nearby regions by providing art, entertainment, education, and culture through the medium of film and video. In 2011, the Film Society was established to encourage membership, local partnerships, and a year-long program of film

What are the primary sources of funding?

Tickets and sponsorships, with the help of a few small grants and private donations.

How many employees does the organization have?

We have seven contract seasonal employees.

Who is your primary audience, the people who benefit the most from your organization?

Our three major events during the year serve vastly different audiences. Movies Under the Pines, which is our outdoor summer film series, serves a local audience of movie lovers, with a few attendees traveling 25-plus miles to attend. While our Winter Comedy Fest and the Nevada City Film Festival in September sees more than half of our attendees traveling 25-plus miles to attend. Our Media Maker Residency along with our film and media arts workshops are geared to local filmmakers and creatives looking to enhance their skillsets and professional networks.

What is your primary service area (specific city, countywide, the region?)

Nevada County

List the biggest achievements in your nonprofit’s history (up to three).

Hosting Bill Nye: The Science Guy (2017)

Named “Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” by Moviemaker Magazine (2016)

Named “Sundance of the Sierra” by Sacramento News & Review (2010)

List the biggest challenges you face (up to three).

Increasing attendance by local audiences to the film festival.

Increasing membership and sponsorship to help offset the rising costs of equipment rental (projectors, screens, sound, computers, hardware, etc) used to present films.

Making the case for people to step out of their homes and away from Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, etc., to go see a movie or a program of shorts they’ll never see anywhere else!

What is your primary goal for the next year?

Increasing sponsorships, donations and grants.

What is your primary goal for the next three to five years?

Expand our program of work to support local filmmakers and make Nevada County a destination for visiting filmmakers and a hub for creatives interested in media and film.

What are your major fundraisers and the dates for these events in 2016 – 2017?

Movies Under the Pines, July 22, 2017 (Nevada County Fairgrounds), August 12 & 26, 2017 (Pioneer Park)

Fundraiser at ol’ Republic Brewery, Aug. 18, 2017

17th Annual Nevada City Film Festival, Sept. 8-15, 2017

How can someone become involved with your organization?


What kind of skills are you looking for from volunteers?

Individuals with fantastic interpersonal skills and enjoy working with the general public.

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