Nevada City Film Festival and KSK Records announce Young Filmmakers Grant |

Nevada City Film Festival and KSK Records announce Young Filmmakers Grant

Special to The Union

Want to make it big in movies? If you are between 13 and 20 years old and live in Nevada County, the Nevada City Film Festival and KSK Records might just be able to help!

The Nevada City Film Festival (NCFF) began 10 years ago as a film festival by filmmakers for filmmakers and to celebrate a decade of independent film, NCFF and world music label KSK Records are offering a grant to budding young filmmakers that continues in the pioneer spirit of filmmaking.

The Young Filmmakers Grant is the brainchild of NCFF Program Director and local filmmaker David Nicholson and KSK Records owner, musician and producer Aja Salvatore.

“We both wanted to do something for young people in the area when funding for education is facing extreme cuts,” Salvatore said. “I think both David and I appreciate the impact and the draw the arts has on this community, we saw the grant as a perfect opportunity to nurture and support the next generation of artists to emerge in Nevada County.”

Short films are an important stepping-stone for an aspiring filmmaker, they are equal parts creative and learning experimentation, and also exist in a practical capacity as a professional example of the filmmaker’s skill.

“When I was 20-years old I was fortunate enough to receive a grant from Kodak which allowed me to make my first short film,” said Nicholson, who has made a living in film in New York and Nevada City. “Having that freedom and support was instrumental in shaping my career as a filmmaker,” he said.

For the last three years, Nicholson and Salvatore have been working on a documentary about the West African country Mali. Tentatively called “Life is Hard, Music is Good,” the film examines the power of music with which people use to transcend suffering and poverty. It also examines why a nation so void of natural wealth seems so rich culturally.

“I think it’s important to support artists in general because, as a musician and a producer, I feel the arts define a large portion of what it essentially means to be human,” Salvatore said. “I think supporting young filmmakers is especially important because anytime you can help a young person clearly define his/her path and determine his/her goals, you are affecting the world positively.”

Salvatore and Nicholson, along with a handful of local Nevada County videographers, editors, and producers, will help the chosen young filmmaker at every step of the way in making his or her film.

“Filmmaking is a team sport, and it’s a LOT easier to get people on your team if you can pay them. Filmmakers, especially young and unproven ones, have a hard time convincing people to get on their side. When you win something like this, or have won something like this, it gets people to listen,” said 20-year-old Camen Hodges, last year’s runner up of the NCFF and Citizen’s Bank “My Nevada City Video Contest.”

To be eligible for the grant, you must be a Nevada County resident aged 13 to 20 years and your project must be produced entirely in Nevada County.

You must apply using the online NCFF application form and include a script or treatment, detailed budget and schedule. A panel of festival producers and industry professionals will select projects on the basis of the application.

The winner will receive the following:

• A rental package of professional film gear including lights, jib, tracks and cameras – worth over $10k

• Coaching and advice from professional filmmakers

• Editing and post production

• Up to $2k in cash to help make your film

• Film screened on opening of the film festival

Deadline is May 1, 2010. To apply or for more information go to To learn more about KSK Records visit

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