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Nevada City Film Festival to start later to attract more locals

Christopher Rosacker
Staff Writer

Since its 2001 inception, the Nevada City Film Festival has grown from a gathering of local filmmakers to an international event, replete with big-name comedians and top independent cinema from notable up-and-comers.

This year’s film festival has been pushed back a few weeks from 2012’s mid-August event to Sept. 5-8 — an alteration aimed at attracting more locals, said Festival Director Jesse Locks.

The festival’s marketing research has shown that only 20 percent of the 600-800 folks who attended the last several years’ events were from Nevada County, according to Locks.

“August is a good time for filmmakers to come visit us, but it was just really hard for locals because it was right after the (Nevada County Fair) and the first week of school,” Locks said. “We wanted to push it back to after Labor Day weekend, when families will be settled in to their schedules, so locals can come to this great festival in their backyards.”

The line up of approximately 100 films for the 13th annual Film Festival is expected to be posted today on its website, nevadacityfilmfestival.com. On the list will be a combination of award-winners from such prominent film festivals as Sundance, South by Southwest and Tribeca, as well as films from emerging local and regional filmmakers all showcasing their work, both short and feature-length films, in a variety of historic locations in downtown Nevada City.

“This year is really exciting because there are so many fun folks involved that bring so much to the table that it has been invigorating and exciting to me,” Locks said.

This year will see the second-year continuation of the Young Filmmakers Music & Film Project, a program that celebrates the festival’s roots while showcasing local filmmakers and musicians.

“In past years, we have always had some sort of young filmmakers’ award or scholarship, something that focuses on youth filmmaking, which is where the festival originated from,” Locks said. “We want to continue that tradition of supporting our young filmmakers.”

The Young Filmmakers Music & Film Project brings together local musicians and filmmakers of all experience levels to create original music videos that will be considered for screening during the Nevada City Film Festival. No prior experience is required. Filmmakers in this category use any equipment, ranging from an old camcorder to an iPhone or a flip camera.

“The Music & Film Project is a really cool way to interact with the Nevada City/Grass Valley music scene, and it’s also a great way to try your hand at filmmaking, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience,” said Zoe Toffaleti in a statement.

Toffaleti is assistant festival director of the Nevada City Film Festival and also an independent filmmaker. She is heading up this year’s young filmmaker program.

“It’s her baby,” Locks said. “It’s exciting to see her own that.”

This year’s festival will commence with a showing of director Sergio Leone’s “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” a seminal spaghetti western starring Clint Eastwood.

“It’s a fantastic, cross-generational film that harkens to the love of filmmaking itself,” Locks said.

The four-day festival will be capped off with a Sunday after-party at Nevada City’s ol’ Republic Brewery, located in the Seven Hills Business District alongside the Magic Theater, where the festival started.

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email crosacker@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.

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