Finally, after two long years, lovers of film and filmmakers will once again gather, connect, and celebrate independent cinema, in person at a movie theater – the way movies were meant to be seen – during the 22nd Annual Nevada City Film Festival (NCFF), August 26-28, 2022.
For 22 years, NCFF has made it their mission to foster and advance independent creativity, earning them a reputation as a haven where films and filmmakers are discovered, ideas are challenged, creative partnerships are forged, friendships blossom, and memories are made to last a lifetime. It takes dogged persistence and daring to express yourself through film. This year, the festival honors those who are willing to take a leap and bring forth something new.
“The entire weekend is organized with our filmmakers and audience in mind,” explains Jesse Locks, NCFF Executive Director. “From BBQ’s and Happy Hours where filmmakers and festival-goers can meet and converse with one another in a laid back environment, to expertly curated film programs followed by compelling Q&A’s with filmmakers and plenty of down time in between films to explore Nevada City and the surrounding area.”
NCFF will screen a selection of international short films, features and documentaries from over fifteen countries while also hosting over two dozen filmmakers to participate in Q&A’s, panel discussions, and parties over the three-day weekend. Films will screen at the newly renovated historic Nevada Theatre, The Onyx Theatre, and outdoors at Pioneer Park Bandshell in Nevada City.
This year’s opening night selection is “The Unknown Country” directed by Morrisa Maltz and starring Lily Gladstone, Friday, August 26, Nevada Theatre, 8pm. The film follows Tana (Gladstone) as she travels from the Midwest to the Texas-Mexico border following an invitation to reconnect with her estranged Oglala-Lakota family. During her largely solitary and surreal journey towards an unknown destination, Tana (Gladstone) navigates a post-2016 election social climate against a natural landscape encountering familiar faces and strangers along the way. The film has been hailed by Indiewire as “a stunning spiritual companion to Terrence Malick and ‘Nomadland’”.
Features & Documentaries
Also screening at the festival include award-winning documentaries “Jack Has a Plan” directed by Bradley Berman about a man who wishes to die a happy man culminating in a permanent going-away party, “PASANG: In the Shadow of Everest” about Pasang Lhamu Sherpa’s inspiring journey to become the first Nepali woman to summit Everest in 1993, and “Your Friend, Memphis” about a young man with cerebral palsy, who is caught between the world’s expectations and his own ambitions. His story is an odyssey of dogged determination: a search for work, love, and freedom – no matter what. Sarah Elizabeth Mintz makes her impressive directorial debut with “Good Girl Jane”, a tense coming-of age drama depicts the despair of teen angst with gritty authenticity. It is superbly acted by the ensemble of actors featuring Rain Spencer as Jane, Patrick Gibson as Jamie, and Andie MacDowell as the beleaguered mom. And NCFF alum director Geoff Marslett returns to the festival with the quasi-experimental “Quantum Cowboys” which blends live-action footage, live-action sequences with actors in front of animated backgrounds, rotoscoping, and even stop-motion animation to materialize its metaphysical ideology about multiple timelines coexisting, and the manner in which art helps preserve a unified memory. It stars Lily Gladstone, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Kiowa Gordon, Neko Case, and David Arquette.
“This year’s slate of films introduces us to new places and people; where we learn about families, customs, feelings, fears, and so much. It is a heartfelt, compelling selection of films that connect us intimately and beautifully to the human experience,” said Locks. “It’s much needed after the last few years we’ve all been through.”
Special Guest – Terry Zwigoff
The festival will also welcome special guest Terry Zwigoff, the director who gave us the outcasts, freaks, weirdos, and geniuses of “Art School Confidential”, “Crumb”, and “Bad Santa”, for a special screening of the 2001 cult classic “Ghost World”, Saturday, August 27, 8pm.
Terry Zwigoff’s first fiction film, adapted from a cult-classic comic by Daniel Clowes, is an idiosyncratic portrait of adolescent alienation that is at once bleakly funny and wholly endearing. Set during the malaise-filled months following high-school graduation, Ghost World follows the proud misfit Enid (Thora Birch), who confronts an uncertain future amid the cultural wasteland of consumerist America. As her cynicism becomes too much to bear even for her best friend, Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson), Enid finds herself drawn to an unlikely kindred spirit: a sad-sack record collector many years her senior (Steve Buscemi). With its parade of oddball characters, quotable, Oscar-nominated script, and eclectic soundtrack of vintage obscurities, Ghost World is one of the twenty-first century’s most fiercely beloved comedies.
The festival will also present a bevy of short films including the always popular Children’s Program, Friday, August 26, outdoors at Pioneer Park, 8pm. See the world through the eyes of the kids featured in this free program of award-winning and audience favorite short live-action films from Children’s Film Festival Seattle. The young people in these films go on their own adventures, discover how to be true to themselves, and learn to face their fears! This program features films from New Zealand, India, Canada, United States, Mexico, and Ireland.
Free Community Screening
In collaboration with California Heritage Indigenous Research Project (CHIRP), NCFF will host a free screening of “We Acknowledge: Un-Erasing the Nisenan Tribe”, August 26 & 27, 2pm at the ‘UBA SEO: Nisenan Arts & Culture Gallery, 225 Broad Street, Nevada City. Directed by Sierra Academy Expeditionary Learning (SAEL) student Donnelle Suehead-Flynn, the film was made for their Better World Day project where high school students learned about the Nisenan Tribe and discussed the importance of acknowledging the atrocities of the past, deeply listening to those affected, and using their voices to advocate for others. Please join us for a free screening along with a tour of the gallery.
Best of the Fest
The festival wraps with their Best of the Fest, featuring this year’s award winning films along with the Audience Award Winner, on Sunday, August 28, 7pm at the Nevada Theatre. For more information on programs, and tickets, after parties go to www.nevadacityfilmfestival.com
WHAT: 22nd Annual Nevada City Film Festival
WHEN: August 26-28, 2022
TICKETS: $95/Festival Pass $11/Individual Tickets, $9/Senior, Student, Military