Nevada City, CA, is home to the “Sundance of the Sierra” also known to locals as the Nevada City Film Festival! From August 27th-September 2nd, the Nevada City Film Festival makes art into a party, bringing emerging and top independent filmmakers showcasing award-winning short and feature-length films from around the world to this beautiful historic town in the Sierra Foothills.
Spanning the course of eight days, NCFF will showcase 100 award-winning shorts and feature length films from around the world to be enjoyed via streaming.
Every summer, NCFF makes art into a party, bringing an audience of movie lovers together with emerging and top independent filmmakers. Last summer due to COVID, NCFF made the giant pivot to create a series of drive-in movie theatres in Grass Valley where the non-profit welcomed over 1300 ticket holders. They also presented the festival online, organized a free youth online animation camp for 70 students, and raised $5,000k for local non-profits – Bright Futures for Youth, Neighborhood Center for the Arts, Bear Yuba Land Trust, Nisenan Tribe and the Nevada County Arts Artist Relief Fund.
“We learned a lot last year. This year’s festival is a celebratory blend of indoor and outdoor events, featuring inspiring, joyful, intensely beautiful, and heartfelt expressions of the human experience,” said Jesse Locks, NCFF executive director. “Of course, NCFF wouldn’t be the same without some wild and whacky visual treats too.”
This year’s feature films check all the boxes of what an independent film festival should encompass; from promising debuts by emerging directors to seasoned industry favorites taking creative risks to tell new and exciting stories, and everything in between.
Some of the highlights of this year’s festival include Friday, August 27’s opening night films – The comedy Language Lessons featuring Natalie Morales and Mark Duplass, about a Spanish teacher and her student who develop an unexpected friendship. The vibrant and inspiring SXSW break-out film I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking) by first time directors Kelley Kali and Angelique Molina is about a recently widowed mother who becomes houseless and convinces her 8-year-old daughter that they are only camping for fun while working to get them off of the streets, plays at the Nevada Theatre. And music knows no boundaries in the documentary The Conductor, about internationally renowned conductor Marin Alsop who smashed the glass ceiling when she became the first woman to serve as music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra. With unprecedented access, director Bernadette Wegenstein accompanies Marin Alsop to classical concerts around the world, telling Marin’s story through a combination of intimate interviews and shared moments in the Maestra’s professional and private life. The Conductor screens at Pioneer Park.
© 2021 InnSide Nevada City, Photos by Kial James Photography and Erin Thiem