LAS VEGAS (May 18, 2017) – The 10th Annual Las Vegas Film Festival announced today the initial programming lineup for the 2017 Festival, to be held entirely at Brenden Theatres and the Palms Casino Resort June 6 – 11. This year’s Festival lineup includes a mix of feature films and documentaries that have been favorites on the international festival circuit, animated works, shorts, music videos, festival labs and local films that were produced in Southern Nevada or were directed by a local filmmaker.
Highlights include winner of the NEXT Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Gook, directed by Justin Chon; SXSW standouts California Dreams from Mike Ott and Theo Anthony’s Rat Race; and Dave Made a Maze from director Bill Watterson.
All feature and documentary films will be followed by a Q&A session with the cast and crew, providing theater goers with a unique movie watching experience.
Director: Nathaniel Katzman
Estlin and Ellie reconnect on Christmas Eve after nine months of separation. However, they are both wary of jumping right back into a relationship and therefore propose a challenge: they must spend 10 days with each other before a decision can be made. The film is about relationships, the holidays and being young in New York. There’s plenty to laugh, cry, and pull your hair out about.
The 60 Yard Line
Director: Leif Gantvoort
Based on a true story. Set during the 2009 football season. Ben “Zagger” Zagowski and Nick “Polano” Polano, best friends and co-workers, buy a house in the parking lot of Lambeau Field (home of the Packers), and are forced to pick between a football fan lifestyle and a girl. Lives change. There’s a cow.
Dave Made a Maze
Director: Bill Watterson
Dave, an artist who has yet to complete anything significant in his career, builds a fort in his living room out of pure frustration, only to wind up trapped by the fantastical pitfalls, booby traps, and critters of his own creation. Ignoring his warnings, Dave’s girlfriend Annie leads a band of oddball explorers on a rescue mission. Once inside, they find themselves trapped in an ever-changing supernatural world, threatened by booby traps and pursued by a bloodthirsty Minotaur.
Director: Justin Chon
Eli and Daniel, two Korean American brothers, own a struggling shoe store and have an unlikely friendship with Kamilla, a street-wise 11-year-old African American girl. Kamilla ditches school, Eli stresses about the store, and Daniel tries to have a good time. It’s just another typical day at the store until the Rodney King verdict is read and riots break. With the chaos moving towards them, the trio is forced to defend the store while contemplating the future of their own personal dreams and the true meaning of family.
Director: Brandon Christensen
Still/Born follows Mary, a new mother who lost one of her twins in childbirth. As she struggles with the loss of one of her children, she starts to suspect something sinister is after her surviving child – a supernatural entity that has chosen her child and will stop at nothing to take it from her.
Director: Mike Ott
From acclaimed director, Mike Ott comes to the new documentary feature “California Dreams,” presenting five unique individuals in pursuit of a big life change. Through auditions set up in small towns across Southern California, the film shows genuine characters with big Hollywood aspirations who, for various reasons, have never had the opportunity to pursue it. No matter what the endgame is, whether it’s fame, love, or a fleeting shot at immortality, this bitingly funny film reveals the strange and entrancingly hypnotic grip that Hollywood has, in some way or form, on everyone.
The Rabbit Hunt (Short)
Director: Patrick Bresnan
In the Florida Everglades rabbit hunting is considered a rite of passage for young men. The Rabbit Hunt follows seventeen year old Chris and his family as they hunt in the fields of the largest industrial sugar farms in the US. The film records a tradition by which migrant farm workers in the communities surrounding Lake Okeechobee have been hunting and preparing rabbits since the early 1900s.
CINEVEGAS PRESENTS AT LVFF
This year’s Festival will once again include CINEVEGAS PRESENTS AT LVFF, featuring a selection of films curated by the CineVegas team of Trevor Groth and Mike Plante.
Director: Theo Anthony
Across walls, fences, and alleys, rats not only expose our boundaries of separation but make homes in them. “Rat Film” is a feature-length documentary that uses the rat—as well as the humans that love them, live with them, and kill them–to explore the history of Baltimore. “There’s never been a rat problem in Baltimore, it’s always been a people problem.”
Director: David Nicolas
Dave is about to lead the first mission to Mars when he’s teamed up with a sentient melon, who claims to be the reincarnation of a fashion designer, upstaging his big moment and driving him to the brink of madness.
Director: Réka Bucsi
LOVE is a short film describing affection in 3 different chapters, through an impact on a distant solar system.
Director: Xuecheng Xu
A 2D motion graphics video looks at human nature, human instinct and the power of imagination. Minimally styled illustrations tell the story of a beautiful woman who achieves satisfaction by having a psychedelic, metaphoric, sensual journey during dinner in 1930s Shanghai.
Director: Patrick Osborne
Set inside their home, a beloved hatchback, Pearl follows a girl and her dad as they crisscross the country chasing their dreams. It’s a story about the gifts we hand down and their power to carry love. And finding grace in the unlikeliest of places.
Director: Renata Gasiorowska
A young girl spends the evening alone at home. She decides to have some sweet solo pleasure session, but not everything goes according to plan.
Director: Jeremy Collins
Music video from the band Small Black.
Director: Sarah May
Four band members explore a wacky and vivid house filled with hallways leading them to strange rooms in this dance-pop music video.
Make Our Relationship Great Again
Director: Zachary David Honea
A sobering song about the dangers of codependency, Donald Trump, and puppet murder.
Spare the Ones That Weep by Mark Stoermer Part 1 & 2
Directors: Mike & Jerry Thompson
Music video featuring Mark Stoermer, bassist from The Killers.
Director: Joseph Armario
Steady Holiday – Terror. While cleaning her house, a woman finds a creature living in her couch that will not die.
Director: Joe Talbot
A forgotten man in Trump’s America attempts to shift his fate with the perfect crime. Inspired by true events.
Director: Joschka Laukeninks
As a young child, our protagonist is left by his mother and has to live with his violent father. He fights his way through adolescence and falls in love with the woman of his dreams, and just as everything seems to be finally working out for him, a sudden event changes the course of his life forever. A story about how everything we love, everything we learn, everything we build, everything we fear, will one day be gone.
Director: Joshua Seigel
Two friends find a new toy gun with a very special ability. Soon, they find the power of the gun might have been more dangerous than they had imagined.
Director: Alexis O. Korycinski
An isolated expatriate experiences psychosis and depression after giving birth.
Director: Max Barbakow
A depressed woman must come to terms with her own vulnerability when she hires an eager Professional Cuddler on Christmas Eve.
Do No Harm
Director: Roseanne Liang
Save the patient. Nothing else.
Do Not Lose
Director: Shilpi Shikha Agrawal
A lonely late night at the coin laundry goes wrong. — Pay attention, Mona.
Dawn of the Deaf
Director: Rob Savage
When a sonic pulse infects the hearing population, a small group of Deaf people must band together to survive.
Director: Logan George
Four high schoolers across the world reveal their primal selves when faced with moral dilemmas.
Get Wed Soon
Director: Kathrina Bognot
Faced with her parents’ desire for her to marry, a Filipino millennial takes dating to absurd lengths.
Director: David H. Jeffery
When a deranged killer sets his sights on an unsuspecting sorority, he realizes he’s not the craziest one in the house.
Director: Joshua Giuliano
An old woman. Alone. At night.
Director: Anna Kerrigan
Teen Andrea uses a male stripper to gain the respect and admiration of cool girl Daphne. Hot Seat, which is based on a true story, explores coming-of-age sexuality and the complexities of relationships between teen girls.
It’s Been Like a Year
Director: Cameron Fay
A sexually stifled young man grows increasingly distracted during a rendezvous with an attractive young woman.
Joy Joy Nails
Director: Joey Ally
Sarah manages Joy Joy Nails with a cheerful iron fist – but she gets her manicured claws out when Chinese Mia, a manicurist trainee, looks to be stealing the boss’s son’s affections, soon discovering that under the varnish, everyone’s a victim.
Director: Alexander Familian
In Las Vegas, Nevada, an anxious 15 year old reluctantly smokes weed and agrees to steal beer from a gas station— all to impress his hooligan friends and a girl that he likes. There is no explanation for what comes next… Don’t be a little bitch. #LOCALCINEMA
Mary Shelley’s FrankenGreen
Directors: Nick & Zach Byer
After the legalization of both recreational and medical Marijuana, Moses tries to unload a shipment of his “Mary Shelley’s FrankenGreen”, but no one’s buying. After getting a hold of one of his most trusted buyers; Randy, Moses comes to find out Randy has also jumped on the ‘Medical Marijuana’ train. Through the heartache of this ‘drug dealer to drug user’ break-up, Moses goes on an emotional breakdown.
Director: Celine Held
Fueled by coke, Vanessa and Danny attempt to capitalize on an unlikely opportunity.
Director: Marshall Tyler
A day in the life of a bathroom attendant in an LA nightclub.
Director: Robert Shupe
A troubled woman has a bizarre encounter with a transient man on the streets of Las Vegas.
Director: Derek Olson
Before tonight, Carl was just another driver for the latest Rideshare App., now his next passenger might be his last.
Director: Jim Cummings
Crystal robs a liquor store—it goes pretty OK.
Director: Lizzy Sanford
A first-time sexual encounter that just doesn’t click.
Director: Fredric Lehne
Strangers (Tony winner Reed Birney and Blake DeLong) bravely confront and resolve one of the most terrifying and perplexing scourges to ever afflict mankind…while standing at urinals with their willies out.
Director: Logan George
While driving to the reading of her father’s will, Catherine is faced with an anomaly on the side of the road.
Director: Justine Raczkiewicz
Roger lives a grim and detached life, picking up medical waste for a living, but looks forward to his evening conversations with his quirky roommate and foodie, Olive. But as the meals become increasingly strange, and push the limits of curiosity, Roger must ask himself how far he will go for love?
Director: Kirk W. Murray
After a mother finds her two children up late one cold December night, she searches the house only to find the terrifying reason…
Wildcard is the Las Vegas Film Festival’s experimental films category. These #NSFW short films are not for the faint of heart.
5 Stages of Dying
Director: Nima Shoghi
A young man struggles with his mortality when diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Director: Spencer Wilson
A basketball player’s demons interfere with his game. Unfocused, he gets knocked unconscious, forcing him to travel through an inward journey.
Director: Tyler Yarbro
A lactose noir.
As the Las Vegas Film Festival has done in years past, this year’s Festival will also highlight films made by and/or produced in Southern Nevada.
The Festival’s three college showcases feature a collection of short films produced by students from UNLV, CSN and NSC. The UNLV showcase will highlight works from John Bartley and Wayne Bailey, past winners of a $25,000 grant from Johnny Brenden to make their own feature-length movie to premiere at the Festival.
The Festival Labs are made possible by the sponsorship of Matthew Frazier, as well as from Las Vegas Film Festival ticket sales, which help fund future labs.
Returning this year, for the fourth time, is a program that has become a community favorite, the Music Video Lab, which connects local bands with local filmmakers to produce a music video that premieres at the festival. Participating bands this year include Scartoon, Juan Flores, Rabid Young, The Van Der Rohe, The Musket Vine and REIGN-A. The Music Video Lab screening and party will take place Friday, June 9 at 10 p.m.
Another favorite local program, the Young Cinema Lab Mission, returns for a third year, where children are taught how to write a screenplay with the help of UNLV film students and the Writers Block in Downtown Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Film Festival then helps the UNLV filmmakers bring the screenplay to life with a special screening event at the Festival, to be held Saturday, June 10 at 12 noon.
The full Festival screening schedule will be posted online at lvff.com on Tuesday, May 23. Additional programming and the full special event lineup will be announced soon.
Tickets and passes are on sale now at lvff.com/boxoffice or by emailing email@example.com. Passes and movie tickets will also be available at the Festival’s box office at the Brenden Theatres inside the Palms Casino Resort beginning Tuesday, June 6. Additionally, discounts for locals, seniors, students and military are available.
The Festival comes back this year with the continued support of returning sponsors Zappos and Southern Glaser’s Wine & Spirits, as well as new sponsors for 2017 – the John C. Kish Foundation, Brenden Theatres and Palms Casino Resort.
About Las Vegas Film Festival
The 10th Annual Las Vegas Film Festival will be held June 6 – 11, 2017 at the Palms Casino Resort and Brenden Theatres in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Film Festival is a community of filmmakers and film-lovers drawn to the unique, curious and cultivating environment that is Las Vegas. The LVFF pushes the boundaries of cinema, annually presenting work by passionate, rebellious, and wild storytellers to an audience of local and national filmmakers, film lovers, journalists, and film industry representatives. Festival leadership includes Milo Kostelecky (President), Robin Greenspun (CineVegas Chairman) and West McDowell (Creative & Program Director). For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.lvff.com and find the festival on Facebook.