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The curtain has been raised on the 16th annual Dam Short Film Festival

The 16th annual Dam Short Film Festival recently closed its doors after yet another hugely successful event, celebrating the creativity and innovation of short movie makers throughout Nevada and beyond. When it was originally established back in 2005, the “festival” was overseen by one man only, Lee Lanier. Mr Lanier founded the event with the help of his wife Anita, which has since expanded from very small acorns into one of the biggest events on the annual calendar for Boulder City and the largest short film festival in the whole of Nevada.

Located just 26 miles south-east of Las Vegas, the festival offers an exciting opportunity for attendees to explore the sights and sounds of “Sin City” while they are in the vicinity. While Boulder City is one of only two cities in Nevada to prohibit casino gaming, Vegas is naturally one of the world’s leading hubs for it. Contrary to popular belief, Vegas doesn’t have to break the bank either. In fact, there are plenty of tips and techniques to enjoy Vegas without blowing all your money and getting carried away.

Dam Short Film Festival: A top-100 short film event

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Caption: Boulder Theatre – the hub of the Dam Short Film Festival

Guests to the most recent 2020 Dam Short Film Festival were treated to screenings of 146 short movies located within the magnificent Boulder City Theatre. This four-day festival has experienced a rapid rise to popularity. There are said to be over 8,000 short film festivals staged worldwide and FilmFreeway ranks the Dam Short Film Festival in the top 100 right now. The festival is a melting pot of creative film ideas, some of which will push last year’s best short films close.

The draw of this festival is the ever-changing programs that are added to the illustrious line-up. Silver State Documentaries featured this year for the first time, bringing five unique and original tales from some of the up-and-coming documentary filmmakers within the Nevada state. The festival also welcomed The Residents to Boulder City Theatre for the first time. The Residents are an American art collective, highly regarded for their avant-garde approach to film and music. The group have released more than 60 music albums as well as multiple short movies. The group’s manager, Homer Flynn, was on-hand to reveal the creative driving forces within the group and provide inspiration to fans.

Of course, the festival also demonstrated a whole host of its award-winners from many of its categories. All of which were screened within an exciting and immersive 90-minute timeframe. These categories spanned everything from documentaries, student films and animation films through to music videos and comedy sketches. The festival has long been a three-day event, but this year was the first to trial the four-day schedule, which allowed the event more time to celebrate its award winners.

A festival that’s experiencing a rapid rise in visitors year-on-year

This year’s event saw another 10% year-on-year increase in visitors and already the doors are open for nominations for next year’s categories. Short film makers can submit their own entries in any style or genre, providing they are no longer than 40 minutes. No premiere requirement is included, and it does not matter what year the film was produced.
2020 was the year for the festival to enjoy new creative direction too, with Tsvetelina Stefanova promoted as the event’s new executive director. Ms Stefanova has been working with the festival for the last eight years, providing social media support, volunteer aid and support as a board member. Stefanova, a citizen of Boulder City herself, believes the 400-seat Boulder Theatre is the “perfect” setting thanks to its “serendipity”. It is the mission of Tsvetelina and her team to uncover the most unique, unusual and entertaining short movies from around the world. Stefanova said that the festival is “constantly working on the core things [they] do well” as well as ushering in new and intriguing concepts and categories.

The fact that so many of the festival’s categories are now inundated with material from filmmakers based overseas underlines its establishment as one of the most serious and attractive short film events in the US.