Photo credit: Patty Fantasia
VIFF! Celebrates Independent Film in Las Vegas
VIFF! (Vegas Independent Film Festival) is being held from November 16 – 20 at two primary locations: Theatre7 in the downtown arts district and the Century Orleans Theatre in the Orleans Hotel. Festival Founder Derek Stonebarger promises both World and Las Vegas Premieres, Red Carpets, Audience Q&As, parties and lots of fun during the week beginning with a special kickoff event on the 16th at 7pm celebrating the career of indie filmmaking legend Ted V. Michaels. He will receive the VIFF! Lifetime Achievement Award at Theatre7, which is located at 1406 S. 3rd Street, and be the first Las Vegan to have his hands immortalized in concrete. There will be food and drinks and the event is open to the public.
On Thursday, November 17th VIFF! moves to the Century Orleans Theatre for the Opening Night Feature Film “40 West” which starts with a Red Carpet at 5:30pm. Director Dana Packard will be in attendance along with several actors including Mr. Las Vegas himself, Wayne Newton, who is featured in the movie. The film also stars Jennifer Nicole Porter, who wrote the script, and Scott Winters, Brian A. White and Kathleen Kimball. Following the screening there will be an audience Q&A before the Opening Night Shorts, which include both International and local films such as “Cutting Seams”, “The Southern Belle”, “Blackstone”, “Pay Your Respects” “Sugartown” and “House”. There will also be an After-Party at Tao in the Venetian at the end of the evening.
Theatre7 hosts more premieres on Friday, November 18th at 7:00pm with its Opening Night Feature Film “Hollywood to Dollywood” and two shorts “Venus vs. Mars” and “Henry & Anthony”. Ticket stubs also provide admission to an After-Party being held at the Piranha Nightclub after the screenings. There will be more shorts beginning at 1:00pm on Saturday, November 19th at Theatre7 including: “Love on Saturday”, “Side Effect”, “Guitar Man”, “Cold Feet”, “Walter Was Here” and “Zombie Chick”. There will also be an audience Q&A afterwards and producers, actors and the director will walk the Red Carpet. At 4pm Theatre7 will show “Agent Mx-Z3RO” as part of a special presentation from AVID, one of the leading editing software companies in the motion picture industry, and the film’s director, editor and sound editor will be in attendance. There will also be a free screening of the short film “Boxed Up”, with filmmaker Sean McCarthy and producers. This is a special free event which should be of interest to anyone involved with filmmaking. On Saturday evening the feature film “Somewhere West”, which was directed by David Marek and stars Barrett Ogden, Judson Webb, Jennifer Summers and Hallie Schwartz will have its Las Vegas Premiere followed by the World Premiere of the short film “Lugares de Encuentro” (Meeting Point) by Henry Wooley. Saturday ticket stubs include an After-Party at Bar + Bistro @ The Arts Factory with drink specials.
VIFF! concludes on Sunday, November 20 starting off with a Red Carpet Event at 12:30pm at the Century Orleans Theatre with the World Premiere of local filmmaker Michael Su’s “The Adventures Of Loop & Rhett” starring Loop Rawlins, Michael Tushaus, Megan McQuillan and William Michael Cover as Harlan Boyd. The 37 minute western is in the process of being turned into a feature by Su. The Nevada Premieres of short films “Bright” by Benjamin Busch and “2 Scoops of Love” by Rebecca Berrih will follow before the VIFF! Closing Feature Film “Bubblegum & Broken Fingers”, which was written and directed by another local favorite Sean Jackson, begins its Red Carpet Event at 3:00pm. Starring Brenna Daly, Camme Tyla, George Dabling, Kris Mayeshiro and Mandy Williams, the actors, producers and director will be in attendance and there will be an audience Q&A after the screening. This film also started out as a short and then was expanded into the first feature produced by Jackson’s Somnium Productions.