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Short Story
Dam Short Film Festival Returns For A 6th Year
by Lee Lanier and Charlene Brewer

In these tough economic times, it can be hard to find entertainment that’s affordable. It can be even trickier to find entertainment that is of interest or has a high standard of creativity or workmanship. That’s where short films come in handy.

So, what is a short film anyway? A short film is any motion picture that runs less than 40 minutes. Short films can be dramas, comedies, documentaries, or animations. Short films are made by professional filmmakers, students, and hobbyists and are created as director portfolio pieces, demonstrations designed to raise funds for longer films, and classroom exercises.

Where can you see short films? Well, short films are hard to find. Aside from the occasional appearance on TV, films festivals are the best bet.

However, film festivals also suffer from economic tough times. In fact, several large festivals in the Las Vegas area will go out of business in 2010. Nevertheless, the Dam Short Film Festival has managed to weather these tough economic times and is coming back to Boulder City as strong as ever.

The 6th Annual Dam Short Film Festival will take place February 11th - 13th. Once again, we’re returning to the historic Boulder Theatre.

The festival will feature 20 different programs with over 110 short films. The subjects are so diverse that everyone can find a program that suits their taste! We also rate the programs (G, PG, PG-13) so that no one is surprised by the films’ contents.

In addition to the regular film programs, we’re hosting several special showcases and events. For example, in honor of the festival’s 6th anniversary, a “6th Dam Year” Mixer will be held on Friday, February 12th at 7:30 pm at the Boulder Dam Brewing Co. The first 25 guests to the Mixer at the Brewery will receive a free ticket to any program.

Since the festival once again overlaps Valentine’s Day weekend, a special romantic program is returning. On Saturday, February 13th at 4:45 p.m., Valentine’s Day will be celebrated with a “Love & Romance” program. The first 20 ticket-holding couples to arrive will receive a free box of valentine’s chocolates.

Local filmmakers are also highlighted by two programs.  The “Nevada Filmmakers” showcase will occur Friday, February 12th at 9 p.m. and will screen 6 films from up-and-coming Las Vegas filmmakers. The “Best of the AI” Showcase will take place Thursday, February 11th at 7 p.m. and will show off the student and faculty work from the Art Institute of Las Vegas and the Art Institute’s nationwide network of colleges. The Art Institutes offer media arts, animation, and digital filmmaking programs.

In addition, we have two programs designed for particular age groups. “Good Hang, Hot Topics” is a program just for teens that plays at 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, February 11. “Family Time!” returns once again on Saturday, February 13th at 9 a.m. While the teen program features stories of romance, broken families, lousy jobs, and other teen issues, the family program is aimed at kids of all ages.

Tickets are $6 per program. You can also purchase a 3-Day Pass for $50. For more information on programs, events, times, and tickets, please visit www.damshort or call 447-4747. 3-Day Passes will go on sale February 1st at the front desk of the historic Boulder Dam Hotel.

Once again, we’re looking for volunteers and sponsors. We have seven different sponsorship levels to fit every budget level and can offer advertising in return. Although cash donations are always welcome, we will also consider in-kind donations of goods and services that might aid the festival. For more information on sponsorships, please visit our website.

Volunteers that work one 4-hour shift receive a free Staff Pass, which gives the holder access to all films and events. Volunteers that work two or more 4-hour shifts receive a Staff Pass and festival T-shirt. Volunteers handle such duties as box office sales, guest filmmaker relations, souvenir sales, and general assistance to the festival’s board of directors. If you’d like to volunteer, e-mail us at

As a final note, the festival has expanded its current board of directors. Lee Lanier has moved to the position of executive director. Charlene Brewer has taken over the duties of director. Additional board members include Art Lynch, Leslie Paige, and Ken Cioe. If you see us on the street, be sure to say “Hello.” We’ll see you at the 2010 festival!

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