Sunday, April 5, 2020

2020 Ely Film Festival

Ely, Nevada held its inaugural film festival in 2020. As part of it, they held a student film competition. The rules were: limit of 5 minutes long, theme of macabre (gloomy, grim), must include a scene from White Pine County, a pocketwatch, and the line, "Look at the fine mess you've gotten us into." The competition was announced in mid-January, with the entries due the beginning of March. I told the kids they had to enter, as I thought they'd gain some good skills from it. I advised them to do their filming in January and editing in February. Of course they didn't listen and were rather last minute. But hopefully they learned from that!

The Ely Film Festival had a fun schedule. We couldn't attend the Friday events, but we went for the Saturday afternoon session, which included a panel on drone photography. They showed a couple videos from Spirit of Nevada, a series that has done short videos for various places around Nevada. They've done four for Ely and the area, and they do a good job showing what the county looks like.

Next was a session about short videos that had been filmed in Ely, including this AT&T commercial that used the Nevada Northern Railway. We heard about how snowy conditions made the shoot harder than expected.

Then it was on to watching the student videos and awards. Desert Girl and her best friend made a movie. Actually they made three, but could only submit one. They learned lots about video editing on iMovie (fortunately after a few instructions, they flew through it), camera angles, and just how much you can make up and still have the audience believe you. They were a little shy when they were called up to the front, but did well answering questions. Their movie was called Murder Past Midnight.

Desert Boy wasn't so shy. He seemed to really enjoy talking in front of the crowd. His movie was called Scorched. It's set in a post-apocalyptic White Pine County. He lucked out in that when he filmed it, the weather was terrible.

Desert Boy ended up getting second place and The Nevada First Lady's Choice. He was delighted with that. Here they are all posing with Robin from the Nevada Film Office.

We were at the Postal Palace, so I had the kids pose in front of the post office boxes.

And here are the student films. Remember, the theme is macabre, so they are all a little dark.
Second place and First Lady's Choice:

This one was by an adult, and next year there will be an adult category.

Honorable Mention

Third place

First place

There were also feature length films shown in the evenings, but they were rated PG-13, so we didn't stay for those, but the people that did really enjoyed them. The directors gave talks about the movie, which helped the viewers understand the movies even better.

Friday night was The Great Darkened Days by Quebec's Maxime Giroux. The film won many prizes in Canada, including best cinematography. Much of it was filmed in and near Ely.

Saturday night was the world premier of Dutch Marich's Reaptown. Dutch is from nearby Ruth, Nevada, and the film was entirely shot in Ely.

I think this Film Festival is just going to keep growing. Nevada has some spectacular scenery, and I know of some film makers who filmed a month earlier this year specifically in White Pine County.

The dates for next year's Ely Film Festival have been set: March 12-14, 2021! Like their Facebook Page to stay up to date.

1 comment:

jhami said...

These are great! Thanks for all your help with transportation too! Ava loved it.

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