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Cover Story
by Ihla Crowley
Dam Short Film Society

The Dam Short Film Festival Enters Its Third Year
How does a young, talented couple moving to Boulder City meet new people and integrate themselves into their new community? If they are Lee and Anita Lanier, they start the Dam Short Film Festival. The catchy name may have played its part, but in truth, the success of this fledgling undertaking is primarily due to the Lanier’s enthusiasm and hard work. The festival has also tapped into the growing filmmaking community in Nevada.




Craig Corey, designer of the 2007 awards, Wilson Bell, winner of Best Drama award, Lee Lanier, Anita Lanier

The third annual Dam Short Film Festival, showcasing 100 short films, will again be held in Boulder City’s American Legion Hall, at 508 California Avenue. The festival will occur February 8-11, spanning 4 full days. In its short history, this event has garnered warm acceptance by the discerning Boulder City populace, and recognition in the Nevada film community at large. Indeed, it is quickly becoming ‘the’ film festival of choice by short filmmakers nationally, and is gaining a reputation internationally as well.

This is no accident. Founder Lee Lanier is a recognized expert in the film animation industry. He is an award-winning computer animator and director of short films, music videos, and TV commercials. His work has played over 200 film festivals, galleries, and museums worldwide. Lee served as a Senior Animator on “Shrek” and “Antz” at PDI/Dreamworks before forming his own animation company, BeezleBug Bit, right here in Boulder City. He also teaches computer animation at the Art Institute of Las Vegas, and has written two books on the subject.

Lee’s wife, Anita, is a professional massage therapist. Shortly after arriving in Boulder City, she joined the Boulder City Arts Council, where she met Boulder City’s super-volunteer and community liaison Nicky Collins. In 2004, the three formed the non-profit corporation, Dam Short Film Society (DSFS), and put out a call to the film community for submissions of 1- to 40-minute short films, and received over 300 submissions. 100 of these submissions were selected, and in February of 2005 they were screened at the first-ever Dam Short Film Festival, where more than 1000 people attended the 3-day event. Boulder City native filmmaker Evan Nix created quite a stir as he debuted his first film.

Later in 2005, two new members were added to the DSFS board, Ihla Crowley, founding director of the Boulder City Chautauqua, and Kae Pohe, owner of the Hoover Dam Store. Kae and his entourage of talented employees brought a new dimension to the 2006 Dam Short Film Festival by decorating the Legion Hall and Boulder Dam Hotel in Hollywood splendor, including huge red banners and gold stars, a red carpet, and limo service for the arrival of the filmmakers, who loved this special attention.

In 2006 Kirk Buckendorf, a former student of Lee’s, and aspiring animator himself, was brought on board, adding a fresh perspective to the organization. Kirk developed a My Space page, which has brought the festival to a new level of recognition throughout the world (www.myspace.com/damshortfilmfestival).

In typical Boulder City fashion, volunteers have come forth in abundance to serve as ticket-takers, doorkeepers, concession workers, and help in many other capacities. The event could not take place without them. Local artists are chosen each year to design the award trophies, posters, and T-shirts.

The 2007 festival consists of 21 different 60- to 90-minute film programs, each of which contains 6 to 12 short films with a particular theme – drama, comedy, documentary, sci-fi/horror, student films, and so on. Tickets are $5 per program and may be purchased at the door. 4-Day Passes, good for all screenings and events, will also be available for $40 and may be purchased at the door or at the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce (702-293-2034).

Please join us this February 8-11, at the American Legion Hall, at 508 California Avenue. For more information, call (702) 293-4848, or log on to www.damshortfilm.org.




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