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Nevada City Film Festival kicks off

The 11th Annual Nevada City Film Festival (NCFF) presented by AJA Video Systems, kicks off Thursday, August 18 and runs through Sunday, August 21, 2011. This year, over 60 films – both short and full length independent dramas, comedies, documentaries and animation films from around the world – will screen in three beautiful art house theatres and charming historic buildings in downtown Nevada City, CA.

Since 2001, NCFF has brought top independent cinema to the foothills of Northern California. It’s no secret that we love film and filmmakers. They provide us with escape and entertainment; inspire us with heart-felt stories and breath taking imagery; and give us a reason to come together in a shared, and often times, powerful, life changing experience. From swimming in the mighty Yuba River by day to watching films at night, we hope you thoroughly enjoy your weekend in Nevada City.

NCFF is excited to announce that this year’s opening film is “Someplace With a Mountain”. Narrated by Chevy Chase, this documentary tells the story of a small group of Island Atolls that are disappearing because of sea rise. The people who live there did not understand what was to soon be their ultimate fate. By chance in 2004, sailor Steve Goodall came across them in his travels and discovered they knew nothing of global warming and its affects. Once informed, they asked for his help. Here, we observe a culture at a crossroads and a celebration of a living culture. Goodall will also be on hand for a filmmaker Q&A and to screen a never before seen trailer of Part 2 of the film. We will also show three incredible shorts Pioneer, The Other Astronaut and The Star Shepard.

A handful of other highly anticipated documentaries screening at this year’s film festival include "Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone". The iconic Laurence Fishburne narrates this story about Fishbone, one of the most original bands of the last 25 years. Featuring interviews with Flea, Gwen Stefani, Ice-T, Perry Farrell, Branford Marsalis, George Clinton, Tim Robbins, Gogol Bordello, ?uestlove, and others, Everyday Sunshine traces the band's history, influence, and struggle as individualistic, genre-blending artists up against an unforgiving music industry that threatens to pass them by. Filmmaker Chris Metzler will be on hand for Q&A following the film.

Did you know there was a raging Wizard Rock scene in this country? Neither did we. From the SXSW Film Fest to the NY Underground Film Festival, We Are Wizards has racked up the accolades for it's heartfelt and entertaining look at the intriguing world of Harry Potter fandom. Film.com named the film one of the 10 best films of the year.

In keeping with the music theme (Nevada City known for being a music town is home to Joanna Newsom, Roger Hodgson from Supertramp, Dan Elkan of Broken Bells, and Roy Rogers, among others) we will screen a sneak preview of the upcoming music documentary Music In Mali: Life Is Hard, Music Is Good about the musicians, dancers and people of Mali who every day create inspiring heartfelt music in some of the most difficult living conditions in West Africa. Music In Mali features artists such as Djeli Mady Tounkara, Mangala Camara, Lobi Traore, Ami Koita, Zani Diabate, Toumani Diabate, Djeneba Seck and many others.

Kevin, directed by Jay Duplass (Cyrus, The Puffy Chair). First screened at SXSW and is a documentary film about Kevin Gant, the Duplass Brothers' hero. They reveled in Kevin's exploratory musical style and playful spirituality. But in 1995, Kevin mysteriously disappeared. Duplass' documentary debut explores who Kevin is, how he lost his inspiration, and what he must do to get it back. Following the film will be a performance and Q&A with Kevin Gant.

Another film that made a splash at SXSW winning the Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short was Pioneer, directed by David Lowery and stars song-writer Will Oldham aka Bonnie "Prince" Billy, the film is an epic bedtime story that is one part history, two parts make believe and riddled through and through with the honest-to-goodness truth. Producer James Johnston will be in attendance. Johnston will also screen his short film The Knife, a tale of greed and vengeance. The film stars Charles Baker, best known as Skinny Pete in AMC’s Breaking Bad.

We know that sounds like a lot of music, but don't worry we've got plenty of award-winning short films. The international collection of shorts (from France, Syria, Spain, Germany, etc) tells of the human drama in many tongues. Bridges are crossed, journeys completed, but the travels and the travails, no matter how exotic the locale, are uncannily familiar and deeply poignant. It's always our aim here at the NCFF to slather on the laughs, and this year the humor gamut ranges from a comedy of errors to a slapstick political crisis involving, um….terrorist bears.

The Nevada City Film Festival Comedy Show returns this year with the wickedly funny Brent Weinbach (Lopez Tonight, Comedy Central, FunnyOrDie.com) Brendan Walsh (Conan, Jimmy Kimmel, HBO), Eric Andre (Lopez, Comedy Central), Lizzy Cooperman (NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Tosh.0, MTV) and hosted by DJ Douggpound (Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!), Local comedy group Best Friends Club opens the show.

This year's prestigious jury includes Michael Moore's producer Anne Moore, filmmaker Geoff Marslett, Huffington Post contributor and film critic Lisa Derrick, writer & personality Job O Brother, and Sid Garcia-Heberger of the historic Crest Theatre in Sacramento, CA.

For a complete listing of films head on over to www.nevadacityfilmfestival.com.

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