The 4th Annual Mammoth Lakes Film Fest kicked off this Memorial Day weekend with screenings of features and shorts. It is a fast growing showcase for up and coming directors and producers set in the mountains of the Mammoth ski resort. The town is much more chill than I expected it to be, as it’s just opened up for its summer season of biking, boating, and hiking. The festival has taken over the town for a few days.
Yesterday was the Producers Panel, where attendees and filmmakers gathered to listen to the wisdom of a select group of producers, including Rachel Winter, who worked on getting the Dallas Buyers Club made for twenty years. They were asked about what filmmakers and producers need to know about getting films made and seen. It comes down to what it always has come down to: tenacity, passion, dedication, risk taking, not listening to the word “no.” They touched a bit on the changing landscape of distribution, including Netflix, with good and bad things to say about the state of things. Down the street the two movies playing at the theater were Solo and Deadpool 2, which mostly says everything about the current state of theatrical all over the country. This was a group of independent folks, mostly, who are tasked with keeping real movies alive in the midst of branded product.
The Mammoth Lakes Film Fest folks kept things comfortable for attendees with a lavish breakfast for the panel, easy access to screenings, and a well organized program overall. Look up and you see snow covered mountains. The air is clean, a river runs through it, making Mammoth Lakes one of the most beautiful spots in California.
The evening saw a tribute to Melissa Leo and a screening of Frozen River moderated by Festival Director Shira Dubrovner, which proves the independent spirit is alive and well here in the Sierra mountains.
Love, Gilda will screen tonight and is already sold out.