September 23, 2014
The following article appeared in the Bullhead City Bee about Laughlin International Film Festival where Ride The Sky will make its Nevada premiere.
3rd Laughlin International Film Festival set for Oct. 16-19
By CAT SMITH
Special to the Bee
LAUGHLIN, Nev. – Filmmakers, writers, directors, actors and visitors from all over the world will once again converge on the small resort/gaming community of Laughlin, Nev., Oct. 16-19 for the 3rd Annual Laughlin International Film Festival (LIFF).
A long line-up of independent films from all over will be brought to life on the big screen for four consecutive days at the Phoenix Big Cinemas Stadium 9 Theater complex inside the Laughlin Outlet Center from Oct. 16 through Oct. 19.
“This year’s film line-up promises to be a great, diverse mix of independent short and feature- length films,” said Erik Karsen Puhm, director of LIFF. The prestigious event will kick off on Oct. 16 with red carpet arrivals followed by a special screening of a feature-length film that will soon be announced. Last year’s opening film was “Red Wing, “starring Luke Perry, Frances Fisher, Bill Paxton and newcomer Breann Thompson, who, along with other cast and crew members, attended the film festival and held a meet-and-greet shortly following the premiere.
Red Wing won the 2013 U.S. LIFF ‘Pick’ category and went on to win at several other film festivals across the nation. The ‘indie’ film is now available for streaming on demand with Amazon, Hulu and Netflix.
Director and writer Brian Brown, of Needles, Calif., will premiere his newest short flick ‘Verdict.’ This is Brown’s third time submitting a film into the film festival. Verdict centers around the high profile trial of a woman accused of stabbing her boyfriend to death. “The story goes through the trial and really shows both sides of the case and leaning on both sides of guilty or innocent,” Brown explained. “The ending will definitely have the audience talking for sure.”
Brown said he filmed a large portion of the courtroom scenes at the historic Mohave County Superior Courthouse in Kingman – in just one day. “Even though it wasn’t the easiest time frame, we shot about 90 percent of it in a day,” he said. “The cast and crew have worked together on a lot of projects so it really helped make the most of our limited time in the location.”
In 2012, Brown took home the award for ‘Best Local Film’ for his first short film venture, “Choices” and again, in 2013, for his movie “Dream Date.”
Newcomer to the film industry, veteran journalist Andrea Z. Smith, of Needles, has written and produced a documentary titled “Victim” for this year’s film festival.
The documentary is based on Smith’s script, “If I Die Before I Wake,” that was broadcast in 2004 by ABC/FOX networks as well as news station KESQ in Palm Desert, Calif. News reporter Mina Nguyen gave a compelling report on rape survivor Sunny Coleman, who later became an advocate for victims of sexual assault. Her case in 1986 was the first rape case in Southern California where the then new scientific technique – DNA – was used to identify the assailants.
Brown and Smith are just two of many film industry movers and shakers who will be on hand for this years LIFF festivities. “Last year, we had over 50 entries that included several feature-length, short films, three television pilots, music videos and 10 documentaries,” said Dave Davidson, LIFF’s director of operations. “The one thing we can’t stress enough is that this festival is geared for everyone.” Davidson emphasizes that the film festival is also an opportunity for filmmakers to showcase their work. “We just want everyone to come out and enjoy the movies that are being screened,” he said.
Those interested in attending four days of fun-filled activities and screenings of films can purchase discounted pre-sale VIP “all access” passes for only $75 each ($55 for seniors) during the month of September. The VIP passes includes admittance to all the film screenings during the four-day event, as well as entry to all the social networking activities.
Social highlights include the “red carpet” arrival; screening of the opening film and an ‘after party’ at Casa Serrano’s Restaurant in Laughlin, Nev., on Oct. 16; Cosmic Bowling and Halloween bash on Oct. 17 at the Riverside Resort and Casino bowling alley; LIFF’s award ceremony inside the Tropicana Pavilion Theater on Oct. 18 and a morning breakfast with a panel session on Oct. 19 that includes several directors, writers and film creators.
Attendees not wanting to attend all four days of events can purchase individual film tickets for features and short blocks showings at $10 each for adults and $8 each for seniors/students. Each short block consists of approximately an hour and one-half of short films and documentaries. A full list of movies and screening times will be announced in the near future.
The discounted VIP “all access” passes are available for purchase online at: www.laughlinfilmfestival.com. All LIFF VIP “will call” tickets will be available for pick up at the LIFF sales table which will be located in front of the Phoenix 9 Stadiums beginning at 9 a.m. on Oct. 16.
For more information, please visit: www.laughlinfilmfestival.com or call (702) 755-8391.
(Catherine ‘Cat’ Smith, for the past decade, has worked as a regional, general assignment news reporter, writing about a variety of news and feature topics. She is currently serving as the media specialist for the Laughlin International Film Festival and can be contacted by calling (928) 201-9606).