Mammoth Film Festival takes over Minaret Cinemas, Village
The Mammoth Film Festival debuts this weekend at Minaret Cinemas.
Over this weekend (February 8-11), the Festival will screen 15 feature films (including six world premieres) and 105 short films.
There will also be a slew of panel discussions, including a “Women in Film” panel on Sunday at the Brasserie at Mammoth Rock ‘n Bowl, followed by screenings at the theater.
The Festival schedule is posted at www.mammothfilmfestival.org. At the website, you will also find ticket/pass information.
There are special rates for local residents, including $10 for a single premiere or $20 for a one-day pass. An All-Access badge good for all events is $300.
Festival headquarters are located in the Village Lodge conference rooms at the Village at Mammoth. This is also the site of what event producers are calling MammothCon, a trade show and exhibition hall which is free and open to the public and includes an interactive virtual reality component.
Another free event is Saturday’s 4:30 p.m. screening of John Wayne’s “North to Alaska.” Members of the Wayne family will be in attendance. Some scenes of the film were shot locally along Hot Creek.
The opening night gala took place Thursday night at 53 Kitchen & Cocktails in the Village.
The closing awards ceremony will take place Sunday evening at Canyon Lodge with live entertainment by Eric Tessmer. Tessmer is described by his hometown Austin, Texas American-Statesman as a blues-rocker. The first line of an August, 2017 interview with Tessmer by Bryan Rolli is fairly priceless. Tessmer is quoted as saying, “I am paid poorly to exploit my own personal human experience, and the payoffs are mental illness and dying poor.”
Access to the closing ceremony requires a Festival Badge.
The Mammoth Film Festival is the brainchild of co-founders Tanner Beard, Tomik Mansoori and Theo Dumont.
The Sheet spoke with Beard, who also serves as the Festival’s President, and Alexandra Chando, its Operations Manager, outside Minaret Cinemas on Wednesday.
Beard said the Festival has been “Something I’ve wanted to do for eight years.”
A filmmaker in his own right, Beard produced a documentary (directed by Tim Newfang) called “Sons of St. Clair” about the rap group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. That film will screen at 7:45 p.m. on Saturday night.
Beard fell in love with Mammoth when he had a film screened at the first Mammoth Film Festival in 2008.
“When I heard they were not going to do it again, I became interested,” he said.
He bought the defunct name a few years ago, he said.
This has ended up causing somewhat of a stir, as in the intervening years between the last Mammoth Film Festival and this one, Shira Dubrovner has created the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival, which will celebrate its fourth year in 2018 over Memorial Day weekend.
Dubrovner has since filed a lawsuit against the Mammoth Film Festival, saying the names are too similar and that has led to confusion within the industry.
Mono County Superior Court Judge Mark Magit has allowed the Mammoth Film Festival to operate this year under its name until the case can be formally decided.
Whatever the name, Beard maintained this could very well be the biggest first year festival ever produced. “It’s about 700 percent larger than I anticipated,” he laughed. “We had too much time to plan it. That’s why it’s grown to this level … I don’t think people anticipated the talent we’re bringing in.”