“Mammoth Film Festival” muscles in on Mammoth Lakes Film Fest’s territory
This spring, a group that is in no way affiliated with the critically acclaimed Mammoth Lakes Film Festival announced it will be hosting the first annual “Mammoth Film Festival.” The announcement has generated some confusion around town. The inaugural event for the Mammoth Film Festival has been set for February 2018.
The physical address for the festival office listed on the website is 6201 Minaret Road, but there’s no post office box number. Its emblem features a gondola. According to its website, mammothfilmfestival.org, its partners include Mammoth Rock and Bowl, the Town of Mammoth Lakes and Mammoth Mountain.
A representative from Mammoth Rock and Bowl told The Sheet they were unsure whether the business had endorsed the festival.
“The group approached Mammoth Lakes Tourism this winter,” said Lara Kaylor, Director of Communication for Mammoth Lakes Tourism. Representatives from the Mammoth Film Festival asked to be put on the agency’s online calendar of events. Kaylor replied that Mammoth Lakes Tourism would be happy to put the Mammoth Film Festival in its annual event calendar once the event becomes a bona fide festival, complete with a published lineup.
Stuart Brown, Special Events Coordinator for the Town of Mammoth Lakes, told The Sheet the there is no formal agreement between the town and the festival. He said the town encourages commerce and festivals and that there does not seem to be a conflict of interest with the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival, as the new Mammoth Film Festival is set to be held in February. The Mammoth Lakes Film Festival is held annually on Memorial Day Weekend.
Shira Dubrovner, founder of the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival, said it doesn’t take much to realize the similarities between the festivals and that it’s clearly a conflict. She said it’s a double-edged sword. She’s wants to get the word out that the Mammoth Film Festival is not the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival, but is wary because she knows that any press is good press for the Mammoth Film Festival.
“There is also the reputation of the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival to consider,” Dubrovner said. If filmmakers submit their work to the new festival and realize it’s not the Mammoth Lakes Festival, it makes both festivals look bad, like no one in the town knows what they’re doing or who’s in charge.