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Dam Short Film

The Dam Short Film Festival screens 100 unique shorts of varied subject, style, and year. The festival hosts a film market and is held in a historic theater and hotel in charming Boulder City, Nevada (20 miles from the Las Vegas Strip).


Festival Overview

1) To present the highest-quality short films for our attending audiences to enjoy. These may include shorts films that are inventively creative, deftly executed, presented with a rarely-seen topic, or arrive from an unusual corner of society, the globe, or the filmmaker mind.

2) To treat participating filmmakers as well as possible. After all, if there were no filmmakers, there would be no film festival!


The Dam Short Film Festival was founded in 2005 by Lee and Anita Lanier. As a professional computer animator, Lee had the chance to have his own animated short films screen at film festivals around the world. As such, Lee and Anita fell in love with the short film format and decided to present the best short films they could find to audiences in Boulder City and the surrounding Las Vegas area. For the first three years, the festival was held in Boulder City American Legion Hall. In 2008, due to rapid growth, the festival moved to the historic Boulder Theatre. The theatre was built in 1931 for Hoover Dam construction worker and has since been purchased and restored by Desi Arnaz Jr. 2015 marked the 11th anniversary of the Dam Short Film Festival. Steady growth has left the event perhaps the largest and best-attended film festival in Nevada. In addition to short film screenings, which are arranged in thematic programs, the festival hosts filmmaker panels, parties, mixers, and Q&A session. Over the years, the festival has honored such original filmmakers as Ray and Charles Eames, Jim Blashfield, Shannon Lark, and Jay Rosenblatt with special retrospectives and showcases. As the Dam Short Film Festival enters its second decade, plans are underway by the Society’s board of directors to maintain and expand upon the festival tradition of quality presentation.


There will be 7 Award Categories with an Audience Choice Award. The Award Categories are: Best Drama, Best Documentary, Best Animation, Best Sci-Fi / Horror, Best Comedy, Best Nevada Filmmaker, and Best Student. Audience award-winners will be chosen by audience votes through a unique and accurate "voting chip" method. Jury award-winners will be chosen by a panel of industry professionals. In addition, there is one Best of the Fest Award, chosen by the Audience.


Open to the public


The Dam Short Film Festival welcomes short films with any content and in any style, whether it be live-action, documentary, or animation. That said, entries must be 40 minutes or under in length. The year of production, however, does not matter


A WAB Secure Online Screener, NTSC DVD, PAL DVD, or a digital file (.mov, .wmv, .avi) preview copy may be submitted for festival consideration. Selected films, however, must provide one of the following NTSC exhibition formats: Blu-Ray, DVD, or .mov digital file. PAL DVD exhibition copies are also acceptable. Exhibition copies must arrive at the festival office by January 16, 2015, so that they may be screened during the festival, February 4-7, 2015. No other formats will be accepted. By submitting to the 2015 Dam Short Film Festival, you agree to abide by these rules. Failure to submit an exhibition copy by January 24th (if your film is selected) will instantly disqualify your film from all award considerations. Once a film is submitted and selected, it cannot be withdrawn from the festival.


Year 11 Comes to a Close!

Year 11 Comes to a Close!

With fantastic weather, outstanding attendance numbers by both fans and filmmakers, and a programming lineup of 114 unique short films, The Dam Short Film Festival finished its 11th season in great form. Over three hundred people packed the historic Boulder Theatre for the Best of the Fest Award Screening, and everyone had a great time at the Filmmaker Meet-n-Greet, 11th Dam Mixer, and the Post Awards Party!

At The Dam Short Film Festival, the audience chooses the award winners. Victorious this season:

                                                   Best Student: The Red House directed by Jiaqi Lin

                                                   Best Documentary: The Noble Spirit directed by Andrea Johnson and Robert Holmes

                                                   Best Animation: Me + Her directed by Joseph Oxford

                                                   Best Sci-Fi / Horror: The Stomach directed by Ben Steiner

                                                   Best Drama: Till Then directed by Benjamin Wolff

                                                   Best Comedy: The Gunfighter directed by Eric Kissack

                                                   Best Nevada Filmmaker: Rule of Love directed by Adam Zielinski

                                                   Best of the Fest: Down in Flames: The True Story of Tony “Volcano” Valenci directed by William Stribling

Congratulations to the award winners and to everyone who participated this year! The Board of Directors of The Dam Short Film Festival would like to extend its thanks to this season’s sponsors, donors, filmmakers, attendees, and to the fine people of Boulder City for making this year one of the best events in our history! Curious about 2016? There’s some post-fest clean-up work to do, but we’ll be announcing next season’s dates soon!


About Dam Short Film

The Dam Short Film Festival screens 100 unique shorts of varied subject, style, and year. The festival hosts a film market and is held in a historic theater and hotel in charming Boulder City, Nevada (20 miles from the Las Vegas Strip).

Boulder City

United States

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