Category Archives: Local News

Mammoth Lakes Film Festival Awards Announced

The five-day Mammoth Lakes Film Festival concludes with nods that include some surprises

Submitted by the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival
June 2nd, 2016

The Mammoth Lakes Film festival concluded on Sunday, May 29th with the award-winning documentary SONITA, followed by a lively, music and fun-filled awards presentation at Sierra Events Center.  Over 50 films were screened over the five day fest, including premieres, presentation of the first ever Sierra Spirit Award to legendary director Joe Dante, filmmaker bonding at screenings and events, including a film fest hosted trip to Bodie ghost town. Awards, detailed below, included the presentation of the physical Orson trophy, each one with its own personality, and all created by local artist Josh Slater.
Jury Award for Feature Narrative – BODKIN RAS, a first time feature by director Kaweh Modiri. This Dutch film, shot in the remote town of Forres Scotland, caught the Jury by surprise with its intriguing blend of documentary and fiction. Its lyrical images, Poetic construction and poignant performances have indelible haunting effects that stay with the viewer.
$10K Camera package from Panavision
$10K Post production package from Light Iron
$1,000.00 cash
Orson trophy
Jury Award for Feature Documentary – SONITA by director Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami.  The film gave the Jury a personal connection to a small, talented and compelling young woman trying to bridge the gap between her seemingly impossible dreams and her suppressive culture. The filmmaker who brought this story took an untraditional role to change the course of the young woman’s path.
Scarlett Red Digital Cinema Camera package
$1,000 dollars cash
Orson trophy
Special Mention Feature Documentary – UNDER THE SUN by director Vitaly Mansky. The Mammoth Lakes Film Festival Documentary Award for Courage is given to a film that was incredibly compelling and beautifully crafted. The filmmaker undertook a project under challenging conditions and revealed to us a world rarely seen in the west.
Special Mention Feature Narrative – MAD by director Robert G. Putka. A beautifully written and realized film about mental illness, and the trickle-down effect it has upon a mother’s relationship with her two grown daughters, their relationship with each other, and the challenges of living the broken lives they’ve inherited from their mom.
Best Narrative Short – A NIGHT IN TOKORIKI by director Roxana Stroe. Without dialogue this film sets the scene for a night out that celebrates becoming an adult while forbidden love is revealed. From its first frame to the last, this film creates a world with passion and empathy for its characters, in a setting that captures the humor and sometimes danger of true love.
GoPro Hero4 Black
$500.00 cash
Orson trophy
Honorable Mention Narrative Short – TISURE by director Adrian Geyer. Calm, deliberate and beautifully set, the jury would like to give an honorable mention to TISURE- a film that allows the viewer to become lost in a visual story that invokes awe and inspiration.
Best Doc/Animation Short – THE SECOND LIFE by director Eugene Pankov. This wonderfully honest, heartfelt and touching portrait of a woman’s love for her mother broaches on the point of obsession and the absurd, but actually forces the viewer to think about second chances. For wouldn’t we all want to get another chance at life?
GoPro Hero4 Black
$500.00 cash
Orson trophy
Audience Award for Feature Narrative – BUDDYMOON by director Alex Simmons.
GoPro Hero4 Black
Orson trophy
Audience Award for Feature Documentary – LEARNING TO SEE by director Jake Oelman.
GoPro Hero4 Black
Orson trophy
Thank you to our illustrious Jury Members: Narrative Features – John Fiedler, Kelly Leow, and John Wirth; Documentary Features: Allison Amon, John Scheinfeld, and Katherine Tulich; Shorts: Bojana Sandic and Amanda Salazar
We also thank our sponsors: Honda, Panavision, RED digital Cinema, Light Iron, Cineverse, Paul and Kathleen Rudder, Mammoth Lakes Recreation Measure U, Mono County and Alicia Vennos, Sierra Nevada Resort, Eberle Winery, Blue Moon, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, The Westin Monache Resort, The Obsidian, GoPro, Snowcreek Resort, Tim and Pam Bartley, Juliana Olinka-Jones, Sierra Wave Media, and the Mammoth Lakes Lions club.
We thank our team: Festival Manager Shaun Reitman; Matt Johnstone, Festival Publicist; Lead Projectionist Brian Moratoya; Venue Managers Kim Kittinger and Chuck Scatolini; the staff at the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival; Our festival interns Gabe Gerson and Elise and Elisa Prepatit; and Jeff Frome for tending bar for the last 3 days, and all our volunteers.  We could not do this festival without you.
And our last, we thank our filmmakers; without you there is no festival.

Big Pine’s Bob Church Retiring

Event Friday honoring Bob Church

June 1, 2016
by Arnie Palu

After 3 plus decades of services Big Pine’s Bob Church is retiring.  Church has served as a teacher, coach and athletic director for 34 years.  A dessert potluck celebration will be held this Friday, June 3rd at 3:45 in Big Pine High School’s Helen Lund Square.

Fellow Teacher Amanda Marsh is organizing the Friday celebration and is asking folks to bring a dessert to share as they celebrate Church’s legacy.

Any questions can be directed to Amanda Marsh, teacher at Big Pine School (760)938-2222.

big pine high school, big pine high school sports, bob church, big pine warriors

Inyo 150 Geologic Field Trip

Wagner leading Geologic Field Trip

May 31, 2016
submitted by David Woodruff

Friends of the Eastern California/Inyo 150 Geologic Field Trip
In collaboration with Inyo County’s Sesquicentennial celebration, the Friends of the Eastern California Museum (FECM) will be offering a special Field Trip, “Geologic Features of the Owens Valley.” The field trip will be conducted by Independence resident and noted geologist Dave Wagner on Saturday June 11th.

Dave Wagner is a retired field geologist for the California Geological Survey, where he worked for 38 years. He lives in Independence with his wife Lynn Johnson (a retired archaeologist). Dave & Lynn are both members of the FECM Board of Trustees.

The field trip will visit some of the major geologic features in the Owens Valley including the Alabama Hills, the Big Pine Volcanic Field, Owens Lake and alluvial fans. Participants will meet at the Lone Pine Interagency Visitor Center parking lot at 8:30 a.m. The cost is $25 per person, and $20 for members of the FECM. Bottled water will be available and bring hats and sunscreen. Car-pooling is encouraged.

The lunch stop will be at the Eastern California Museum. Box lunches will be available for purchase from the Owens Valley Growers Cooperative for $10. They’ll even deliver them to the museum.

The trip is limited to 35 people and is expected to sell out quickly. To sign up for the trip or for more information, please call the Eastern California Museum at (760) 878-0364.

Dave Wagner HR
Photo by David Woodruff

Family Emergency forces Michael Martin Murphey to cancel Mule Days Show

Martin Murphey out, Dave Stamey and others step in

May 26, 2016

Mule Days scrambles to fill void.
Comedian Frankie “Punkintown” Smith will open.
Fiddlin’ Pete Watercott, Neil Gelvin and Pete Charles will perform.
Dave Stamey will close tonight’s show.

Statement from Mule Days:

Michael Martin Murphey, country music headliner for Bishop Mule Days Celebration, has had to cancel his appearance tonight due to an unexpected and possibly devastating family emergency.

From  Michael:

“I have cancelled my show in Bishop, CA for Mule Days on May 26, 2016 because of a family emergency. My precious mother is critically ill and I am rushing to be by her side. I have been looking forward to performing at Mule Days again with great anticipation; I wish I could be there, but I will return to Bishop as soon as possible.

Just so you know, my mother sewed me Western shirts and kept me in jeans, boots and cowboy hats from the time I was a child. My Mom and Dad sent me to family ranches every summer so I could learn cowboy skills, even though we lived in the big city of Dallas, Texas. They encouraged me to work at a Christian youth camp called Sky Ranch in Lewisville, Texas when I was a teen, and there I first had a job singing cowboy songs around a campfire and teaching kids to ride a horse and outdoor skills.  They believed that the Western Way of Life is a great way to bring up kids. I owe my career as a singing cowboy from Texas to my mother and father, who loved the Lone Star State and what it stands for. They loved the cattle ranching culture.  Dad is gone now but Mom still encourages me to “keep it Western.” What America needs now, more than ever, is people like my Mom and Dad- city people who support country people in their stewardship of the world’s grasslands through responsible ranching. I know the show in Bishop is sold out; my deepest thanks to all my supporters. You can count on me to return to Bishop as soon as possible.  As my Dad, who was my business manager used to say, “We’ll make it work, son!” I know my Mom agrees.”

Our hearts and prayers go out to Mr. Murphey and his family in his hour of need.

However, the show must go on!

We have put together an equally entertaining and incredible concert tonight.  Warming up tonight’s concert audience with laughter is stand-up comedian Frankie “Punkintown” Smith, Christian Country Music Association Comedian of the Year.  You may know Frankie as Bishop Mule Days Arena Clown with his trick pony “Turbo” and his mule “Minnie Pearl”.  A highly sought after entertainer Bishop Mule Days is excited to present!

Bishop Local legend Fiddlin’ Pete Watercott, 2014 Best Friend of the Packers, will be performing with fellow local musicians Neil Gelvin and Pete Charles.  They will be playing foot-stomping fiddle-tunes along with heart moving ballads, set to American Poet Curly Fletcher, such as “Strawberry Roan”.  Fiddlin’ Pete is a world-class fiddler who has played along with Michael Martin Murphey and Ian Tyson.  This is sure to be a toe tapping, two-stepping good time!

Dave Stamey, 2015 Western Music Association Entertainer of the Year, will be delighting tonight’s crowd with soulful vocals and guitar strumming to all his famous melodies, as well as more favorites from his newly released album “Western Stories”. Dave Stamey, a past Best Friend of Mule Days recipient, is a phenomenal performer who will entertain tonight’s audience with his upbeat performance of music that transcends all generations of music lovers!

Any questions please visit the front gate ticket booth, thank you!


Bishop Mule Days, Michael Martin Murphey, Dave Stamey, Pete Watercott

Manzanar hosts Citizenship Ceremony

Manzanar Historic Site hosts Naturalization Ceremony

May 25, 2016
by Allie Wilder

Today a Naturalization Ceremony took place at Manzanar National Historic Site in observance of Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The ceremony was part of a partnership between U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the National Park Service to host 100 Naturalization Ceremonies in 100 National Parks and Monuments to celebrate the National Park Service’s Centennial.

Keynote speaker Honorable Paul M. Igasaki congratulated the 14 local new citizens saying that they “Have altered the American Story today by becoming part of it”.

Both Igasaki and longtime Manzanar volunteer, 2016 National Park Service enduring service award winner and former internee Saburo Sasaki noted that until 1952 only those of European ancestry were eligible for naturalization. Sasaki urged the new citizens to exercise their new rights as the privilege of becoming American citizens has not always been available to everyone.

Bernadette Johnson, superintendent of Manzanar National Historic Site noted that the story of Manzanar is “A story of the fragility of our constitutional rights” and that she hopes that this can become an annual event.

In her closing remarks Monica E. Toro from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services stated that making this an annual event will be their pleasure. The ceremony concluded with Voter Registration for the new citizens and a tour of Manzanar National Historic Site led by Saburo Sasaki.

The 14 new citizens taking their Oath of Allegiance. Photo by Allie Wilder
Manzanar national historic site, manzanar hosts citizenship ceremony, owens valley news

State Relaxes Water Restrictions

California removes water reduction requirement

May 25, 2016
submitted by the City of Bishop Public Works Department

The State of California has removed the requirement that City of Bishop water users reduce water use by 25%. While it removed this primary water conservation requirement, the state left other requirements in place. The state had implemented water conservation requirements last year in response to the drought. The state is relaxing some requirements due to more precipitation last winter.

To meet the 25% requirement, Bishop had limited watering to only between 5 pm and 9 am. Since the state has eliminated the 25% requirement and since City of Bishop water sources are relatively unaffected by the drought, City of Bishop water users are free to
water at any time during the day. Watering during cooler times would still be suggested because watering during those times is more efficient and probably better for your plants.
The state left the following water conservation requirements in place:

No outdoor irrigation such that water runs off irrigated area.

No outdoor irrigation during and within 48 hours after precipitation

No washing vehicles unless hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle

No washing driveways, sidewalks, and parking areas

No decorative water features unless there is recirculation

Landscaping for new homes must follow state requirements

The city has a standing water conservation incentive program available to help its water customers save water. The program provides free hose nozzles, hose timers, and irrigation system timers and provides rebates for some sprinkler systems and water conserving appliances. The incentives are available only to water customers of the City of Bishop and are limited to one per customer account. Also, quantities of the free items are limited.

Also remember that landscaping needs less water now than in the heat of the summer. Tailor your watering to the needs of the plants and lawn to avoid over-watering. Saving water saves money, reduces water rates, protects groundwater, and is the right thing to do. Contact the City of Bishop Department of Public Works at  873-8458 for more information on water conservation and the City’s water system.

city of Bishop public works department, city of bishop, state of california water restrictions, drought 2016

Ernie Blunt

Ernest Blunt, 1931-2016

Ernest “Ernie” Albert Blunt, a resident of Bishop for 60 years, passed away on May 22rd at the age of 84.

Ernie Blunt was born on November 2, 1931 in Lone Pine, California. Ernie split his high school years between Owens Valley High School where he lettered in baseball, Glenns Ferry High School in Idaho, and Bishop High School. Throughout his youth, Ernie worked as a packer for the Parker Blunt Pack Station taking visitors on mule packing adventures into the mountains.

Ernie joined the United States Air Force in 1951 where he served until 1955 in England at the RAF Fairfield air base as a mechanic. He met and developed a courtship with Margaret “Peggy”Rose Price. He proposed to Peggy prior to his return to the United States. Although they planned to get married in England, paperwork held things up. They were married a month later on July 18, 1955, at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Bishop.

Ernie initially joined the California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS) in 1955. He left CALTRANS and went to work for Inyo County in their Engineering Department in 1956, but returned to CALTRANS in 1957 and worked as a Heavy Equipment Mechanic in Bishop. Ernie spent 34 years with CALTRANS and officially retired on December 30, 1991.

Ernie spent his retirement years deer hunting, fishing, camping, attending Mule Days activities and his favorite activity—garage sales. Prior to his wife Peggy’s death one year ago on Mule Days, Peggy and Ernie were “regulars” at every local yard sale. It is weirdly coincidental that both would pass within 24 hours of exactly one year apart. Both Ernie and Peggy were to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary last year.

Ernie is survived by: daughters Helen Waitkus of Bishop; and Mandy McCarthy of Rohnert Park, CA; grand-daughter Kelsey McCarthy of New York City; and grandsons Joseph Blunt of Wasco, Oregon and Jack McCarthy of Orange County, CA.

A funeral and a public celebration of life service are not planned at this time but may be held in the future. Instead of flowers, please consider a tax-deductible memorial donation to the American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).


Citizenship Ceremony at Manzanar

USCIS Officers Travel to Manzanar To Swear in 14 Local People as U.S. Citizens

Submitted by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services

This is the First Naturalization Ceremony Held at Manzanar

FRESNO, Calif. – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will hold a swearing-in for 14 local people at Manzanar National Historic Site on May 25. Manzanar War Relocation Center was one of ten camps used during World War II to detain Japanese-Americans. USCIS chose this site in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander month, observed during May. The ceremony also observes the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, which oversees the site, which is located six miles south of Independence.

Speaking on that day is the Honorable Paul M. Igasaki, Chair and Chief Judge of the Administrative Review Board at the U.S. Department of Labor. He came to the DOL in 2010 after stints with Equal Justice Works and the Rights Working Group. At the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for six years, he participated in the development of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Earlier, he’d been the executive director of the Asian Law Caucus.

USCIS invites new citizens and their families and friends to share the experience via Twitter using the hashtag #newUScitizen.

For information about USCIS and its programs, please visit or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis) and the USCIS blog The Beacon.

WHEN: May 25, 11 a.m.

WHERE: Manzanar National Historic Site, NPS

5001 Highway 395

Independence, CA 93526

cover photo by Gary Young

Lecture on Hubble Telescope Set

Lecture on the Hubble Space Telescope

On Thursday June 9th at 5:30pm, Professor Daniel McIntosh will be giving a talk about the Hubble Space Telescope at the Bishop Campus of Cerro Coso Community College. The title of his talk will be “Hubble’s Legacy: Reflections on the Past, Present & Future of U.S. Astronomy”.

In April 1990, NASA launched the most well-known scientific instrument in history. As an astronomer and educator, Dr. McIntosh will discuss the scientific legacy of this great space observatory, describe who Edwin Hubble was and why the telescope was named after him. He will finish by examining the questions “how much did it cost to build the space observatory and was it worth it?”. The answers to these questions relate to the future of science in the U.S.

Dr. McIntosh is an Associate Professor of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He is an award-winning educator and an expert on the physical processes underlying the origins and growth of galaxies – a central feature of cosmic history. Dr. McIntosh has been involved with Hubble Space Telescope projects for over 15 years. He is Co-investigator of several major programs including CANDELS, the largest ever Hubble survey of distant galaxies. Professor McIntosh has co-authored over 60 publications based on Hubble Space Telescope data.

Mammoth Film Festival Set


 MAY 25th – 29th, 2016

Events include Four Gala Screenings plus

In-Person Award Presentation to Iconic Director Joe Dante

Spotlight Screening of Acclaimed documentary Beware the Slenderman

 Los Angeles, CA – April 28, 2016: Mammoth Lakes Film Festival, set in the majestic setting of Mammoth Lakes, California, has announced its line-up of screenings and events for the festival’s second edition. The five-day festival will take place over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, May 25 -29, 2016, and includes a tribute to legendary director Joe Dante, four Gala events, and narrative and documentary competition sections.


2016 Mammoth Lakes Film Festival Sponsors include: Honda, RED Digital Cinema, Panavision, Light Iron, GoPro, Town of Mammoth Lakes, Mono County, Paul and Kathleen Rudder, Sierra Nevada Resort & Spa (preferred lodging partner), Eberle Wines, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Blue Moon, and many others. 


The festival will present 14 films in Narrative and Documentary Competition, as well as additional events and special screenings. Gala events include the Opening Night Screening, sponsored by Westin Monaché Resort, and Party for Operation Avalanche, the centerpiece Sierra Spirit Award Presentation to iconic filmmaker Joe Dante, Spotlight Screening of acclaimed documentary Beware The Slenderman, a Gala Closing Night Screening for Sonita, and a closing night Awards Party.


Taking place five hours north of Los Angeles by car and thirty minutes south of the entrance to Yosemite National Park, the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival delivers an intimate and unique experience for festivalgoers, filmmakers, and industry guests, with the opportunity to experience screenings and events in a beautiful mountain setting. The festival presents a diverse selection from world premieres to film festival favorites, short film screenings, Q&As, and a Saturday morning Indie cartoon program for children, all taking place over the five days.  The festival will also include nightly gala events that celebrate the excitement and discovery of visionary filmmaking. 


“Our excellent film programs this year will thrill audiences and build on our tremendous success from last year. We are a destination film festival for audiences who want to experience the best in cinema while surrounded by the awe-inspiring natural beauty of Mammoth Lakes,” said Mammoth Lakes Film Festival Founder Shira Dubrovner. “I am particularly excited for our Centerpiece Gala, where we will present the first Sierra Spirit Award to legendary Hollywood director Joe Dante, and screen his classic film Innerspace”.


“This is our strongest selection yet of exciting and innovative films from around the world. Our mission is to go beyond trends to bring inspired and timeless independent filmmaking undiluted—directly to our audiences,” said Paul Sbrizzi, Director of Programming. 


Festival passes and individual tickets are available now.

Ticket sales and additional festival information can be found at:


Discounted lodging through the festival’s lodging partner Sierra Nevada Resort & Spa can be purchased with a 20% discount on by calling in or booking online at CODE – Theater)


All screenings and special events will take place in Mammoth Lakes, at venues including the Edison Theatre, the Forest Service Visitor’s Center Theater, the Minaret Cinemas, as well as the Mono Lake Visitor’s Center.


For press use only, festival stills can be downloaded here:


Narrative and Competition films will be eligible for multiple awards: The winning Documentary Feature receives a RED Scarlet digital camera; Panavision will provide the winning Narrative Feature with a $10,000 USD camera grant for their next project and a two-day color correction session from Light Iron. 


An Audience Award will be presented to feature films in both narrative and documentary categories.  Jury Awards will also be presented to short films. The Jury will be comprised of select film industry members, including producer John Fiedler (Serial Mom), Writer/Producer John Wirth (Hell On Wheels), Emmy® Nominated Documentary Filmmaker John Scheinfeld (The U.S. vs. John Lennon), Producer Allison Amon (Queen Of Versailles), and Amanda Salazar, Vice President Of Film Acquisitions At Fandor.





Operation Avalanche (USA) – Director: Matt Miller

This engrossing and tantalizing mockumentary takes place in 1967, during the height of the Cold War.  Four undercover CIA agents sent to NASA to pose as a documentary film crew discover one of the biggest conspiracies in American history around the Apollo space landing.  Opening Night Party will include entertainment by Ouroboros Shadow Pictures, an innovative shadow picture company.



Beware The Slenderman (USA) – Director: Irene Taylor Brodsky

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky, tells the mesmerizing and shocking story of a Boogeyman lurking on the internet and two 12-year-old girls who would kill for him. Ms. Taylor Brodsky, who spent innumerable hours with the two girls, their families and friends trying to understand how this tragedy could have happened, will be present for a Q&A immediately following the screening.

*Also in documentary feature competition



On Saturday evening we honor legendary director Joe Dante with our inaugural Sierra Spirit Award. The Sierra Spirit Award is given to an iconic and visionary filmmaker who inspires audiences, breaks boundaries, and has created visionary entertainment that has touched generations. Joe Dante’s tremendous body of work exemplifies storytelling passion and skill. His films include Small Soldiers, Gremlins 1 and 2, and The Howling.  We are proud to present a screening of Mr. Dante’s classic 1987 film Innerspace, followed by a conversation with Mr. Dante. Special guest appearance by actor Robert Picardo (Innerspace, Gremlins 2).



Sonita (Iran) – Director: Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami

The inspiring story of Sonita Alizadeh, an 18-year-old Afghan refugee in Iran, who thinks of Michael Jackson and Rihanna as her spiritual parents and dreams of becoming a big-name rapper. Her family has a very different future planned for her: as a bride she’s worth $9,000. 

*Also in documentary feature competition



All the Colors Of The Night (Brazil) – Director: Pedro Severin

Iris wakes up in her spacious seafront apartment, discovers a body in the living room and enlists the help of other women, setting off a spiral of redemption in an atmospheric drama of dark imagery and questionable reality.


Baby Bump (Poland) – Director: Kuba Czekaj

11-year-old Mickey House is no longer a child. But who is he? He has no clue. He has no friends. He hates what’s happening to his body. Reality and imagination blend together in a toxic mix of encroaching puberty. Growing up is not for kids.


Bodkin Ras (Netherlands) – Director: Kaweh Modiri

A young fugitive searches for a nonexistent home, in a small town called Forres, a Scottish town well-hidden between the Highlands and the North Sea. The characters in this town are all real people with traumas whose stories are incorporated into the film script, in which documentary and fiction are blended together.


Buddymoon (USA) – Director: Alex Simmons

Flula Borg (Pitch Perfect 2) stars in this buddy-flick comedy. Jilted groom David is convinced by his excitable best man, played by Flula, to continue with his planned honeymoon, a backcountry trek in the mountains of Oregon, in this comedic ode to friendship and the great outdoors.


Mad (USA) – Director: Robert Putka

A tragicomedy about a matriarch who passes the point of a nervous breakdown, her two daughters that don’t give a damn, and the heat-seeking missiles of resentment they toss at each other.


Last Summer (Italy) – Director: Leonardo Guerra Seragnoli

On a luxury yacht off the coast of Italy, a young mother has four days to leave her son with a lasting memory of her before she loses custody of him for many years. Starring

Academy Award nominated actress, Rinko Kikuchi (Pacific Rim, Babel).


On The Rocks (USA, World Premiere) – Directors: Ariel Gardner & Alex Kavutskiy

Dallas struggles to get ahead in life. As he is dealing with his father’s passing he must overcome the day to day obstacles that prevent him from making progress. When he thinks he has taken one step forward he soon will see that he took two steps back.



Atlan (Iran)Director: Moeen Karimoddini

Ali is a Turkman horse trainer; horses are his life. His beloved horse Ilhan has won him many prizes. Ali is planning to use Ilhan’s and his other horses’ awards money to pay for his wedding. But not everything goes favorably in the course of events.


Beware The Slenderman (USA) – Director: Irene Taylor Brodsky

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky, tells the story of a Boogeyman lurking on the internet and two 12-year-old girls who would kill for him. Ms. Taylor Brodsky will be present for Q&A.

*Also Spotlight Gala Screening


Helmut Berger, Actor (Austria) – Director: Andreas Horvath

A relentless, yet intimate portrait of the legendary actor Helmut Berger who epitomized the exuberant jet set lifestyle of the 70s, and now reigns over a run down two-room apartment at the outskirts of his hometown Salzburg, Austria. The film exposes the brusqueness of his character for what it really is: a cry for attention, closeness and intimacy.


Learning To See (USA) – Director: Jake Oelman

A visual feast for the eyes is insect photographer Robert Oelman’s transformational journey to find and document the Amazon’s strangest creatures. Beautifully filmed by his son Jake, Robert’s quest culminates with a New York City gallery show where he finally shares his striking and magical images with the general public.


Myrtle Beach (USA) – Directors: Michael Fuller & Neil Rough

Like a darker less whimsical Vernon, Florida, Myrtle Beach profiles a charismatic cast of local eccentrics, survivors and lone wolves against the beauty of this famed resort town.


Sonita (Iran) – Director: Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami

The inspiring story of Sonita Alizadeh, an 18-year-old Afghan refugee in Iran, who thinks of Michael Jackson and Rihanna as her spiritual parents and dreams of becoming a big-name rapper. Her family has a very different future planned for her: as a bride she’s worth $9,000. 

*Also Closing Night Gala Screening


Under The Sun (Russia) – Director: Vitaly Mansky

Despite continuous interference by government handlers, director Vitaly Mansky managed to document life in Pyongyang, North Korea in this fascinating portrait of one girl and her parents as she prepares to join the Korean Children’s Union on the ‘Day Of The Shining Star’ (Kim Jong-Il’s birthday). Even more fascinating than the family’s story, is the behind the scenes manipulations of government operatives.



About Mammoth Lakes Film Festival

The Mammoth Lakes Film Festival, held in the scenic and majestic setting of Mammoth Lakes in the Eastern Sierra of California, brings together world-class cinema, new filmmaking talent, industry veterans, and audiences from around the world to celebrate films amidst the inspiring natural beauty of Mammoth Lakes. Our intent is to unlock the creative mind of the public by providing unique movie-going experiences and also  support emerging filmmakers with the opportunity to be inspired by our natural environment.

Mammoth Lakes Film Festival is proud to partner with sponsors who support the arts and emerging artists.

The Mammoth Lakes Film Festival is under the umbrella of Mammoth Lakes Foundation—the nonprofit founded by Dave McCoy in 1989 (who also founded Mammoth Mountain Ski Area in 1953). Dave McCoy turns 101 years old this August and is excited to be a part of the 2nd annual Mammoth Lakes Film Festival.

Additional Information about Mammoth Lakes Film Festival is available at