Cinephiles won't have to look far to get their fill of independent films in Sacramento and the surrounding area. Here's our top list of film festivals and annual movie events.
Sacramento International Film Festival
Proudly sponsored by CBS13/CW31, Sacramento International Film Festival is a première cinema event that offers a plethora of networking opportunities. As our region grows, there has been a fast expansion of local (and international) filmmakers. Every year SIFF presents a wide assortment of programs such as: 48Hr. Film Competition, Double Features, Special Screenings/Guests and showcases that range from International to Avant-Garde, to name a few. For movie aficionados, I would highly recommend this popular festival. Dates: April 2-17
Sacramento International Film and Music Festival
What makes this festival so unique is that, unlike most festivals, it is held twice a year: Winter and Summer Reason why SIFMF is a great place for rookies, professions and lovers film and music to attend is that it has so many interactive opportunities to offer for everyone to enjoy and benefit from. With events like 10X10 competition, live music, student film day, casting nights, and a variety of showcases -- what is there not to love? You won’t regret joining this special multi-day, all genre festival that 'sponsors the art of film in California's Capital Region.' Dates: January 15-17/ August 18-21
Nevada City Film Festival
I would be the first to admit that when I hear the name Nevada City, I think of the town's quaint, homemade, rural atmosphere. I also think of its proper Annual Holiday festivity, Victorian Christmas. It's a quiet, sleepy town ... wrong. Last summer, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they hold an up roaring film festival dedicated to local independent films and granduesque features from filmmakers around the U.S. Once I returned home, I immediately applied to become a volunteer so I could fully submerge myself into this three-day extravaganza. Hands down, best decision I've ever made. Here at Nevada City Film Festival you will find: comedy showcases, after parties, shorts, and documentaries - OH MY! Dates: August 18-21<br />
Trash Film Orgy
Sure it may be a sleaze fest. Yes, they show the tasteless, goriest and the most bizarre films ever made but do you know what? This kitschy festival is outrageously fun. For those looking for a memorable night during these up-coming quiet summer nights, I greatly encourage in for everyone to attend at least one magical moment with TFO. You can find this madcap carnival located at Crest Theater. The main auditorium (famous for its vaudeville acts in 1912) exhibits tongue-in-cheek festivities that encourage audience participation, ranging from strange variety acts and costumes to contests. One of my personal favorites is catching a cult classic night. Why? There is nothing like being with fellow cinephiles that adore and cherish these misfit films as much as you do. Don’t be shy, get up and recite your favorite quote or reenact that infamous scene. We won’t judge for we’re all just one trashy family. Dates: July 10 – August 14<br />
It should be noted that I barely scratched the surface in the amount of highly diverse film festivals found here in good ol’ Sacramento. If the four that I recommend does not feast your eyes, then I suggest looking up the following:
- NextGen Film Fest
- Movies on the Big Screen
- Auburn’s Placer Performing Arts Center
- Bicycle Film Festival
- Sacramento Alliance of Film Festival, which includes the following:
- Sacramento French Film Festival
- Sacramento Jewish Film Festival
- Sacramento Japanese Film Festival
- Sacramento International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
- Sacramento Horror Film Festival
- And any indie projects made by film students at California State University, Sacramento & The Art Institute of California – Sacramento.
Stefanie Patten is a CBS13/CW31 Creative Services intern, a graduate of Sacramento State’s film production program and president of the Hornet Film Society.