Thursday, July 18, 2013 | 11:02 a.m.
Editor’s Note: While Robin Leach takes his traditional summer vacation under the Tuscan sun and along The Amalfi Coast in Italy, many of our Strip personalities have stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. We continue today with Milo Kostelecky, director of the Las Vegas Film Festival.
The Las Vegas Film Festival is returning, for the sixth time this year, to our city to LVH starting today through Sunday. We have lined up an exciting schedule of feature films, creative shorts and engaging documentaries to showcase this year created by some of the freshest new voices in filmmaking.
I’m Milo Kostelecky, the festival director, and the team and I are thrilled to be back this year for an even bigger, better festival. Running a festival is a huge challenge, but, ultimately, so worth it. Each year, we learn more about how to connect with audiences and to not be afraid to take risks.
It’s an ambitious goal to create a film festival that can live up to the entertainment expectations that Las Vegas sets, but LVFF is certainly on the right track. LVFF is still a young festival that has yet to reach its fullest potential, but each year we grow and evolve. This growth is what I find rewarding and keeps me pushing to go harder.
We have some exciting films this year to showcase. There’s “Sanitarium.” It’s a twisted psychological thriller starring Robert Englund (“Nightmare on Elm Street”), Lacey Chabert (“Mean Girls”) and Malcolm McDowell (“A Clockwork Orange”). It’s super scary and showcasing at 8:30 p.m. today.
There is “Magic Camp,” a fun and quirky documentary that looks into teens obsessed with magic. Directed by Emmy-nominated filmmaker Judd Ehrlich, it’s a sweet look at teens fitting in by being a little different and finding the magic within. It screens at 11:05 a.m. Sunday.
Made by Las Vegas filmmakers, “Liars, Fires and Bears” is the story of two unlikely traveling partners on a journey to reunite with family. Jeremy Cloe, a UNLV graduate, directs it and has enlisted many local talents to act and produce this film. Check it out at 2 p.m. Friday
“Raze” is a frightening horror/action film starring Zoe Bell (Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof”) and Rachel Nichols (“G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra”). It’s an edge-of-your-seat flick that is a cross between “Hostel” and “Fight Club.” See it at 6 p.m. Saturday.
A thrilling documentary, “Of By Far” examines money in politics and broken promises on the campaign trail featuring Dan Rather, Newt Gingrich and many other influential figures of the political process. The documentary is very timely and interesting. You can see it at 4:15 p.m. Saturday.
We are super excited about “Down and Dangerous.” It’s a crime drama starring Judd Nelson (“The Breakfast Club”) and two UNLV graduates, John T. Woods and Ernest Curcio, in central roles. The story of a drug smuggler, it’s a fast-paced story with awesome action. Funded by a Kickstarter campaign, this movie is a fantastic example of the passion it requires a filmmaker to get a movie made. See it 8:30 p.m. Friday.
Speaking of local talent, LVFF is proud to offer the opportunity to Nevada filmmakers to showcase their work. There is a Nevada Shorts Block on Saturday starting at 1:10 p.m. Also, students from UNLV, NSC and CSN each get a 90-minute block devoted to their creations on opening day.
Fans are encouraged to join us at Piero’s Italian Cuisine for the Emerging Filmmakers Scholarship Dinner today at 7:30 p.m. All tickets sold to the three-course dinner benefit the Las Vegas Film Festival Scholarship Fund.
A breakdown of the entire schedule and ways to purchase tickets are at LVFilmFest.com. In addition to film screenings, LVFF hosts premiere parties, cocktail mixers, dinners, red carpets, VIP parties, interactive and specialty panels, a screenplay competition and a closing-night award reception over the course of the four-day event.
It’s a party full of fun and amazing films. Please join us and get in on the action!
Check out our other guest columns today from Jabbawockeez manager Lee Razalan, Ri Ra Irish Pub bartender John Fitzgerald and Shine Alternative Fitness founders Russ Petroni and Dima Shine and on Friday hair guru to the stars Michael Boychuck.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
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Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.