Carson City film festival celebrates its fifth year

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The International Film Weekend will celebrate its fifth anniversary with a full lineup of feature films and student productions Feb. 15-17 at the Carson City Community Center.

“We had probably a total of 900 people attend last year over the three days,” said chairwoman Linda Bellegray. “We’re really hoping for even better attendance this year.”

Born from a book group that wanted to see the silver-screen adaptations of the books they read, the festival showcases movies from around the world.

But not just any movies. The films must deal with themes of universal humanity as well as exhibit elevated craftsmanship.

“Diversity use to be a huge social goal,” Bellegray said. “That has kind of dimmed, but the values of wanting to get international awareness going is near and dear to my heart. With all the division in our world today, we need things that bring us all together. Truly.”

Throughout the festival, independent documentaries are shown during the day, with full-length feature films at 7 each evening.

The feature films kick off on Feb. 15 with the Indian movie, “Water,” set in 1838 about an 8-year-old girl who’s forced into an ashram after the death of her husband.

“Cantiflas,” a biography of the iconic actor and comedian, Mario Moreno, will show Friday. Charlie Chaplin once referred to Moreno as the best comic in the world.

Norway film “Headhunters” will be the only film shown Saturday. It’s a thriller following the life of a suave, smooth-talking headhunter.

Each film is followed by a community discussion, which is often the highlight of the experience.

“Of course anyone could watch any of these films in their own homes,” Bellegray said. “But then you wouldn’t have the grand experience of seeing it on the big screen and that communal experience. People are joined together in what they’ve just seen in that moment.”

The film festival works in conjunction with Friends of the Carson City Library. Gizhe Cordoza, an intern with the Carson City Culture and Tourism Authority from Western Nevada College, is helping to organize this year’s event.

“When you create something that proves viable, it begins to grow,” Bellegray said. “We’ve had a really good response from the community.”


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