Festival Spotlight: The Mammoth Lakes Film Festival

By Staff · May 24, 2017

Recently, The Script Lab got the chance to talk with the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival Director, Shira Dubrovner about this incredible Film Festival. While it’s still just three years old, it’s exploded within the industry as a centerpiece for global, independent film. Dubrovner explains that the success of the festival comes from, “knowing what our vision is and focusing on achieving that.” Mammoth Lakes’ vision is clear – to find films that inspire and excite. And with the 2017 lineup, it is clear that once again that goal has been achieved.

The Mammoth Lakes Film Festival has put together an incredible and international 2017 lineup featuring films from a vast swath of countries including Romania, Poland, Iran, Russia, Canada, Qatar, the United States. When asked about their international reach, Dubrovner explained that it’s entirely organic, “The filmmakers who’ve attended Mammoth Lakes Film Festival have done a far better job of spreading word about the festival than we could have ever done ourselves.” She emphasizes that the festival doesn’t have to focus on drawing in international submissions, as there are usually too many to choose from. It’s a good position to be in, and the festival is thrilled to be able to keep diversity front and center.

What is there to learn from so many filmmaking styles from around the world? Dubrovner is quick to point out that different cultures make films differently. Romania, for example, has a really honest, almost documentary approach to narrative storytelling. Indian films tend to feature a heavier focus on cinematography and color. Maintaining this mosaic is an important part of the festival’s identity – it’s why the festival ensures that each filmmaker, from California to India, is flown to the event and provided with lodgings in the beautiful Mammoth Lakes region.

Finally, Dubrovner explained that the mission of the festival is not just to find the next great generation of filmmakers, but also to help support them in their continuing journey. This starts with a jury of industry professionals who aren’t just well regarded, but who are actually committed to helping filmmakers as they carve a name for themselves in the industry. This year, the legendary literary agent Judy Coppage is just one highlights of the 8-person jury.

Each year the festival tries hard to put together a fantastic line up of panels and hands-on workshops in order to bring filmmakers together. New this year is filmmaker brunch sponsored by Red Digital Cinema. The event also provides each and every filmmaker with a Red Camera for a bit of filming out in the Mammoth wilderness. A great festival experience is as much about fostering new relationships as it is celebrating the work of talented filmmakers, which makes events like these all the more exciting.

The Script Lab is excited to be attending this year and will be reporting on the films and events live. Stay tuned to our twitter feed for more information. Also, make sure to check out: for films, tickets, and passes.