Saturday, October 10, 2015

4th Annual Laughlin International Film Festival (LIFF) to Salute New Up-and-Coming Filmmakers


4th Annual Laughlin International Film Festival (LIFF)
to Salute New Up-and-Coming Filmmakers

Laughlin NV, August 15, 2015 --- The organizers of the 2015 Laughlin International Film Festival (LIFF), which is scheduled to be held October 15th – 18th in Laughlin, NV,  are excited to announce that once again as part of the 4 day event,  they will be focusing on,  recognizing and encouraging new up-and-coming filmmakers.   The film festival will once again be screening a diverse line-up of independent films (feature length and short films) at the state-of-the art Phoenix 9 Cinemas at the Laughlin Outlet Center beginning with an opening night film (to be announced) and Red Carpet on Thursday evening, and continuing all day Friday through Sunday.    

As in the past 3 years, the LIFF program will include a full day program designed for young filmmakers, this year known as: “Young Filmmaker Super Saturday”, on October 17th.  The program will include a workshop at the Tropicana casino lead by local independent filmmaker Brian Brown along with LaJaun Johnson, an independent filmmaker from Moreno Valley, Ca. Both Brown and Johnson will share their personal stories about how they delved into the world of filmmaking and followed their dreams, after finding themselves at cross-roads in their lives.  They will provide a keen insight into how young people can become filmmakers – all they need is passion and a dream.  Following the morning workshop, the day will include a networking lunch with some additional talented independent filmmakers, and the program will conclude with an afternoon immersion into viewing specially selected short films and a feature film at the Phoenix 9 Cinemas.  

“Having a young filmmaker program as part of LIFF each year is very near and dear to my heart”, said Dagmar “Mara” Karsen, co-founder and Executive Director of LIFF.  “If we can encourage even one young person to try their hand at filmmaking, we have succeeded.  To see the excitement and passion of filmmaking come alive in a young person makes our work at LIFF a total success”. 

In addition to the Youth workshop, the glitzy LIFF Awards Ceremony, to be held for the 4th year in the Tropicana Pavilion Theater on Saturday evening, October 17th, will include a series of special awards to be presented to new up-and-coming filmmakers. 

The Harry “Bud” Holland award,  in memory of local Bullhead City resident Bud Holland,  who was a 2-time Emmy winning cameraman during his lifetime and who was instrumental in creating the television / media program at Mohave Accelerated Learning Center (MALC),  will be presented for a 3rd time.  This award is presented to honor a young or new filmmaker who exemplifies Bud’s passion for filmmaking, and who thereby strives to create something original and compelling.  Last year's winner of the Bud Holland award was local filmmaker,  Andrea Zindel Smith, for her short documentary “Victims”.  

LIFF is also happy to again be able to honor one special University Filmmaker who will be chosen as the winner of the Tropicana’s Pick - University Film Award.  Selected staff of the Tropicana casino will, for a 3rd year, be viewing all of the LIFF film submissions in the University film category, making their final choice and presenting the award.  In addition to the award, the Tropicana will be giving $250 in cash to the recipient.  The winner of last year’s Tropicana award was the international short film “Into the Silent Sea” (Sweden), which has gone on to much acclaim on the film festival circuit. 

New this year will the LIFF’s Cofounders’ “Big Dreams” award, in memory of Dave Davidson.  Davidson, one of the original co-founders of LIFF, unexpectedly passed away after LIFF 2014.  “He was always considered to be a man who had “big dreams” and made them come true” said Karsen.  “LIFF would most likely not be a reality today, if it wasn’t for his belief in the project”. The award will be given to a filmmaker who exhibits this same “never-say-die” attitude, according to Karsen.  “Dave would be so proud of this”, she said.  “He was always very big on helping to encourage people to live their dreams”.    

LIFF is also excited to announce that for LIFF 2015, they have partnered with the Matthew Martino Benevolent Fund (MMBF), an international charity based in the UK, to present the MMBF Rising Star Award.  MMBF supports filmmakers, actors and individuals studying or working in performing arts worldwide.  The organization provides training grants and scholarships, funding for first time filmmakers and provides sponsorship for film related events such as film festivals and film award ceremonies.  The MMBF Rising Star award will be given to an emerging filmmaker to encourage continued success. In addition to the Award, the recipient will receive $250 in cash from MMB.  For more information about MMB, visit their website at:  
For more information about LIFF 2015, visit their website at  For a copy of the “Young Filmmaker Super Saturday” information flyer, contact the LIFF team by e-mail at, or call LIFF at (702) 755 - 8391.

For more information, contact:
Dagmar "Mara" Karsen
Executive Director / Co-founder
Laughlin International Film Festival (LIFF)

LIFF Phone:  (702) 755-8391
LIFF Fax:  (951) 824-7535   

Coverage by Eva Louis                                                                                                       

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