Luxe Life Blog
Derek Stonebarger launches Vegas Independent Film Festival at Orleans
Las Vegas filmmaker and TV producer Derek Stonebarger is launching the Vegas Independent Film Festival in hopes that it will fill the void left by CineVegas when it ended an 11-year run in 2010. It starts today and runs through Sunday at Century movie theaters at the Orleans. Derek has lined up an impressive first-time series of indie features, documentaries, short and student films -- even music videos. Winners receive Golden Bulb Awards themed from the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign.
The festival kick offs with indie film legend Ted V. Mikels becoming the first Las Vegan to have his hands immortalized in VIFF’s concrete walkway. Ted has been making films for six decades, and he isn’t slowing down at age 82, as he’s currently completing his latest film “Astro Zombies: M4 -- Invaders from Cyberspace.”
The red carpet Las Vegas premiere of Dana Packard’s “40 West” launches the first night of VIFF screenings with its star entertainment legend and hometown hero Wayne Newton set to attend. Former adult film star Sasha Grey (“Entourage”) is expected for her thriller “Blackstone,” and there’s Quentin Tarantino’s “Pay Your Respects.” The official first-night after-party is at Tao in the Venetian.
Other Las Vegas premieres include “Hollywood to Dollywood,” Talin Malekian’s “Venus vs. Mars,” Sean McCarthy’s thriller “Boxed Up” and David Marek’s “Somewhere West,” with two red carpet world premieres of Las Vegas-filmed projects closing the festival Sunday: “The Adventures of Loop & Rhett” starring Loop Rawlins and Michael Tushaus and Sean Jackson’s “Bubblegum & Broken Fingers.”
“I am so impressed with all of the talent we are going to be screening,” Derek said. “We’ve been able to secure some amazing films, and VIFF’s future is quickly looking brighter than the bulbs we give out as awards.”
CineVegas debuted in 1998 with less than 30 films and less than 5,000 film fans. “We started out even quieter, but now our festival is going to the next level,” Derek added. “It’s going to levels other festivals don’t go to.” For more information and tickets, go to VegasIFF.com.
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.
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