We are committed to promoting film as an art form by focusing on personal, innovative, imaginative films by writers and directors with a unique style and point of view. We present these films in the beautiful natural setting of Mammoth Lakes—a perfect backdrop for an independent film festival and a premier tourist destination in its own right.
Because we are a destination resort, just a 4- to 5-hour drive or a quick flight from Los Angeles, we have strong allies within the entertainment industry. Our jury members are acclaimed artists and professionals from the world of independent films and the mainstream entertainment industry. We give awards in the categories of Narrative Features, Documentary Features, and Short Films. In 2020 we awarded cash and prizes valued at more than $40,000. We also provide travel stipends, housing, and festival passes for our filmmakers.
Some of our past jury members have included Andrew Lazar (Academy Award winning Producer of AMERICAN SNIPER), Allison Amon (Emmy Award winning Producer of THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES), John Feidler (Producer of SERIAL MOM and PECKER), Rachel Winter (Academy Award nominated Producer of DALLAS BUYERS CLUB).
Past attending industry and press included A24, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, The L A Times, Movie Maker Magazine, among many others.
Past sponsors included Panavision, Light Iron, BlueMoon, VER, among many others.
Shira Dubrovner is currently the Artistic Director of the Mammoth Lakes Repertory Theatre in Mammoth Lakes, California. Originally from Los Angeles where she was a freelance video editor, she returned to Mammoth Lakes after a 17-year absence.
During her hiatus from the Eastern Sierras, she attended film school where her short film "Muriel" won the CINE Eagle Award and played in numerous film festivals. She went on to produce the promo spots for the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. She also worked in the art department on independent films. Her work as a freelance video editor eventually gave her the freedom to return to her passion—directing theater.
Her production of Tom Topor's "Nuts" at the well-respected Lonny Chapman Group Repertory Theatre in NoHo earned her three ADA nominations, including Best Director. Other favorite Los Angeles directing stints included "Sylvia" and "Veronica's Room" at the Group Rep. She also received critical accolades for her direction of Arthur Miller's "Broken Glass" starring Robert Picardo of "Star Trek Voyager."
She returned to Mammoth Lakes in 2007. That move allowed her to fulfill her dream to start a theater, whose first home was in the Mammoth Lakes Arts Center. After two years of successfully bringing professional quality theatre to the small resort town, she then worked under the umbrella of the Mammoth Lakes Foundation from 2009 to 2020. After having many successful years of providing quality year-round entertainment in the resort town, she expanded her professional offerings by including her other love, film, and producing an annual film festival.
Founder & Festival Director
Paul Sbrizzi is an L.A.-based filmmaker and film programmer with many years of experience working for film festivals.
He has directed short films which have played on the festival circuit in the U.S. and abroad. He also created the improv-based web series "Sticky Figures." He has programmed for Slamdance, L.A. Film Festival, AFI Fest and Outfest; he has worked in various capacities for Hamptons International, Tribeca, TCM Fest, IFFLA and FICG in Los Angeles.
His longest-running festival experience is at Slamdance, where he has been a programmer since 1999. He headed the shorts programming committee from 2002 to 2010, showcasing the work of filmmakers such as Benh Zeitlin and Lena Dunham before they had achieved notoriety. During that time he created the film, performance and reading series "Neverland," as well as the outsider-artist film event "Hieronymous."
He continues to write and direct films and he is currently a programmer at Slamdance for Narrative Features, Beyond, and Animation. He is also an associate programmer for the L.A. Film Festival and AFI Fest. He writes about film for Hammer to Nail and Tiny Mix Tapes.
Director of Programming