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By Film Threat Staff | June 10, 2009

Featuring more world premieres than ever before, this year’s CineVegas will rock anyone looking for exhilarating new films from uninhibited and adventurous filmmakers,” stated CineVegas Artistic Director Trevor Groth. “Inspired by the success of last year’s inaugural documentary competition, we brought back the Pioneer Documentaries section and are thrilled to be able to present seven non-fiction films that are as engaging and enlightening as any fiction film. Our notorious Area 52 section is back as well with a motley collection that is sure to satisfy the most hard-core cinephiles.

Featuring something for everyone, our Diamond Discoveries showcase filmmakers at various stages of their careers and includes the latest from legendary German filmmaker Wim Wenders. Finally, we are ecstatic to welcome back Bobcat Goldthwait, whose hilarious new film, World’s Greatest Dad, will close the Festival. Starring Robin Williams in a role that is sure to shock some and entertain all, it represents the kind of bold storytelling that CineVegas is all about. These films, plus our now legendary parties celebrating them, combine to make up 6 days and nights in Vegas that you won’t want to miss a second of … good thing they pump oxygen into the casinos.”

Closing the Festival is Bobcat Goldthwait’s dark comedy “World’s Greatest Dad,” starring Robin Williams as high school poetry teacher Lance Clayton, who desperately tries to connect with his teenage son, Kyle (Daryl Sabara), as well as a painfully adorable art teacher, Claire (Alexie Gilmore). After a freak accident, Lance suddenly faces both the worst tragedy of his life, and the greatest opportunity. Determined to make lemonade from life’s lemons, Lance treads a path that could land him everything he’s ever dreamed of, as long as he can live with the knowledge of how he got there.

Cash prizes will be awarded to jury award winners, including $10,000 for Best Jackpot Premiere, $2,500 for Best Pioneer Documentary, $1,000 for Best Short and $100 for Nevada Filmmaking Short. The Festival will be held June 10 – 15, 2009 at the Palms Casino Resort and Brenden Theatres.

“Pioneer Documentaries,” a competitive section for documentaries that explore new territory and world perceptions, includes Douglas Tirola’s All In (world premiere), a comprehensive look at the history and current excitement of poker; James Rasin’s Beautiful Darling exploring the life and times of Warhol Superstar Candy Darling; Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo, Jessica Oreck’s exploration of Japan’s enriching social relationship with insects; Jennifer Kroot’s It Came From Kuchar, about filmmaking twins George and Mike Kuchar and their outrageous, no-budget movies; Sea of Darkness (world premiere) from Michael Oblowitz, the true story of surfing pioneers/criminals Mike Boyum and Martin Daly; Ben Steinbauer’s Winnebago Man about Internet superstar Jack Rebney; and Youth Knows No Pain, Mitch McCabe’s journey through America’s $60 billion-a-year anti-aging world.

“Diamond Discoveries” features the best new independent films available for U.S. distribution. This year’s program includes Robert Byington’s Harmony and Me, the story of a man dispossessed after getting dumped; Palermo Shooting, from Wim Wenders and starring CineVegas Chairman Dennis Hopper; The Square, about a simple plan which spirals into blackmail, kickbacks, cover-ups, arson and murder, from Nash Edgerton; Cory McAbee’s Stingray Sam, an hour-long feature made of individual shorts; and Amir Naderi’s Vegas: Based on a True Story, which follows a compulsive gambler and his blue-collar family living on the outskirts of Las Vegas.

“Sure Bets,” advance screenings of independent studio films, include 500 Days of Summer, Marc Webb’s love-me/love-me-not love story starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel; Max Mayer’s Adam, with Hugh Dancy and Rose Byrne as two twenty-somethings in Manhattan; Black Dynamite, the 1970s throwback from Scott Sanders; Nicolas Winding Refn’s Bronson, the true story of Charlie Bronson, Britain’s most violent prisoner; Lucrecia Martel’s psychological mystery The Headless Woman; Humpday, Lynn Shelton’s buddy movie gone wild; Armando Iannucci’s political comedy In the Loop; and Moon from Duncan Jones, starring Sam Rockwell as an astronaut who has a personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon.

Included in “Area 52,” a collection of midnight, underground and cult films, are Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, the classic 1950s film from Nathan Juran; Alex Perry’s Impolex, the story of one soldier and his mission to find the last two undetonated German rockets after WWII; Modus Operandi (world premiere), Frankie Latina’s revenge tale about a desperate CIA agent; The Revenant (world premiere), a vampire buddy movie from Kerry Prior; and Watts and Volts from Across the Field, a collection of films with live music by animator Brent Green and friends.

“Nevada Filmmaking,” features and shorts produced in Nevada or by local filmmakers, includes Jerry Thompson’s comedy Thor at the Bus Stop (world premiere), about a mythical creature making his final journey in life.

All access Royal Flush passes and Blackjack ticket packages are now on sale at Local, senior, student and military discounted packages are also available. In addition, hotel and ticket package deals are available at

The CineVegas 2009 lineup includes:


Saint John of Las Vegas (USA, 2009)
Director: Hue Rhodes
Cast: Steve Buscemi, Sarah Silverman, Romany Malco, Peter Dinklage, Tim Blake Nelson, John Cho and Emmanuelle Chriqui
Steve Buscemi plays John, an ex-gambler-turned fraud investigator who must return to Las Vegas to investigate an insurance claim.


World’s Greatest Dad (USA, 2009)
Director: Bobcat Goldthwait
Cast: Robin Williams, Daryl Sabara, Alexie Gilmore, Tom Kenny, Geoffrey Pierson, Henry Simmons, Toby Huss
After a freak accident, Lance (Robin Williams) suddenly faces both the worst tragedy of his life, and the greatest opportunity. Determined to make lemonade from life’s lemons, Lance treads a path that could land him everything he’s ever dreamed of, as long as he can live with the knowledge of how he got there.

A collection of highly anticipated world premieres

Asylum Seekers (USA, 2008)
Director: Rania Ajami
Cast: Pepper Binkley, Bill Dawes, Judith Hawking, Daniel Irizarry, Stella Maeve, Camille O’Sullivan, Lee Wilkof
Six people on the verge of a breakdown decide to check themselves into an insane asylum, only to discover there is just room for one.

Daylight (USA, 2009)
Director: David Barker
Cast: Alexandra Meierhans, Michael Godere, Aidan Redmond, Ivan Martin
When pregnant newlywed Irene is violently taken hostage, she confronts the truth about her marriage – and finds a state of unexpected grace – in her fight to survive.

Easier with Practice (USA, 2009)
Director: Kyle Patrick Alvarez
Cast: Brian Geraghty, Kel O’Neill, Marguerite Moreau, Jeanette Brox, Jenna Gavigan
While on a road trip to promote his unpublished novel, Davy Mitchell finds himself falling for a mysterious phone sex caller.

Etienne! (USA, 2009)
Director: Jeff Mizushima
Cast: Richard Vallejos, Megan Harvey, Caveh Zahedi, Rachel Stolte, Solon Bixler
After Richard’s best and only friend, a dwarf hamster named Etienne, is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he decides to take his pocket pet on a bicycle road trip up the California coast to show it the world before he must put it to sleep.

Godspeed (USA, 2009)
Director: Robert Saitzyk
Cast: Joseph McKelheer, Cory Knauf, Courtney Halverson, Ed Lauter, Jesse Ward, Hallock Beals
An intense, dramatic thriller set in the lingering light of the Alaskan midnight sun.

Mercy (USA, 2008)
Director: Patrick Hoelck
Cast: Scott Caan, Wendy Glenn, Troy Garity, Erika Christensen, Alexie Gilmore and John Boyd, with Dylan McDermott and James Caan
A successful but cynical young writer writes about love but does not really believe in it until he meets Mercy, who turns his world upside down.

Patriotville (USA, 2008)
Director: Talmage Cooley
Cast: Justin Long, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Rob Corddry, Keir O’Donnell, Missi Pyle
An idealistic museum manager and a beautiful troublemaker go to war with a corrupt mayor to stop a casino from being built on their town’s “historic” battlefield.

Redland (USA, 2008)
Director: Asiel Norton
Cast: Lucy Adden, Mark Aaron, Sean Thomas, Kathan Fors, Bernadette Murray, Toben Seymour
As a family struggles to survive in rural isolation during the Great Depression, their daughter’s secret affair begins a journey into the unknown.

Documentary features capturing subjects who defy odds and expectations

All In (USA, 2009)
World Premiere
Director: Douglas Tirola
Cast: Matt Damon, Frank DeFord, Annie Duke, Ira Glass, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Phil Hellmuth, Howard Lederer, James McManus, Chris Moneymaker, Daniel Negreanu, Jennifer Tilly
Tells the story of poker focusing on why one of our nation’s oldest games has had a renaissance in the past decade and why for so many people poker is a way to chase the American Dream.

Beautiful Darling (USA, 2009)
Director: James Rasin
Cast: Julie Newmar, Tennessee Williams, Holly Woodlawn, Peter Beard, Gerard Malanga, Ron Delsener, Glenn O’Brien, Michael J. Pollard
Beautiful Darling features never-seen-before footage and photographs, as well as interviews with the people who knew Andy Warhol Superstar Candy Darling.

Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo (USA, 2009)
Director: Jessica Oreck
Working backwards through history, Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo solves the mystery of the development of Japan’s cultural obsession with bugs.

It Came From Kuchar (USA, 2009)
Director: Jennifer Kroot
Cast: George Kuchar, Mike Kuchar, John Waters, Buck Henry, Atom Egoyan, Wayne Wang, Guy Maddin, B Ruby Rich, Bill Griffith, Christopher Coppola
The definitive feature documentary about the legendary, underground filmmaking twins, the Kuchar brothers.

Sea of Darkness (USA, 2009)
World Premiere
Director: Michael Oblowitz
Cast: Martin Daly, Peter McCabe, Jeff Chitty, Shaun Thompson, Kelly Slater, Greg Noll, Bruce Raymond, Bob McKnight, Rory Russel
A modern day pirate tale of exploration, adventure, and the discovery of jungle surf spots off the remote Indonesian coastline in the 1970s. The film also explores the smuggling missions that funded these journeys of discovery and the terrifying price some of these men paid for their passion.

Winnebago Man (USA, 2009)
Director: Ben Steinbauer
Cast: Jack Rebney
Jack Rebney’s outrageously funny outtakes from a Winnebago sales video became an underground phenomenon and made him an Internet superstar. Filmmaker Ben Steinbauer sets out to find him.

Youth Knows No Pain (USA, 2009)
Director: Mitch McCabe
Cast: Erica Rose, Julia Allison, Norman Deesing, Lea Deesing, Paris Deesing
The daughter of a plastic surgeon takes us inside America’s $60 billion-a-year anti-aging world as she spends 2 years traveling across America, painting a funny but troubling portrait of our youth obsessed culture.

The best new independent films available for U.S. distribution

Harmony And Me (USA, 2009)
Director: Robert Byington
Cast: Kristen Tucker, Justin Rice, Alex Karpovsky, Pat Healy, Suzy Nakamura, Bob Schneider, Nick Offerman, Kevin Corrigan, Robert Byington, Allison Latta
When Harmony gets dumped he’s supposed to do a lot of things –be sad, date other girls, have flings. Instead he falls into a funk that shows no signs of lifting for most of a year.

Palermo Shooting (Germany, 2008)
Director: Wim Wenders
Cast: Campino, Dennis Hopper, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Lou Reed
As a successful photographer of worldwide renown, Finn leads a life that is as prominent as it is hectic. But when his life suddenly spins out of control, he takes off and leaves everything behind.

The Square (Australia, 2009)
Director: Nash Edgerton
Cast: Nash Edgerton, Mirrah Foulkes, Chum Ehelepola, Bruno Xavier, Tony Lynch, Joel Edgerton
A man’s life begins to unravel when his mistress brings him a bag of cash.

Stingray Sam (USA, 2008)
Director: Cory McAbee
Cast: David Hyde Pierce (narrator), Cory McAbee, Crugie, Joshua Taylor, Willa Vy McAbee, Bobby Lurie, Frank Swart, Caleb Scott, Jessica Jelliffee, Ron Crawford, Michael DeNola, Michael Wiener
He does the things that folks don’t do that need to be done.

Vegas: Based on a True Story (USA, 2008)
Director: Amir Naderi
Cast: Mark Greenfield, Alexis Hart, Nancy La Scala, Zach Thomas, Walt Turner, Benjamin Weil
In a town that breeds obsession, the dream of home turns into a family’s nightmare.

Advance screenings of high profile independent studio films

500 Days of Summer (USA, 2009)
Director: Marc Webb
Cast: Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Geoffrey Arend, Chloe Grace Moritz, Matthew Gray Gubler, Clark Gregg, Rachel Boston, Minka Kelly
Funny, true-to-life and unique dissection of the unruly and unpredictable year-and-a-half of one young man’s no-holds-barred love affair.

Adam (USA, 2009)
Director: Max Mayer
Cast: Hugh Dancy, Rose Byrne, Peter Gallagher, Amy Irving, Frankie Faison
Heartfelt romantic comedy, starring Hugh Dancy as Adam, a handsome but intriguing young man who has all his life led a sheltered existence – until he meets his new neighbor, Beth, a beautiful, cosmopolitan young woman who pulls him into the outside world, with funny, touching and entirely unexpected results.

Black Dynamite (USA, 2008)
Director: Scott Sanders
Cast: Michael Jai White, Tommy Davidson, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Arsenio Hall, Byron Minns, Kym Whitley
When “The Man” murders his brother, pumps heroin into local orphanages, and floods the ghetto with adulterated malt liquor, Black Dynamite is the one hero willing to fight all the way from the blood-soaked city streets to the hallowed halls of the Honky House.

Bronson (UK, 2008)
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Cast: Tom Hardy, Matt King, James Lance, Kelly Adams, Amanda Burton
With an intelligent, provocative and stylized approach, Bronson (based on a true story) follows the metamorphosis of Mickey Peterson into Britain’s most dangerous prisoner, Charles Bronson.

The Headless Woman (Argentina, 2008)
Director: Lucrecia Martel
Cast: María Onetto, Claudia Cantero, Inés Efron, Daniel Genoud, César Bordón, Guillermo Arengo
In the days following a jarring car accident, a woman is dazed and emotionally disconnected from the people and events in her life.

Humpday (USA, 2009)
Director: Lynn Shelton
Cast: Mark Duplass, Josh Leonard, Alycia Delmore, Lynn Shelton, Trina Willard
Sometimes male bonding can be taken a little too far.

In the Loop (UK, 2008)
Director: Armando Iannucci
Cast: Peter Capaldi, James Gandolfini, Tom Hollander, David Rashe, Gina McKee, Chris Addison, Anna Chulmsky, Mimi Kennedy
The US President and UK Prime Minister fancy a war. But not everyone agrees that war is a good thing.

Moon (UK, 2008)
Director: Duncan Jones
Cast: Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey, Dominique McElligott, Benedict Wong, Matt Berry, Kaya Scodelario, Malcolm Stewart
250,000 miles from home, Sam Bell is about to come face to face with his biggest challenge – himself.

An underground collection of cult and midnight movies for the most hardcore fans

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (USA, 1958)
Director: Nathan Juran
Cast: Allison Hayes, William Hudson, Yvette Vickers, Roy Gordon, George Douglas, Ken Terrell, Otto Waldis, Eileen Stevens, Michael Ross, Frank Chase
When an abused wife grows to giant size because of an alien encounter and an aborted murder attempt, she goes after cheating husband with revenge on her mind. The film will be presented in an outdoor drive-in theater in downtown Las Vegas.

Impolex (USA, 2009)
Director: Alex Perry
Cast: Riley O’Bryan
At the end of WWII, the United States sent soldiers across Europe to locate and retrieve the rockets and rocket science that Germany perfected before losing the war. Impolex is the story of one soldier and his mission to find the last two undetonated German rockets.

Modus Operandi (USA, 2009)
World Premiere
Director: Frankie Latina
Cast: Randy Russell, Mark Borchardt, Michael Sottile, Danny Trejo, Barry Poltermann, Sarah Price, Xavier Leplae, Ayesha Mohan
Modus Operandi is a revenge tale about a desperate CIA agent on a mission to find the man who murdered his wife.

The Revenant (USA, 2009)
World Premiere
Director: Kerry Prior
Cast: Chris Wylde, David Anders, Louise Griffiths, Jacy King
A Satirical treatise on friendship, regret, and the nature of evil under the guise of a rootin’-tootin’ vampire buddy movie.

Watts and Volts from Across the Field
Director: Brent Green
A collection of films with live music from animator Brent Green and friends.

Feature produced in Nevada by a local filmmaker

Thor at the Bus Stop (USA, 2008)
World Premiere
Director: Jerry Thompson
Cast: Mike Thompson, Jerry Thompson
Comedy about the mythical Thor, who is making his final journey through a suburban neighborhood on the day he knows he is going to die fighting a giant serpent to save the world.

Short films produced in Nevada or by local filmmakers

& Teller (Director: Frank Ippolito)
& Teller 2 (Director: Frank Ippolito)
Communion (Director: Markus Kirschner)
DAISy (Director: Tyler Hymanson)
Jodi (Director: Jordan Auten)
Nancy Boy (Director: Jonpaul Lewis)
Path (Director: E.S. Frushtick)
The Secret Life of Orange Traffic Cone Assassins (Director: Anthony Maranville)
Tokyo Rose (Director: A.J. Ovio)
The Unfortunate Story of a Lost Soul 2 (Director: Joel Schoenbach)
Where Da Girls At: CineVegas Clubhouse Project (Director: Jonpaul Lewis)

The Festival will also feature a selection of student films from the CSN and UNLV programs.

These short films embody the creative nature of independent filmmaking. Some will be shown before features, while others are combined to make feature-length programs.

Acting For The Camera (Director: Justin Nowell)
The Adventures of Ledo and Ix (Director: Emily Carmichael)
A*****e (Director: Chad Harbold)
Captain Coulier (Space Explorer) (Director: Lyndon Casey)
Countertransference (Director: Madeleine Olnek)
The Dirty Ones (Director: Brent Stewart)
The Feast of Stephen (Director: James Franco)
Fiddlestixx, Episode 1: Brain Powerz (Directors: Zellner Brothers)
Fiddlestixx, Episode 2: Habeas-Schmabeas (Directors: Zellner Brothers)
Fiddlestixx, Episode 3: Larry Blindon (Directors: Zellner Brothers)
From Burger It Came (Director: Dominic Bisignano)
The Ghost and Us (Director: Emily Carmichael)
Kings of London (Director: Sean Conway)
Logorama (Director: H5)
My Mom Smokes Weed (Director: Clay Liford)
Offshore Bank (Director: Tom Barndt)
Short Term 12 (Director: Destin Cretton)
Team Taliban (Director: Benjamin Kegan)
TEN: THIRTYONE (Directors: Gabe Fazio and Lev Gorn)
The Transformation of Genesis P-Orridge (Directors: Eline Jongsma and Kel O’Neill)
Uprush (Director: Kim Hall)
Whiskeypriest, Episode 1 (Director: Randy Walker)
The Young and Evil (Director: Julian Breece)

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