The 6th annual Tahoe Film Fest will return for 2020, despite looking a bit different with an auidence wearing masks, the festival that highlights inspiring, award-winning films and is known for showing captivating environmental, American and International Independent films will return to the Incline Village Cinema and the Crystal Bay Club starting Thursday.
The festival goes from Dec. 3-6.
When the Tahoe Film Festival Director, Robert Roussel secured the 27 films for the festival in late July of this year, COVID-19 cases had decreased and Roussel said that “things were doing okay”.
Movie theaters, salons and restaurants were open at limited capacity, but still open to the public.
“Everything was on track until late October,” he said. COVID-19 cases began to increase once again. Due to California’s regulations regarding COVID-19, NorthStar Cinema which was one of the venues for the film fest, is now temporarily closed.
Between Incline Village Cinema and the Crystal Bay Club, 21 films will be shown this year. Purple Mountains directed by Josh “Bones” Murphy, is one of the much anticipated films being shown Dec. 3 at the Incline Village Cinema.
Purple Mountains follows professional snowboarder and mountaineer Jeremy Jones on his journey to find a common ground with people of diverse political backgrounds while finding key uniting shared values.
In a mission to bring attention to climate change, Jones first tries to understand people’s hopes and fears surrounding it.
Jones plans to be in attendance of the showing of this film.
Other outdoor, environmental films include Solving for Z, Akashinga: The Brave Ones, The New West and the Politics of the Environment and Gunda.
Other films include Parasite, Critical Thinking, Citizen Penn, Ema, Sibyl, Shirley, Clemency, Monsters & Men, and The Cave.
The festival will also be showing several films about prominent musicians including Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things, Billie, The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash, Laurel Canyon: A Place in Time, Miles Davis: The Birth of Cool, Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President.
While the Incline Village Cinema and Crystal Bay Club Casino Crown Room are still open, they are operating at 25% capacity. Both venues are allowing up to 50 people inside.
The Crystal Bay Club Casino Crown Room has capacity for 750 people, but they are erring on the side of safety and will be allowing 50 people for extra space.
Roussel said that he thought Gov. Steve Sisolak was going to shut down operations again during Sunday’s press conference. “We were ready to postpone, but he didn’t so we are going forward,” said Roussel. “It is going to be very safe. Our priority is safety and guidelines are in place.”
Regulations will include masks, social-distancing and there will be contactless check-in at the box office. Temperatures will also be taken upon entry.
The 6 films that were to be screened at the NorthStar Cinema, will be part of Tahoe Film Fest’s upcoming virtual, “Best of the Best” showing. It will include the past ‘best’ films along with the 6 films that were not shown during the festival which include Blood on the Wall, That’s Wild, Rebuilding Paradise, Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin, Public Trust, and Kiss the Ground.
Tickets can be purchased individually for each film, or purchase an All Access Pass for $50.
Tahoe Film Fest ticket sales go towards science research and education at U.C. Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center.
Online ticket sales end at midnight the night before each film’s showing.
Tickets will be available each day at the theater box offices 30 minutes prior to the start of each film as long as seats are available.
There will be no refunds, however, if the festival is postponed due to COVID, all tickets will be honored at the rescheduled event.
Check the Tahoe Film Fest Event Facebook Page for ticket availability updates during the festival. For more information, visit tahoefilmfest.com.
Cheyanne Neuffer is a reporter for the Tahoe Daily Tribune, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun.