Ely Film Art and Music Festival

Ely Film Art and Music Festival


The small city of Ely is preparing for the fourth edition of its annual film festival, which has expanded to include other art forms and live music.

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The Ely Film, Art and Music Festival, which will also include tours of the Nevada Northern Railway Museum, runs today through Sunday in the city 240 miles north of Las Vegas.

Shadrach Robertson, the festival director and a middle-school teacher, said he was eager to see the event grow so young people could “learn and see and experience art and film and music.” It helps them exercise their “creative muscles,” he said.

Robertson said the festival’s relatively remote location in the city of about 4,000 residents made it “endearing to some people.”

For Robertson, the event, which debuted in March 2020, in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, has become a “passion project,” he said. The 2021 festival was conducted virtually because of the pandemic.

This year’s festival will include a short and feature film contest, as well as an art and photo contest.

A total of 39 feature-length films and shorts from across the country and overseas, including from Poland and South Korea and war-torn Ukraine, were submitted for judging. The best of them will be screened during the festival.

There will also be a red-carpet premier of the “The Great Basin,” a film by Chivas Devinck, as well as a black-tie gala today at the Central Theatre.

“The Great Basin” is a 92-minute documentary that builds a “complex panorama of rural Nevada” and can be viewed as “a microcosm of the economic, social and ecological marginalization of 21st-century rural communities,” according to the film’s website.

The art portion of the festival will showcase contest submissions from across the U.S. that can include mediums from digital and graphic arts to sculpture, paintings and pencil drawings. Photography will be judged separately.

Artwork will be on display throughout town over the course of the three-day festival. Prizes will include Best in Show, Mayor’s Selection and Audience Favorite.

This year’s festival will also feature expanded music offerings, with multiple live performances, including local musicians.

Hot House West, a 14-piece orchestra and band from Salt Lake City, will perform at a charity ball to help save the Ely Centennial Fine Arts Building in downtown Ely.

For the full festival schedule and to book tickets, visit elyfam.org.

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Mike McNamara

Mike McNamara

A Las Vegas Realtor since 2008. Mike has a wide range of knowledge around all things Las Vegas.

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