Boulder City film festival gives filmmakers their first taste of the big screen

The Dam Short Film Festival in Boulder City had over 100 movies in this year's lineup.

Filmmakers from a variety of backgrounds submitted films from consideration. That includes Tyler Thompson, a recent college grad from the University of Southern California

His animated film “Starlight” made its world premiere at the festival.

The film imagines the stars in the sky as thousands candles, which are meticulously ignited and positioned by an old man. But the man seems to have lost his motivation to continue that role. His story eventually crosses paths with a boy infatuated by the stars, who wants to find a way to keep the lights shining.

Independent filmmakers have a lot of options these days when it comes to distributing their movies. And while it may be easier to post a film online to gain exposure, Thompson feels that “Starlight” is best experienced in the theater.

“It’s got a balance of grand scale… that also gets intimates in terms of characters,” said Thompson. “To really build on that vastness is something that you can’t really get unless you watch it on the big screen.”

Thompson also loves the social aspect of the movie-going experience.

“There’s something special about showing movies in theaters,” he said. “Just from me taking my courses at USC - you sit in the big theater and it’s all my classmates together - that’s sort of the origination of filmmaking, which is to get to get everyone in the same room to watch something and experience it in the same way.”

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