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Short film fest has something for almost every taste

A short-film festival is a lot like Mark Twain’s quote about the weather in New England: If you don’t like what you’re seeing, just wait a few minutes and it will change.

Now in its 10th year, Boulder City’s Dam Short Film Festival has expanded to five days, Wednesday through Feb. 16, and is showcasing a record number of films. And while Lee Lanier, the festival’s executive director, says he accepts films ranging from 60 seconds to 40 minutes, they average 10 minutes each.

With that kind of volume, festivalgoers are bound to suffer through some shorts they dislike, but there’s always another one right around the corner.

“That’s the way it goes,” Lanier says. “We have 171 short films this year, and odds are there will be a couple you hate. But then again, there’s another 50 you’ll love. So you can survive the bad ones and look forward to the good ones.”

From its humble beginnings with folding chairs in the American Legion hall — “I think I even made all the tickets myself,” Lanier recalls of its first year — the Dam Short Film Festival boasts an international flavor, with entries from Israel, Brazil and Taiwan sprinkled among the 26 themed programs at the Boulder Theatre, 1225 Arizona St.

This year’s highlights include the Nevada filmmakers program (7:15 p.m. Saturday) and the filmmakers’ panel (11 a.m. Thursday). To mark its first decade, some of the festival’s best will be presented in “10 Years of Nevada Films” (6 p.m. Friday), “10 Years of Comedy” (3:30 p.m. Saturday) and “10 Years of Animation” (1:45 p.m. Feb. 16).

There’s a “very wide range of styles and genres and stories and characters,” Lanier says. “And because they’re short, you can pretty much find what you like very easily. There’s so much to choose from.”

Tickets are $7 per program, and festival passes good for all screenings and events are $100. To purchase them or for more information, visit the theater box office or www.damshortfilm.org.

You will remember this: The Las Vegas Philharmonic will perform the score of “Casablanca” as the classic film plays on the big screen in The Smith Center’s Reynolds Hall at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday. For tickets and more information, see lvphil.org.

‘Dirty’ girls: “Jenny McCarthy’s Dirty Sexy Funny” (11 p.m. Friday, EPIX), filmed at Vinyl at the Hard Rock Hotel, features sets from comics Justine Marino, Tammy Pescatelli, Lynne Koplitz, Paula Bel and Tiffany Haddish as well as sketches starring McCarthy.

Calling all ‘Dead’-heads: The cast of “Evil Dead The Musical” is hosting weekly “The Walking Dead” viewing parties at The End, 4821 Spring Mountain Road, Suite G. Starting at 8 p.m. each Sunday for the next eight weeks, fans can gather to watch each new episode and participate in raffles and trivia and costume contests.

Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrence@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4567.

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