Niven Wilson


Niven Wilson’s THE ROOM Pairs 

with INCEPTION, Sierra County Scenes


On Friday, August 19th, Downieville is going to scoop Nevada City, its larger neighbor to the Southwest.  You may guess that this advantage has nothing to do with parades.  There is no town anywhere that can out-parade Nevada City.


This has to do with film, a more recent invention.


Just an hour before Niven Wilson’s new animated film, THE ROOM, makes its 9 p.m. film festival premiere at the Nevada City Short Film Festival, it’s going to be screened at Downieville’s Yuba Theatre.  It’s big-screen debut will take place not a block from Niven’s home.  


Wilson, a Downieville native and 2008 graduate of Downieville School, has returned home this year, pausing in his academic career because his film projects were backing up.  Since High School, Wilson’s films have appeared in Canadian, Australian, Romanian and  Brazilian film festivals.  In the U.S., his films Jugglers and Jugglers II have been shown in Woodstock, Santa Cruz, San Diego and Kalamazoo.


He has completed three films in 2011 and is working on a fourth, with music performed by the county’s piano prodigy, Cory Peterman.  Two of the films, THE ROOM and SISYPHEAN GRAMMATOLATRY OF THE AUTONYM,  (Sat Aug. 20, 6 p.m.)  will screen at the Nevada City Short Film Festival.  All three, including THE REVOLVER’S REVOLVER, will screen at a Brazilian Animation Festival in September, and THE REVOLVER’S REVOLVER will play in Romania in October.


One of the challenges in this independent film-making is the waiting.  After submitting your film to a Festival, you have to wait, for judging and a lot of processing.  Most of these film festivals seem to be swamped with budding moguls.    This year, its 11th, the Nevada City Fest received 600 submissions.  Only about 10% of the films were accepted.  Not the kind of odds  you’d like to bet on, let alone invest  your life.  But after returning from the San Diego Comic Con, where all three of his films were rejected,  Niven received his acceptances from Nevada City and Brazil.


The Friday night attention will make for a busy day.  Most likely Wilson will spend the day with foreign films and sold-out screenings at the Festival in Nevada City but he will leave with enough time to attend the Downieville screening of THE ROOM.  Then he’ll answer a few questions before returning to Nevada City, where he’ll watch his film a second time and participate in the festival’s Meet the Directors program.


*      *      *      *      *


As we approach this last screening in the Arts Council’s Film Program it begins to look like an evening of vaudeville, a synonym for “variety”.  The feature next Friday will be INCEPTION, a 2010 release.  For some, the name of the director alone might be enough to provoke a rush to the box office.  


Christopher Nolan, best known for two Batman features, with one more in production, is also the director of  MEMENTO and THE PRESTIGE, challenging entertainments that required plenty of brainwork from their audiences.  In INCEPTION Nolan works the styles together, producing a cerebral thriller, tricky and complicated enough that it would be ridiculous to try and explain it here.  It has something to do with “dream invasion”.  Those among you who enjoyed it the first time around might unravel some of its twists with a second viewing.  It stars Leonardo DeCaprio, very likely the best film-actor of his generation.


And that is not all! -- The evening starts early, at 7:15,  for early birds, probably literally.  Readers of this newspaper should be no strangers to the nature photography of Dave Marshall.  Marshall has something of the documentary photographer in his genes.  He tracks the natural rhythms of high water, Spring and migration to document nature’s special moments.  The program ENJOYING SIERRA COUNTY has been prepared and arranged by his daughter, Suzi Pangman.  Both father and daughter will be in attendance for the 7:15 start.


INCEPTION is rated PG-13 and will be shown at the Yuba Theatre on Fri., Aug. 19, 2011 at 7:30 PM.

Movie nights at the Yuba Theatre are presented by the Sierra County Arts Council, a local partner of the California Arts Council, and are made possible by a generous grant from

the Bill Graham Foundation.

Admission is free, suggested donation $5


 11th Annual Nevada City Film Festival 

 Thursday – Sunday, August 18-21, 2011

Where: The Nevada Theater, 401 Broad Street, Nevada City, CA; Miners Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA; The Magic Theatre, 107 Argall Way, Nevada City, CA

Tickets: $90 VIP Pass (includes admittance to all programs, plus reserved seating), $15 Comedy Show, $9 for Adults, $7 for Students and Seniors 62+ Individual Passes

Info: For more information on tickets and program times go to


Website Builder