Film Producer & Distributor

Filmmaker Residency


THE UNION: Nevada City Film Festival Highlights Filmmaker Residency (August 12, 2019) by Jennifer Nobles

The Nevada City Film Festival Filmmaker Residency is borne out of the fun, nurturing and artist-friendly values of the Nevada City Film Festival. We aim to provide nourishment and inspiration to a diverse range of independent writers, directors and producers amidst the beauty and quiet of Nevada City and Grass Valley along with further enriching the area’s artistic offerings and its world-class creative community with the active presence of these filmmakers. The residency will focus on bringing filmmakers from communities with historic ties to Nevada City, placing special emphasis on engaging Native and Asian American filmmakers, to participate in crosscultural exchange with Nevada County residents.

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The 2019 Residency sets a new precedent by turning the creative spotlight onto independent producers. The Residency continues to build upon our founding intention of supporting Native and Asian American storytellers to pay tribute to Nevada City's less visible histories, the Nisenan tribe and Asian immigrants.

We are thrilled this year to include five dynamic producers. On August 12, we welcome our Producer in Residence, Zhang Xianmin to Grass Valley-Nevada City from Beijing, China. Xianmin is the preeminent central figure of independent cinema in China. His career encompasses every aspect of the independent film landscape - creative producer, Beijing Film Academy professor, China Independent Film Festival founder, as well as distributor, exhibitor, curator, scholar, writer, critic and much more. Xianmin will serve as a speaker and mentor while in Nevada City. His creative work during the Residency will focus on migration stories between China and the Americas.

On August 25, we will welcome four bold independent American producers, hailing from the fields of fiction, nonfiction, television and immersive storytelling. These four producers are Native American documentary producer Christina King (Warrior Women), Asian American fiction producer Kim Parker (The Last Black Man in San Francisco), immersive producer Vassiliki Khonsari (1979 Revolution) and television producer Diane Houslin (HBO, MTV, ESPN). These producers were chosen from nominations made by leading non-profit organizations including Sundance Institute, SF Film, Film Independent and Tribeca Film Institute.

The aim of the 2019 Residency is to create a first-of-its kind, industry-leading creative retreat for independent producers.

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About Nevada City and Grass Valley...

Located at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, surrounded by the Tahoe National Forest and the wild and scenic Yuba River, are the beautifully preserved historic towns of Nevada City and Grass Valley.

Steeped in history and with the most famous gold-mining district in California, Nevada City and Grass Valley experienced a “cultural revolution” that has reshaped the local economy and continues to influence the statewide arts scene. Starting in the ’60s, Beat Generation and deep ecology poet Gary Snyder, singer Utah Phillips, and a host of authors and musicians settled here. Now, for more than 50 high-tech companies – including a virtual and augmented reality hub – creativity occurs in peaceful, natural environments far from major urban centers.

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Between them, Nevada City and Grass Valley are home to the Nevada Theatre, the oldest theater in California, and more than 100 arts-related organizations producing upwards of 1,000 events a year, scores of annual festivals, street fairs, art walks and studio tours, and a generous base ofartists and makers. As well as for its arts, the district is known for its expanding vineyards, wineries, and tasting rooms, and a trail network of outstanding natural beauty. The Nisenan lived in the region for thousands of years as part of a perfectly balanced ecosystem, thriving on the Yuba, Bear, and American river watersheds – and, over time, their sacred places are being rediscovered and cherished.

Interested filmmakers, institutions and organizations are invited to contact Residency Director, Karin Chien at