MovieMaker: My Run

(via MovieMaker Magazine)

by Tim VandeSteeg | Published April 9, 2010

As an independent moviemaker, I understand that challenges and obstacles go along with moviemaking. You never know what’s exactly going to happen. The key is how you handle these ups and downs along the way. I live by my motto: Be powerful, be unstoppable.

I approach moviemaking and my life with what I call the “Rocky Balboa Attitude.” As long as you keep fighting and you don’t quit, you never fail. It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, smacked around or beat up; as long as you don’t stay down you always have a chance to succeed.

Moviemaking is like a marathon and the story behind My Run is no exception.

Today, My Run’s journey continues as its screening within the festival circuit. In October 2009, the film had its world premiere at the Austin Film Festival and won the “Audience Award” for Best Documentary. In December, My Run won “Best Documentary” at the Mammoth Film Festival.

(Read the full article at

Angeleno Magazine: Get Outta Town

(via Angeleno magazine)

By Amanda Millin | Published November 24, 2009

Angeleno magazineLooking for a winter getaway? Mammoth Lakes has long been a California favorite for winter sports, but it is now becoming a forerunner in a new genre: cinema. The Mammoth Film Festival, now in its third year, has recently ranked among MovieMaker magazine’s top 25 festivals “worthy of the entrance fee” alongside local favorites like the Palm Springs International Film Festival and the L.A. Comedy Shorts Film Festival.

This year, MFF takes place December 9 – 13 and is debuting two new categories: the Green Film Competition, which shows off films with environmental themes or movies produced in an environmentally friendly manner; and the Screening Series, which gives exposure to films which already have distribution deals. The Extreme Sports category, which is a hit with Mammoth’s ski and snowboarding devotees, returns from last year, along with the elimination-style Film Tournament, where the audience chooses its winner. Adding to the appeal of the festival, the Westin Monache Resort—which has the charm of a winter cabin with the luxury of an A-list hotel—is the official lodging. Many of the films will be screened right in the hotel, and there is an express gondola to the top of the ski slopes right from the hotel. Definitely a trip worth the hour-long flight from L.A.

(Read this article at

MovieMaker: 25 Festivals Worth the Fee

(via MovieMaker magazine)

by MovieMaker Staff | Published April 17, 2009

Now more than ever, with our country deep in a recession, coughing up the entry fees for a number of film festivals can be an unfeasible expense, so moviemakers need to choose wisely and target those fests that can offer a potential return on their investment.

But how can you choose where to submit? We searched the country (and our good neighbor to the north) to bring you a list of 25 of the finest festivals that are very much worth the fee.

Mammoth Film Festival: If you’ve ever longed to be on “American Idol for Moviemakers,” here’s your chance. A young festival rapidly growing in recognition and praise, MFF hosts a unique, elimination-style movie tournament where the audience chooses the winner. In 2007, its first year, the audience chose especially wisely by selecting Jon Dunham’s Spirit of the Marathon as its winner; the film went on to gross $1 million theatrically in just two nights. With the event set in Mammoth Lakes, an hour flight from L.A., and home to Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, it’s also a chance for Hollywood types to get away from it all–if only for the day.

(excerpts from both print and online editions of MovieMaker)

Los Angeles Times: Events

(via Los Angeles Times)


Travel calendar: Events for November 2008

By Avital Binshtock

October 29, 2009


Mammoth Film Festival

When, where: Nov. 13 to 23, throughout Mammoth Lakes.

Highlights: More than 60 feature and short films in a variety of genres make their debut or are screened; between show times, festival-goers can attend panel discussions, live music and social events.

Cost: $25 for an all-access pass.

Info: (760) 965-4072,

(view the article at

Harder to Film ‘Marathon’ Than Run One

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

Docu grossed $1M in two night run

By Martin A. Grove

As difficult as it is to run a marathon, it’s even harder to make a movie about marathon running.

At least that’s been Jon Dunham’s experience in bringing the documentary “Spirit of the Marathon” to the screen. “Marathon” won the audience award at the 2007 Chicago International Film Festival and was named best picture at the 2007 Mammoth Film Festival. It’s playing through Aug. 14 during Docuweek in New York and from Aug. 22-28 as part of Docuweek in L.A., showings that will qualify it for well-deserved Academy consideration.

Directed by Dunham, “Marathon” was produced by Dunham and Gwendolen Twist and photographed by Dunham and Sarah Levy. It was executive produced by Mark Jonathan Harris, an Oscar winner for producing (with Trevor Greenwood) the 1967 documentary short “The Redwoods.” Dunham previously directed, co-shot and edited the 2002 documentary short “No Distance Too Far” about the 600 mile California AIDS ride by 3,000 cyclists in June ’01, which screened on television and at film festivals worldwide.

Dunham spent about two years developing and researching “Marathon,” he told me, “meeting all kinds of people, trying to find the financing for it and at the end of (that time) I had a lot of wonderful relationships with people in the running world, but no money whatsoever. That was the end of 2004 or early 2005. There came a point where I just could see that this movie wasn’t going to move forward unless I really did something about it. This was when the first HD (video) cameras were starting to come onto the scene. I purchased one of those — a Sony V1 — right when it came out and I started shooting with the U.S. Olympian featured in the film, Deena Kastor.

(read the full article at