Since 2001, the Nevada City Film Festival (NCFF) has brought top independent film, music and comedy, along with attracting thousands of attendees, international filmmakers, and industry guests to the historic Gold Rush era town of Nevada City, California.

Nevada City is known for its sophisticated and supportive arts and cultural scene, and makes screening a film here a positive, encouraging and exciting experience.

NCFF is often referred to as the “Sundance of the Sierra” for its emphasis on fiercely independent cinema that showcases innovative, progressive and exciting new voices in film. In 2016, NCFF was named by Moviemaker Magazine as one of the top 50 film festivals in the world worth the submission fee for filmmakers.

NCFF is known for recognizing and supporting new talent including filmmakers such as Jonathan Krisel (Portlandia), Jason Sussberg and David Alvarado (Bill Nye: Science Guy), Patrick Brice (CREEP, The Overnight), Academy Award-Winning director Lucy Walker (Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom, The Crash Reel), Academy Award-nominated director and animator Daisy Jacobs (The Bigger Picture), director Kat Candler (Hellion), director Rick Alverson (Entertainment), animator and performance artist Miwa Matryek, director David Zellner (Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter), animator Galen Pehrson, and directors Mark and Jay Duplass, among others.

In previous years NCFF has hosted filmmakers such as Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine, Ruby Sparks), Mike Mills, Miranda July, Wesley Allsbrook, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim (Cartoon Networks Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!), Bill Nye (the Science Guy), and comedians including Maria Bamford, Tig Notaro, Nick Kroll, Natasha Leggero, Nick Thune and Marc Maron. Past NCFF judges have included award-winning producers and directors, plus writers from The Huffington Post, New York Times, McSweeneys, San Francisco Chronicle, Rolling Stone Magazine, and Pop-Up Magazine.

Professional, student, and amateur filmmakers are invited to submit short and feature length films including documentaries, animation, narrative, and comedy.

Best of the Fest, Judges Award - $1500
Audience Award - $500

Overall Rating
  • Taylor Reynolds

    I had such a wonderful time at the festival! The screening I was in was beautiful, and the Q&A afterwards will be a fond memory. Also big thanks to the festival staff for their generous accomodations in Nevada City.

    September 2018
  • Radu Sava

    I'm very pleased with my experience at the festival.

    September 2018
  • Dan Heflin

    I had a wonderful festival experience and met a lot of great people! The accommodations were excellent and the festival organizers were warm and inviting.

    September 2018
  • Sarah Poynter

    The Nevada City Film Festival will always be one of my favorites.. the staff, the town, the venues, the people, the events, the caliber of films... the list goes on. Big love for NCFF!

    September 2017
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you Sarah for taking the time to review us. It means so much to know that our filmmakers feel welcomed and supported! Keep up the great work, we look forward to your next film!

  • Kevin Pontuti

    Incredible festival and an amazing group of people. We had a great time and fell in love with Nevada City. Can'y wait to visit again.

    September 2017
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    Response from festival:

    Hi Kevin, Congrats on your engagement! Thank you so much for sharing your film with our audience. We looked forward to what new projects you have in the works. And you are always welcome to stop by and say hello...Stockton isn't that far away! Take care.