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Locally made indie movie ‘Dealer’ to open Las Vegas Film Festival

Las Vegas Film Festival
Las Vegas Film Festival programmer Max Allen introduces a movie during last year’s celebration of cinema.
(Las Vegas Film Festival)

The Las Vegas Film Festival kicks off Tuesday with an independent film made by locals (sort of) and shot locally too. 

The dark comedy “Dealer” was filmed in the area by a group of former University Nevada, Las Vegas, students turned filmmakers.

In the film, Kelly, played by Lundon Boyd, is a blackjack dealer who is forced to become a drug dealer -- with disastrous results.

The movie will premiere 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Inspire Theater. It’s one of 80 films and documentaries scheduled to be showcased over six days.

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The ninth annual festival in downtown Las Vegas runs through Sunday with screenings at various venues.

Actors Julian Dennison, left, and Sam Neill are lost in the New Zealand bush in “Hunt for the Wilderpeople.”
Actors Julian Dennison, left, and Sam Neill are lost in the New Zealand bush in "Hunt for the Wilderpeople."
(Orchard Distribution )

Film fans can also catch “Hunt for the Wilderpeople,” which was well-received when it debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

The movie profiles the relationship between a rebellious boy (Julian Dennison) and his foster uncle (Sam Neill) after they go missing in the New Zealand bush.

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The film will be screened 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Brenden Theatres at the Palms.

And a documentary called “Legend of Swee’ Pea” recounts the rocky life of NBA player Lloyd Daniels, and the Las Vegas events that almost curtailed his career.

It screens 4 p.m. Thursday.

The festival also includes the Young Cinema Lab, a program in which elementary and middle school children demonstrate their budding cinema talents.

Kids’ ideas were turned into short films with help from the local university’s film students. Their collection will be shown at noon Saturday at the Inspire Theater.

Tickets for individual screenings cost $12. All-access passes range from $120 to $250.

Check out the full schedule of films as well as parties and events online.

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