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Program pickers keep focus on filmmakers

Groth sees fest as an 'intimate artist's retreat'

In his four years as CineVegas director of programming, Trevor Groth has helped propel the fest’s rapid growth. Last year saw an 11% increase in attendance, to 80,000, and for the first time all the major studios were in attendance.

But Groth sees the fest as “an intimate artist’s retreat” and his goal is to bring in filmmakers who are pushing the boundaries and celebrate their work, so he doesn’t see the fest growing indefinitely.

“I don’t think it will ever be a Toronto (Film Festival),” he says. “CineVegas has the capability to go big, but that wouldn’t suit what the festival should be about.”

Groth has been essential in helping CineVegas find its personality — and its niche in Sin City.

Salt Lake City native was “obsessed” with movies as a child.

He has worked for the Sundance Film Festival since 1993 and today is a senior programmer there. He took his current post at CineVegas in 2002.

Sundance has five programmers but CineVegas has just Groth and his associate director of programming Mike Plante. The pair select all of the CineVegas films — some 60 for this year. “We have a lot of freedom,” says Groth.

Groth says what’s really important, though, the numerous opportunities for dialogue between less experienced filmmakers and established pros — and, of course, the things that come with having a fest in Las Vegas.

“We are looking to do new things (here),” he says. “Creating a specific flavor. Embrace excess. Las Vegas is about making dreams come true.”

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