Filmmakers from all over the world are in Reno this weekend for the 4th annual Reno Film Festival.
A series of film screenings and workshops are planned..and festival organizers say it's a chance for aspiring talent to learn how to make it in the movie biz.
Tonight I talked with a young director who's just getting started. He's already made a short film and he's now trying to get his movie financed as a feature film.
He shared with us his experience . . . and his advice.
Twenty-three-year-old Simon Jocker is the writer and director behind "Frame of Mind," a 20-minute short film to be showcased this weekend at the Reno Film Festival.
"It's about a woman with a dual personality -she's considered a serious danger to society," says Jocker.
Jocker came to Los Angeles from Germany to study film . . . his love since he was 14. "I never stopped doing this because it made me happy," he says.
But it wasn't easy.
Jocker says after three years of schooling, it still takes a lot of networking, dedication and just plain hard work to get his film seen. He says it took 10 months to get to this step . . . he's still looking for help to get to the next.
"Doing financing plan, refining script, step two is getting money," Jocker says.
He says the Reno Film Festival has given him a chance to talk with other directors, and learn from people who have been in the industry for years . . . even actors like Christopher Lloyd, a veteran of both the small and big screen.
"I'm grateful for the festival," Jocker says.
His advice to others who want to follow in his film footsteps? "The key to success is a good product. Steven Spielberg said a good script will find a home, same with actors, films, directors."
Jocker says his goal as a director is to create moments that move people . . . and he's just getting started.
Keep an eye out this weekend for some good films that could be "the next big thing." We already had a William Macy film premier here last night . . . before New York or LA . It's called "the Cooler."
You can see Simon's movie "Frame of Mind" at 11:30 Sunday morning at the Nevada Museum of Art theater.
And, in addition to that theater, films will be screened at CineArts at Riverside and the El Dorado.