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Las Vegas-Based Film Festival Spotlights First Female Directors to Place in Festival

Two female directors based out of Las Vegas are already making waves in the film industry with their latest wins

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The 49-Hour Film Festival, presented by Los Burros Media, concluded in Downtown Las Vegas at the Art Houz Theater. The festival featured several film teams who competed to win a $1000 cash prize for first place. The teams were given their topic with just 49 hours to complete their 4–7-minute film from start to finish.

 The Directing duo, Malia Aniston and Danielle Patton, have only been working together for less than a year and have already made a name for themselves with their latest film, The Sleepover.The Sleepover was released first through the 49-Hour Film Festival competition and has already been received with accolades throughout the festival, as well as taking home a selection for the Lift-Off Sessions festival, and Semi-Finalist in the Florida Short Film Festival. The film follows three high school friends who decide to have a sleepover. Starring Mikaela Brown-Cestero, Faith Lancaster, and Victoria Kelemen, the girls talk about make-up, social media, and boys, until all three make a shocking revelation. The film also features an almost entire female cast as well.

True that women-directed films only make up the minority of films produced. In a shocking study through Women and Hollywood, out of 837 films released by 8 studio and mini-major companies 2015-2021, a large portion, 86.3% of those films were directed by men.

“It’s a wonderful experience to go to these film festivals and to actually receive an award at one is surreal. Being a female director, I’m always faced with not being taken seriously enough in my role. After getting these awards I feel like people judge me on the skill/craft compared to my gender. I wouldn’t be the director I am today without my amazing cast and crew.” Patton says. The duo is a fresh breath of air for the industry. Las Vegas is booming with fresh film opportunities, and the pair are ready to take them on. “I have some big plans” says Aniston. “I have some other films in the works that I’m really excited about.”

The two just also wrapped on the set of Mark Wahlberg’s newest flick, The Family Plan, which was also filmed in Las Vegas.  But you’ll have to watch it to catch the pair in action when the film is later released.

Aniston has since completed another short film titled Mutual, in which she was an Assistant Director as well as the leading actress. The film has taken home several selections and awards from various film festivals, including Best Actress and Best Short Film. Aniston and Patton are now planning their first feature film, which they plan to submit to next season’s Sundance festival. “I wasn’t expecting to create my first feature for a couple more years, but the opportunities are coming fast. So, we thought now was the perfect time. I’m going to be working with some of my most favorite people for it, so I’m very excited. I’ve now found myself continuously making work in which I feel has a dark twist to it, and I’m really excited to share my newest ideas. I want to make art that makes you think. This is going to be my largest budget film to date.” Aniston says.

The Sleepover placed second overall in best picture as well as taking home best musical score at the 49-Hour Film Festival. “a huge win for my first film festival as a director,” said Aniston. The screenings took place in Downtown Las Vegas at Art Houz Theater on December 1st. This was the festival’s first year.

To learn more about the 49-Hour Film Festival in Las Vegas, visit

Source: Women and Hollywood,held%20into%202020%20and%202021.

About The Directors

Patton started filmmaking in 2016 and joined Dwarf Star Films in 2021. Patton is known for her color correcting and directing skills for several Dwarf Star short films. Aniston started making personal film projects in middle school, then graduated to commercials, music videos, and short films in 2020 through another local film studio, Simple Equations Media. Malia joined Dwarf Star Films in the spring of 2022. Malia Aniston is a 27-year-old film director located out of Las Vegas, NV. Danielle Patton is a 24-year-old film director out of Las Vegas, NV. The two are now creating projects through Malia’s production company, Dark Nebula Productions.

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