Shadrach Michaels
White Pine County native Dutch Marich will debut a film at the Ely Film Festival March 13-15.

Born and raised in Ruth, Dutch Marich was like many children, chasing lizards, building tree forts, sledding and running around all day with friends. 

However, the son of Dan and Kathy Marich came from a family of miners and he very well might have surprised his household when proclaiming at a very young age, “I wanna be an actress!” Although he may not have understood the correct theatrical terminology then, Dutch did know early on that being in the movies was what he wanted to do when he grew up.

Throughout childhood, Dutch gravitated towards the darker side of films; the scary movies, the horror flicks of Hitchcock and slasher films of the eighties and nineties. 

He later found more specific movie motivation when watching a documentary showing what happens behind the scenes. Remembering these moments that shaped his interests, his pursuits, and his youth while attending White Pine County Schools, Marich said,“From that point on I started getting involved in theater. Our theater teacher, Kathy Tucker, was absolutely incredible. She encouraged me to pursue a career in acting. She knew I really wanted to be an actor and she told me I had a gift.”  

Taking Tucker’s advice, Dutch ran with his dreams and began recording himself with an old VHS recorder. He filmed puppet shows, directed his mother in short films, and eventually earned his parent’s support in looking for the next step to making movies a reality. 

“My parents said, ‘You really do love this, why don’t you go for it.’” he said. “We looked and found a reputable school, found The American Academy of Dramatic Arts; I flew down and  auditioned during my senior year and was offered a scholarship. Right after graduating in 2003, I moved to LA.”

It was after he completed his education at the academy when his interests in performing for the cameras and audiences waned and he developed a deeper appreciation for story telling from behind the lense. 

Transitioning from in front of the camera to behind, Dutch admits he has failed as many times as he has succeeded. Filming and making movies, like everything, takes commitment and perseverance. 

The first production he attempted as a writer/director was, in his words, “an unmitigated disaster” and “will never see the light of day.”  

He explained, “I consider that first experience my film school, because of how much I learned there. A lot of what went wrong was out of our control and was impossible to prepare for, but you move on and learn from it.”

During the course of his budding career, Dutch has shot four of his films in White Pine County and Ely: The Dark Hand, Infernum, Hunting and, making its world debut at the Ely Film Festival, Reaptown, a dark and mysterious film. 

He said,“This film takes place almost entirely at the Nevada Northern Railway. The movie beautifully showcases the entire property… in a sinister way.”  

In addition to Reaptown, The Ely Film Festival will provide moviegoers a wide selection of events, panel discussions with the filmmakers about their films, the craft of storytelling, as well as the art of making movies. 

The historic Ely Central Theater will play host during the festival’s main events and screenings of this and several films, while also presenting a full schedule of speakers. The Ely Film Festival will also have special panels with White Pine High School graduates Kyle Ford and Adam Metcalf, as well as film expert and cinema writer Robin Holabird.

The Ely Film Festival celebrates White Pine County and Ely in relation to the artistic, historic, and cultural heritages of our area that have been captured in a wide array of cinematic creations over the past century.  

This film festival is also giving local students the opportunity to express themselves through the art of filmmaking; and a special award will be presented for the best student film.  

During the weekend of March 13 through 15, Ely will go Hollywood. The films selected for this first Ely Film Festival will enable viewers a glimpse of White Pine County from different angles and unique perspectives, encouraging locals to see the magic of our home come alive through the magic of movies. 

For Marich, the magic of White Pine County and the bond of his upbringing continue to bring him back, to make films and share them with others, as he put it,“The majority of the work I do now, when I sit down to write a story, I automatically write based on my experiences, stuff that takes place in small rural towns because it’s what I know and love.”

With major Hollywood production studios gravitating towards Dutch’s cinematic creations, he is proud of the work he has done and is planning to film another movie here in Ely this year.

“I love doing all my work in Ely, because there has been so much support. You can really set any type of movie here, because it is so remote, it has its own unique charm,” he said. 

Go get your tickets, find your seat and grab some popcorn, all that White Pine County charm and Ely movie magic is coming to the big screen. For information, schedule of events or to purchase tickets visit https://elynevada.net/ely-film-festival/ or stop by The historic Ely Central Theater.