French-Canadian classroom drama teaches a lesson on healing
By Devin D. O’Leary
Inspirational teacher stories have long been a staple of the movie industry. But few of these live-and-learn dramas have had the quiet, unadorned impact of Canada’s Academy Award nominee Monsieur Lazhar.
The White Sands International Film Festival has worked hard to build itself up over the years. The festival—which moved from Alamogordo to Las Cruces in 2009—takes place Wednesday, Aug. 22, through Sunday, Aug. 26. This year’s Opening Night Showcase kicks it off with Bringing Up Bobby, a drama about a European con artist and her son who find themselves stuck in rural Oklahoma. The film is directed by actress Famke Janssen, who will be in attendance. Other invited guests include the film’s main stars, Milla Jovovich and Bill Pullman. Emmy-nominated actor Jeffrey Tambor (“Arrested Development”) will present his one-man show / seminar on “Performing Your Life.” Other workshops and panel discussions include one on independent filmmaking and a look back at “100 Years of Movie Making in New Mexico.” Noted screenwriter and award-winning playwright Mark Medoff will present “Screenwriting: The Hero’s Journey.” More than 100 features, shorts and documentaries will be screened over the course of the five-day event. Things culminate on Sunday night with the re-screening of the award winners for Best Feature, Best Documentary, Audience Award and Best Director. Events will take place at the Black Box Theater, the Rio Grande Theater and the Cineport 10.