Honestly, it’s an exciting time to be a filmmaker in New Mexico. Even if you aren’t going to be one of the rare few industry pros employed by Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins (shooting in and around Albuquerque this May, June, July and August--get used to it), you’ve still got plenty of opportunities in this town.
Gov. Richardson and the State Film Office recently announced the NM Filmmakers Conference and First Vision Forum will be held in Albuquerque March 27-29 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. This event is designed to provide workshops and networking opportunities for New Mexico-based media talent. With any luck, home-based filmmakers, writers, producers, music composers and actors will be able to make contacts beyond our state borders, exchange ideas with one another and explore new film frontiers. (At least that’s what the promo literature promises.)
Forum presenters include the Screen Actors Guild, ABC/Disney, the New Mexico Music Commission, the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, the Institute of American Indian Arts, and the Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center. Filmmakers Gregory Nava and Barbara Martinez-Jitner (who directed and produced that last J.Lo movie), Chad Burris (Four Sheets to the Wind), Heather Rae (Trudell) and Laura Milliken (Moccasin Flats) will be there as well. The keynote address will be delivered by media entrepreneur Jeff Valdez, founder of cable network SiTV, chairman of QuePasa Corp and co-chairman of Maya Entertainment.
Things get underway Thursday, March 27, with a special screening of films by New Mexicans hosted by actor Wes Studi (The Last of the Mohicans). Films will include winners of the Governor’s Cup competitions, awardees of New Visions contracts and members of New Mexico Technicians Training Programs. The following two days will shine the spotlight on speakers discussing a variety of topics such as “Bringing Your Film to the Marketplace” and “Film Financing and Legal Concerns.” Panels and seminars will cover working with SAGIndie contracts, diversity training, directing, writing and more. In addition, there will be two special sessions about film and music presented by the NM Music Commission and the Berklee College of Music.
When you get bored of seminars and lectures, you can check out the media industry trade fair, with tabletop exhibits and representatives from companies and organizations including New Mexico Lighting and Grip, IATSE 480, Kodak, Panavision, Apple Computer, Sony Imageworks, the Screen Actors Guild and others.
All events are free to attend and open to the public; however, preregistration is required. The deadline to register is March 20, 2008, and space is going fast. The complete conference schedule and online registration are available at www.nmfilm.com or by calling the Film Office at (505) 476-5600. If you are interested in volunteering for this event, please go to www.nmfilm.com/locals/nm-filmmakers/vol-form.php.