The Albuquerque Film Festival returns for another try this weekend. The fourth annual fest will take place Thursday, Aug. 16, through Sunday, Aug. 19, at KiMo Theatre. The theme this year is “Aliens & Outlaws.” Organizers have curtailed some of the more local and independent films to make room for well-known sci-fi films like E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Heavy Metal, Donnie Darko, Mad Max, The Goonies and Repo Man (most of which have been featured at Alibi Midnight Movie Madness screenings). There are a handful of local productions worth checking out, though. Thursday at 5:40 p.m., there will be a selection of New Mexico-made shorts: “The Rebound,” “20 Ways,” “Placed” and “The Man-App.” Friday at 4 p.m., we get Milagro Man: The Irrepressible Multicultural Life and Literary Times of John Nichols. The celebrated New Mexico author (The Milagro Beanfield War, The Wizard of Loneliness) is scheduled to be in attendance for a post-film book signing. Friday at 7 p.m., there’s a world premiere for Home Sweet Home, a micro-budgeted horror thriller shot in Alamogordo. On Sunday at 10 a.m., the festival will be screening the local web series “Flock,” about a Bible school con-man. This year’s Dennis Lee Hopper Lifetime Achievement Award winner is cult filmmaker Alex Cox. If you missed your chance to see him last year at Guild Cinema, he’s back introducing his films Repo Man and Walker in a Saturday double feature starting at 9 p.m. The festival closes out on Sunday night at 9 p.m. with the local premiere of the Japanese drama New World, which is being distributed by Santa Fe’s own Tidepoint Pictures.
The international Buddhist organization Soka Gakkai has launched the second half of its “Nuke Night” movie screenings at the SGI-USA Community Center (1911 Sunshine Terrace SE). The films continue to lead up to the opening of the “Transforming the Human Spirit” exhibit at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History on Sept. 28. This Friday, Aug. 17, features the 1983 drama Silkwood (which was shot partially in New Mexico). Future films include Do It For Uncle Graham (Aug. 24), Mothra (Aug. 31), The Atomic Cafe (Sept. 7), The Forgotten Bomb (Sept. 14) and The China Syndrome (Sept. 21). The films start at 7 p.m. and are all followed by an informal discussion. Admission is free.