Closet Celebration—Closet Cinema, Albuquerque's foremost promoter of gay and lesbian film and founder of the Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, will be hosting its first ever winter benefit on Wednesday, Jan. 19. The benefit will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Laru Ni Hati (3413 Central Ave. NE). There will be a Cuban buffet feast and a cash bar courtesy of Café Cubano. There will also be lots of great prize giveaways from assorted participating businesses. Following the party, there will be a screening of the Sundance Film Fest favorite Tarnation next door at the Guild Cinema. The film documents the tumultuous life of writer/director/actor Jonathan Caouette, from his emergence as a gay teenager to his later life caring for his schizophrenic mother. Tickets are $20 at the door, $15 for Closet Cinema members and free (!) if you become a new Closet Cinema member at the event. For more information on the fundraiser or the organization, log on to www.closetcinema.org. For more info on the film, check out www.i-saw-tarnation.com.
South American Cinema—Basement Films is bringing Josh Hyde, cofounder of the Chicago-based independent film company Lofu Productions, to Albuquerque for a screening of his latest films, both of which were shot in Peru. In the summer of 2003, Hyde shot Despacho: A Healing Cultural Exchange. The documentary explores an organized cultural exchange of shamanistic healing techniques and western medicine. While shooting this documentary, Hyde came up with the idea for “Chicle.” This 14-minute short film follows a gum-selling street kid in Cusco, Peru, who comes to the rescue of a lost American tourist. The film, starring American actors and indigenous Peruvians has shown at such prestigious film festivals as South by Southwest, Cinequest and the Tribeca Film Festival. The 25-year-old director is now working on a feature-length version of the film. Hyde will be at the screening, taking place at the Albuquerque Peace and Justice Center (202 Harvard SE), and will stick around afterward for a Q&A session. A donation of $5 is suggested at the door. Screening gets underway at 7 p.m. Seating is limited, so grab yours early.