By Devin D. O’Leary
Media Meeting--The UNM ARTS Lab will host New Mexico’s 3rd Annual Media Industries Conference this Friday, Feb. 2, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Student Union Building. This free conference, titled “New Challenges, New Opportunities,” will bring together people from across the media spectrum. More than 300 professional filmmakers, artists, researchers, technology developers, educators and students are expected to attend and network with others to learn about activities, challenges and opportunities in these growing fields.
The conference is part of UNM’s response to the state’s Media Industries Strategy Project--Gov. Richardson’s plan to create a media industry in New Mexico based on the state’s unique combination of technical, artistic and cultural resources. Since the strategy began in 2004, New Mexico has experienced a boom in film-related jobs. With new studios and other facilities on the way, further growth is expected. The hope is that this will create a robust “media cluster” where New Mexicans can build companies and find jobs in film, games, animation, technology and other media-related fields.
The conference’s morning session will feature a survey of various media fields, industry developments and trends. Representatives from the New Mexico Film Office, Department of Cultural Affairs, College of Santa Fe, NMSU’s Creative Media Lab, Intel and the Film Technicians Training Program will be on hand. The morning will close with a keynote talk from Barry Weiss, senior vice president for animation at Sony Imageworks. The afternoon will include various breakout sessions on “Media Education,” “Festivals and Competitions,” “Serious Games” and more. From 3 to 4:30 p.m., I’ll be part of the “Working With the Press” panel alongside Gene Grant from the Albuquerque Tribune, Dan Mayfield and Andrew Webb from the Albuquerque Journal and Dan Shingler and Haley Wachdorf from the New Mexico Business Weekly.
Space is limited and preregistration is required, but all New Mexicans interested in filmmaking, video games and digital media are encouraged to attend. For further information call 277-2253 or log on to artslab.unm.edu.
Local Premiere--Razor Sharp Productions and the Albuquerque Film Office are presenting a sneak preview of the locally shot black comedy The Donor Conspiracy at the KiMo Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m. The film tells the story of two cynical med school students who get involved in the shady underworld of black market kidney harvesting. Admission to this preview screening is by invitation only, but there will be a standby line at the door. Standby tickets, if available, will be free. For more info, log on to www.thedonorconspiracy.com
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