Gov. Bill Richardson announced last week the winner of the “New Visions/New Mexico” Contract Awards. Fourteen New Mexico-based film/media projects have received contracts ranging from $5,000 to $20,000. This money will be used by the winning producers, directors and writers to start or complete various narrative, documentary, animated and experimental works. In the Documentary category, the winners were Marcos Baca of Albuquerque (The Zia’s Heart); Jimmy Baca of Albuquerque (Rising from the Ashes); Joseph Concha of Taos (Smokey and the Snowballs); Elke Duerr of Albuquerque (Wolves in New Mexico--The Great Divide); Ramona Emerson of Albuquerque (Gambling With Our Future); and Florentina Garnanez of Santa Fe (Yellow Fever). In the Animation category, winners were Catherine Friday of Albuquerque (The Sands of Time) and Kevin Ulrich of Edgewood (The Restoration: Rise of Zerad). In the Narrative category, winners included Jocelyn Jansons of Santa Fe (The Baby Monitor); Riyanka Kumar of Santa Fe (Mercury in Retrograde); Margot Segura of Las Vegas (Lipstick Princess); and Craig Strong of Santa Fe (La Bola Blanca). In the Experimental category, winners were Stephen Ausherman of Albuquerque (Kammer 2.1) and Melissa Henry of Albuquerque (Navajo Wool: As Told By Baa Baa).
Ford Motor Company recently sponsored a competition looking for short screenplays about Ford Mustangs. New Mexico filmmakers Scott and Paula Merrow were among the winners to have their films shot by a small production company in Los Angeles. A promo featuring clips from the film will be screened during this week’s “Knight Rider” on NBC (Wednesday, Nov. 19, 7 p.m.). Congrats to the locals done good. You can check out the Merrows’ film “Mustang Magic” in its entirety at tinyurl.com/58vucl.
Local documentarian Rudy J. Miera will have his short film “Curanderas: Folk Healers” screened at Casa de Sousa in Los Angeles on Thursday, Nov. 20, as part of the East Los Angeles Film Festival. The film features interviews with New Mexico-based curanderas Elena Avila, Dr. Diane Martinez-Hursh and Lorraine Córdova-Carriaga and an introduction by author Rudolfo Anaya. Congratulations on getting your message out to the world, Mr. Miera.
Instituto Cervantes presents the documentary The Great Bear Minus Two (La Osa Mayor Menos Dos) at the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s Wells Fargo Auditorium this Thursday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. The acclaimed film follows the the treatment of mental health patients over the course of a single year and documents their improvement, rehabilitation or deterioration. Earlier this year, it was awarded Best Documentary at the International Independent Film Festival in Barcelona. The film, in Spanish with English subtitles, will be followed by a discussion with the director, David Reznak. This is a free, ticketed event. Tickets are available in person at the NHCC box office (1701 Fourth Street SW) or at ticketmaster.com.