On Friday, April 17, Albuquerque’s Public Academy for Performing Arts (PAPA) will host a screening of black-and-white silent films with original piano performances by film and piano lab students. The event will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. at the charter high school’s campus (4665 Indian School NE, Suite 101). Tickets are $3 at the door. This film and music event is a fundraiser to help PAPA students attend the Desert Light Film Festival in Alamogordo on Friday, April 24. PAPA Advanced Film students have been invited to project their experimental dance films onto the dunes of the White Sands National Monument as part of the grand finale for the film festival. Desert Light is a competition for middle school and high school students sponsored by New Mexico State University at Alamogordo and the Otero County Film Office.
This year marks the fourth annual appearance of the Experiments in Cinema film festival. Experiments in Cinema v4.2 is curated by Bryan Konefsky, a well-known figure in Albuquerque’s experimental film scene thanks to his roles as vice president of Basement Films and longtime lecturer at UNM’s Department of Cinematic Arts. The four-day festival (April 16 through 19) splits its time between 516 ARTS, Southwest Film Center and Guild Cinema. Thursday’s opening night will feature a collection of L.A.- and Albuquerque-based films, along with a special youth program spotlighting video works by students enrolled in YDI’s Mi Voz after-school program, the PAPA Charter High School and Albuquerque Academy’s Video Art class. The remainder of the weekend focuses on short experimental films, videos and multimedia work from all over the globe. Scattered among the weekend’s many programming blocks are appearances by three guest artists. Local success story Ben Popp returns to the Land of Enchantment to screen his new “stained glass film” and conduct a 16mm filmmaking workshop. Kerry Laitala will show off her handmade films and conduct a 35mm workshop that explores some of her techniques. Finally, Doug Katelus (director of the New Nothing Cinema in San Francisco) will present a collection of legendary filmmaker Dean Snider’s cinematic shorts. All told, there will be more than 60 mind-expanding experimental film and video shorts screened over the course of this year’s fest. For a complete list of films, workshops and venues, log on to basementfilms.org/experiments.html.