Writer-director François Girard will present his underrated film The Red Violin as the opening night film of this year’s fifth annual White Sands International Film Festival in Las Cruces. The historical drama stars Samuel L. Jackson as a researcher at an auction house who tries to uncover the secret history of a famous violin, tracing it back through three centuries and multiple owners. The film’s 10 years old at this point, but it’s a good one, having captured an Academy Award for Best Musical Score in 1998. Girard, who also directed Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould, will take part in a Q&A after the screening. Opening night for the fest is Thursday, April 23, and begins at 7 p.m.
Also on opening night will be a premiere for Michael Lennick & Shirley Gulliford’s history of astronomy and rocket science in New Mexico doc The Land of Space and Time. Friday, April 24, through Sunday, April 26, the festival will feature mutiple programs of features, documentaries and shorts. Panels and workshops on casting, acting and editing are also scheduled to take place throughout the weekend. Film screenings are at Allen Theatres’ Cineport 10 (700 S. Telshor, Las Cruces). Several of the workshops will be hosted by NMSU. Tickets and passes are on sale now. You can pick them up or peruse the complete schedule of events by logging on to wsiff.com.