Cody: The First Step, a documentary about Albuquerque native Cody Unser who was tragically afflicted with transverse myelitis at the age of 12, will have its New Mexico premiere this coming Wednesday, July 8. The film follows Cody’s founding of the Cody Unser First Step Foundation to help find a cure for her disease. In addition to charting her own emotional and physical struggles, the film examines where science and politics intersect. For the last five years, Cody has lobbied state legislatures and Congress to push for stem-cell research, which offers the key to her recovery. Doors open at the KiMo Theatre in downtown Albuquerque at 5 p.m. The screening will start around 5:45 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling 768-3522. For more information on the Cody Unser First Step Foundation, visit cufsf.org.
Director Priyanka Kumar (“The Song of the Little Road” starring Martin Scorsese and the upcoming feature The Flicker’s Dance starring Jane Alexander) will lead two acting for film workshops in Santa Fe this week. Creating and strengthening a character, working with the camera, the rehearsal process, and working with a director’s notes are a few of the topics Kumar will address. The workshops will take place Monday, July 6, and Wednesday, July 8, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Community Room at Santa Fe Public Library (145 Washington Street). These workshops are presented as part of the New Visions/New Mexico Contract Award and are free to the public. You do need to RSVP, however, by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes, the rumors are true: Albuquerque will have its very own big-time film festival starting this August. The inaugural film fest is scheduled for Aug. 6 through 9 and will take place at a number of venues in and around downtown Albuquerque. I chatted with executive director Rich Henrich the other day, and he confirmed that with the support of the City of Albuquerque and a number of other sponsors, this year’s festival will spotlight approximately 15 feature films and a number of panels, workshops and parties. Among the guests confirmed so far are actress Fairuza Balk (The Craft, Almost Famous), actor/director Giancarlo Esposito (The Usual Suspects, “Breaking Bad”), Academy Award-winning VFX artist Zaid Serafi (The Golden Compass, Sin City) and director of games for Marvel Comics Todd Jefferson. The website for this fast-growing festival is still under construction, but you can get updates on films, events and tickets by logging on to albuquerquefilmfestival.com. Obviously, we’ll have more details as things get closer.