Guest of honor Monte Hellman was on hand to receive his Maverick Filmmaker Award during a sold-out opening night screening at Guild Cinema. Actress America Fererra briefly winged her way through town to support the Iraq War PTSD drama The Dry Land. The film, shot partially in New Mexico, captured the festival’s Film 4 Change award for “using the narrative form to illuminate consciousness about a social problem.” Response to the film was so overwhelming, organizers had to move the screening to a larger venue. Best Documentary went to The Shaman and Ayahuasca, an ethnographic look at the psychoactive plant use among Peruvian healers. The Best Feature Film winner was American Cowslip, a dark comedy about a heroin addict / gardening enthusiast in small-town California starring Peter Falk, Bruce Dern, Diane Ladd and New Mexico boy Val Kilmer.
The weekend’s big winner, though, was Pickin’ & Grinnin’, a funny, tuneful piece of indie film uplift from actor-
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She Sings to the Stars at Jean Cocteau Cinema
A woman's grandson becomes stranded on her farm with an aging magician.
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