The Albuquerque Film Festival survived its sophomore outing this past weekend, and by all indications it was an extremely successful second year.
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.
Best New Mexico Feature went to Becoming Eduardo, a heartfelt coming-of-age drama shot in the Las Cruces area. Producer Brad Littlefield was particularly gratified by the response to his “quiet, thoughtful little film.” Following its screening at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, Littlefield said, “It’s incredible that, despite the challenges, the Albuquerque Film Festival has been able to grow and prosper.” Buoyed by the positive response in Albuquerque, Littlefield is shepherding Becoming Eduardo on its first out-of-state trip: the Burbank International Film Festival on Sept. 16.
The weekend’s big winner, though, was Pickin’ & Grinnin’, a funny, tuneful piece of indie film uplift from actor-
Royal Wedding (1951) at KiMo Theatre
Classic film starring Fred Astaire, Jane Powell and Peter Lawford. Part of the Movie Musicals film series.
The Wrecking Crew at Guild Cinema
Dinner & Italian Film at Osteria d'Assisi Ristorante ItalianoMore Recommented Events ››