The first graduating class of UNM’s innovative Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media Program (IFDM) is about to show off some of its magic. Students in the program have spent most of the last year working on a 30-minute short called “Haley.” The impressive-looking sci-fi-oriented film follows an ass-kicking father who must hunt a group of thugs through a post-apocalyptic wasteland after his young daughter is kidnapped. Most of the shooting was accomplished at the old Albuquerque Railyard and the local arm of Sony Pictures Imageworks even pitched in to help out with some digital special effects. The film will have its premiere this Friday beginning at 8 p.m. at the KiMo Theatre (423 Central NW). Admission is free, but seating is limited—so get there early. You can check out a trailer of the film at the official Haley website. Congratulations to all involved and good luck on future endeavors!
Indie filmmaking superhero John Sayles (Piranha, Return of the Secaucus Seven, The Howling, The Brother From Another Planet, Matewan, Eight Men Out, Passion Fish, Lone Star, Men With Guns ... I could go on.) has turned his sizable skills to writing novels. His latest is a sprawling, McSweeney’s-endorsed fictionalized history about the dawn of 20th century. Spanning five years and half a dozen countries, the book touches down on the Yukon gold rush, a white-racist coup in North Carolina, U.S. intervention in the Philippines, Mark Twain and a whole lot more. Clocking in at nearly 1,000 pages, the epic novel has been compared (favorably) to the work of E.L. Doctorow and Studs Terkel. On Sunday, May 15, Sayles will pass through Albuquerque for a stop at Bookworks (4022 Rio Grande NW). Sayles will read / lecture / sign / be awesome starting at 3 p.m. Details are available at the Bookworks website.
Closet Cinema is in the early stages of preparation for the 2011 Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. The ninth annual fest is slated to drop October 7 through 13 here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Right now, organizers are looking for men and women interested in forming a screening committee. Watch movies, help decide what goes into this year’s film festival? Sounds like a sweet gig. If you’ve got the taste, time and skills to contribute, send your info and inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. ... Also, if you wanna be part of the festival’s design team, volunteering as a graphic designer or web designer, your help would be most appreciated at this time. Send your interests and qualifications to the same address as the screening people, email@example.com.