Following a drastically reduced 2010 schedule, the Santa Fe Film Festival is experiencing a rebuilding year. The 12-year-old festival has stumbled a bit, accruing debt and losing sponsorships since the departure of founding director Jon Bowman. But this year, the festival is expanding to three venues (The Screen, the Center for Contemporary Arts and The Lensic) and has locked in an impressive schedule of some 30 features, documentaries and short film blocks.
Anchoring the prestigious opening night slot is the prodigiously praised French silent film The Artist. The lush romance, about a silent film superstar (Jean Dujardin) who frets over the invention of “talkies,” is generating spectacular Oscar buzz. Another festival highlight is Ralph Fiennes’ directing debut, a contemporary take on Shakespeare’s tragic war story Coriolanus. Though billed as a Sunday afternoon kids’ matinee, Ninja Kids!!! from director Takashi Miike (Audition, Dead or Alive, Ichi The Killer, The Great Yokai War, 13 Assassins) counts as a must-not-miss for any fan of insane Asian cinema. And that’s just a tiny sample.
The 12th annual Santa Fe Film Festival runs Thursday, Oct. 20, through Sunday, Oct. 23. You can check out a complete schedule of films and events online at santafefilmfestival.com. Tickets are available now by phone (505-988-1234), online (ticketssantafe.org) or at The Lensic box office (211 W. San Francisco, Santa Fe).
So Does SFIFF
Of course, if the Santa Fe Film Festival is back, that means that the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival is back. The counter programming event runs Oct. 19 through 23 in the City Different. The event kicks into overdrive this year with more than 100 films at six venues (The Lensic, Warehouse 21, the New Mexico History Museum, El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, the Aztec Cafe, and the IATSE Center for Progress and Justice). Parties, workshops, discussions and plenty of film viewing will take place throughout the week. Actor Gary Farmer, writer Digby Wolfe and documentarian Kirby Dick are among the special guests. Log on to santafeindependentfilmfestival.com for info on tickets and a complete list of films and times.
Don’t Dream It, Be It!
Pride & Equality Magazine has got a great Halloween warm-up in the works. The publication will be sponsoring a special presentation of 1975’s cult musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show this Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21 and 22, at Guild Cinema in Nob Hill. There will be a full shadowcast there to perform live on stage in front of the film. As always, costumes and audience participation are encouraged. Friday night is already sold out, but I hear there may be a few tickets left for Saturday. They’re $15 apiece and available now at myprideonline.com. Shows start at 10:30 p.m.