The Acoma Pueblo Sky City Cultural Center is launching a new series of Movies at the Museum on Jan. 31, continuing through June of 2014. The Haak’u Museum’s Tsikinuma Kaiya Theatre will feature a variety of documentaries, movies filmed in the Acoma area and movies that are produced and directed by Native filmmakers that relate to Native subject matter. The screening on Friday, Jan. 31, will be Canes of Power. This documentary about the sovereign status of the Pueblo Indian nations of New Mexico focuses on the canes that were presented to the Pueblos by Abraham Lincoln in 1863. The canes are revered as symbols of the promise of continued sovereignty, and the screening coincides with the 150th anniversary of their arrival to the Pueblos. All films are free to the public and begin at 6pm. Visit acomaskycity.org or call 1-800-747-0181 for more information.
Clearly jump-starting our local independent film scene is on the minds of a lot of local businesses. Serious Grippage & Light Co., for example, has started its own filmmaking contest. The Serious Film Challenge will take place Jan. 31 through Feb. 7. Every team that registers will be given the same brief script. They will then spin the “Wheel of Chaos” which will dispense two different film genres. Filmmakers have exactly one week to adapt the two genres into a 3-minute film. Upload the video to the site of your choice, and send the link to the Serious Grippage Facebook page or via email. Registration for this one is $50, but you could win the grand prize, which consists of a $1,000 rental credit toward grip and lighting equipment—just the sort of thing to kick-start your indie project. Find the company on Facebook for more details, or contact Ryan Halsey (email@example.com). From the looks of it, Serious Grippage is planning on issuing a new film challenge every month, so keep an eye out.
Above the Line New Mexico is a brand new attempt to promote “above the line” talent in the local film scene. That category includes writers, directors and producers—high-paying, high-profile creative fields rarely given a second thought by our state’s trade-union-pushing economic development policies. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with a good grip or gaffer job. But if we really want to build a self-sustaining local film scene, above the line is the only way to do it. I-25 Studios, Albuquerque Studios, Santa Fe Studios, Century Bank, ReelzChannel and Film!ABQ obviously all feel the same, as they are joining forces to sponsor the very first ATLNM film contest. The very first challenge will concentrate on directors. Create a 30-second commercial promoting the City of Albuquerque BioPark or any of its attractions and you could win serious prizes. First place will get $1,500 and the winning commercial aired on local network television. Second place will get $1,000. Third place will take home $500. The top 25 entrants will have their submissions shown at an industry-studded gala event hosted by the City of Albuquerque at the KiMo Theatre this May. The ad contest opens on Feb. 1, and you have until April 30 to submit your 30-second masterpiece. To enter the contest, go to atlnm.com and fill out an entry form. Entry fee is $20.