The Lockheed-Martin DynaTheater inside the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science is now being put to uses other than educational. This weekend, for example, the theater will screen the 2015 smash Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This seventh installment of the Star Wars saga picks up decades after the events of 1983’s Return of the Jedi and introduces audiences to a whole new generation of Star Wars heroes, including Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega). The film will show Friday, March 3, at 6pm, Saturday, March 4, at 6pm and Sunday, March 5, at 5:30pm. In addition, the museum will host an afternoon of Star Wars-related activities for kids (coloring pages, word searches, origami, rocket building) for free with museum admission from 2 to 5pm on Saturday. Tickets for the film are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for children 4 to 12 years of age. You can get them, in advance, by going to naturalhistoryfoundation.org. The Museum of Natural History & Science is located at 1801 Mountain NW.
The South Broadway Cultural Center (1025 Broadway SE) gets its monkey on with a screening of the wildlife documentary The Vervet Forest on Friday, March 3. This nature film tells the story of five orphaned baby Vervet monkeys rescued by South Africa’s Vervet Monkey Foundation. The film follows them as they grow into intelligent, playful juveniles and are adopted by “foster mother” monkeys. The filmmakers also find time to discuss the environment outside the foundation, where forests and habitats are being destroyed by human intervention. There will be a silent auction, a raffle and “vegan goodies” before the film. Doors open at 5pm and the film begins at 6:30pm. All proceeds from the event will go toward the Vervet Forest fund. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students/seniors and $8 for children. To get tickets in advance, go to southbroadwaytickets.com. For more info on the film, go to thevervetforest.com.
The KiMo Theatre is welcoming back the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour. This annual collection of sporting, high-altitude short films and documentaries will hit Albuquerque on March 8 and 9. The festival is a benefit for the Access Fund, the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance and the Mountain Fund. Doors open at 6pm each night, and the screenings begin at 7pm. Viewers are invited to ignite their passion for adventure, action and travel by journeying to exotic locales, paddling the wildest waters and climbing the highest peaks. Wednesday night features 10 films culled from the 41st Annual Banff Mountain Film Festival in Alberta, Canada. Thursday night features nine different films for the outdoor adrenaline junkie in you. A two-day pass to the festival will set you back $25. Individual nights cost $15 apiece. For more info go to kimotickets.com.
If you’re in the mood for a road trip, the Las Cruces International Film Festival is scheduled to commence this Wednesday, March 8, through Sunday, March 12, at the Allen Theatres Cineport 10 in Las Cruces. Actor Brendan Fraser—star of Encino Man, The Mummy and Gods and Monsters—is set to receive the LCIFF’s “Outstanding Achievement in Entertainment” award at a reception on Thursday, March 9. This year’s five-day festival includes special guest appearances by Johnny Galecki (star of “The Big Bang Theory”), Don Foster (writer-producer of “The Big Bang Theory”), Jon Heder (star of Napoleon Dynamite) and Rizwan Manji (of “Outsourced,” “Schitt’s Creek” and “The Magicians”). The opening night film is The Tiger Hunter, a ’70s-set comedy about immigration starring Danny Pudi, Rizwan Manji and Jon Heder. Go to lciff.com to check out the dozens of film screenings and workshops available at this year’s film festival. All-access film passes run $150 to $75. Student film passes are $25. Daily passes are $20.