New Mexico in the Spotlight—Gov. Bill Richardson announced last week that the State Investment Council would be pumping $9.2 million into two features film projects set to shoot in New Mexico in the coming months. A Night in Old Mexico is the story of an aging cowboy who takes his teenage grandson for an adventurous night in Old Mexico. The film will star Academy Award winner Robert Duval and will be directed by Taos resident/actor Dennis Hopper. The Experiment, meanwhile, is described as a teen horror movie that spoofs reality TV shows. The first film is budgeted at just under $12 million, $7.5 million of which will be provided by the state in the form of an interest-free loan. The second will be funded entirely by a $1.7 million loan. These are the fourth and fifth films to be financed by the State Investment Council. Both films are expected to begin shooting over the summer.
DigiFest Crew Call—The fourth annual DigiFest Southwest is looking for crew members to work at the upcoming Digi-Flicks Shootout. The Shootout, taking place in early June, will bring six filmmakers from around the country to shoot their short films on digital video. The filmmakers will be provided with everything from cameras to crew to editing equipment. The only catch is, of course, that the filmmakers only have one week in which to complete their masterpieces. All six films this year will be shot using Sony CineAlta HDW F900 camcorders and edited using Final Cut Pro HD Ecosystems. DigiFest is accepting applications from people with some experience in shooting or editing on digital video. You can download an application by logging on to www.digifestsouthwest.com
UFO Film Fest?—Everybody and their grandmother wants a film festival these days. Apparently the southeastern New Mexico town of Roswell is no exception. Once the home of a bus factory and an annual UFO parade, Roswell now hopes to become an independent filmmaking Mecca. The Roswell Film Festival is scheduled for July 8-11. Filmmakers are encouraged to submit short or feature-length films. Categories include drama, comedy, sci-fi, animated, documentary and art. There are prizes in every category, including one for Southeastern New Mexico filmmakers. Entry deadline is June 1. Entry fee is $35. You can get an entry packet and information by sending a S.A.S.E. to: Roswell Film Festival, PO Box 4101, Roswell, New Mexico, 88202.