For our 10th anniversary, we wanted to do something special. That opportunity came in the form of the New Mexico Film Office. The Film Office was looking for ways to identify and expand upon New Mexico-based filmmaking talent. The idea was to do a statewide talent search, setting up screenings in five different regions across New Mexico. The top films in each region would go on to compete for the Governor's Cup, to be handed out by Gov. Bill Richardson himself.
The easiest way to accomplish this goal was to attach the Governor's Cup Film Challenge to film festivals that already exist in the state. As a result, the Alibi Short Film Fiesta became the site of the central region showdown, covering Albuquerque, Santa Fe and the surrounding area. With the help of the Film Office, we solicited entries … and found ourselves overwhelmed. In our region alone, there were just over 100 entries. Obviously, filmmakers rose to this film challenge as intended. And we couldn't be happier with the results.
The films we received were remarkably good. Alibi got so many fine films from right here in the state of New Mexico, that we decided to make this year's Alibi Short Film Fiesta an all-New Mexico affair. That means that each and every film in this year's showcase was either shot in New Mexico, or made by one of our talented New Mexico-based filmmakers.
In the end, we opted to run two separate programs, covering the three categories in the Governor's Cup. One program will feature the seven films chosen as finalists in the “Narrative” category, while the other program will spotlight the seven films in the “Documentary” and “Student” categories.
A team of judges will be on hand at this weekend's screenings to choose the top films in each category. As always, audiences will also be able to vote for their favorites in the “Audience Choice” award. More than $2,000 in prizes will be handed out to the lucky winners, and the number one films in each category will be going on to the Governor's Cup Finals to be held at the Santa Fe Film Festival in December. There they will compete against a dozen other top films from the state's other regional film festivals for the honor of being named New Mexico's best short film of 2004.
All of this weekend's screenings will take place at the historic Lobo Theater in Nob Hill. On Saturday, Oct. 16, we will screen the Narrative films at 3, 6 and 9 p.m. On Sunday, Oct. 17, we will screen the Documentary/Student film at 3, 6 and 9 p.m. Tickets are a mere $5 and are available at the door of the Lobo Theater.
Big thanks go out to the New Mexico Film Office for helping put this monumental event together, to City on the Hill for allowing us to return to our favorite venue, the Lobo Theater, to Field & Frame for their usual able technical assistance, to WB-19 and KLSK for being our media sponsors and to Comcast Cable for backing the Governor's Cup Film Challenge as a whole. Our biggest thanks, however, go out to all the talented filmmakers who sent their films in to this year's Alibi Film Fiesta/Governor's Cup Challenge. Hopefully, we'll see more great work from you next year!