UNM’s Department of Cinematic Arts will present Happiness Is a Warm Projector, the department’s 2009 student showcase, this Friday, Dec. 11. The showcase will take place from 3 to 5:30 p.m. at Guild Cinema (3405 Central NE). This is a free show and is open to students, former students, filmmakers and any other interested viewers. The showcase will feature a random assortment of the best films produced at UNM this year. University soundscapers Mannie Rettinger & The Chuppers will open and close the show. Several film scholars will also be there to discuss their experiences in film school abroad. For more information on this event or the Cinematic Arts program in general, please visit cinematicarts.unm.edu.
This coming Thursday, Dec. 10, is the deadline to submit your film and/or video art to Experiments in Cinema 5.1. This fifth annual collaboration between Basement Films, The University of New Mexico and curator Bryan Konefsky will feature “visionary cinema and un-dependent moving image art” from around the globe. If you’ve got some decidedly non-Hollywood work you’d like to share at 2010’s multi-day screening (April 15 through 19), log on to basementfilms.org/experiments.html to download a detailed entry form.
The New Mexico Film Office just announced the winners of the 2009 New Visions/New Mexico Contract Awards. These 11 local filmmakers will all receive funds to help create their original narrative, documentary, animation and experimental films. This year’s winner in animation is Frederick Aragon for “Coyote Tales: Dark Is My Light.” Picking up documentary awards are Melinda Hess with “Letter From Cloudcroft,” Brian Konefsky with “Secession: Gene Youngblood,” Eric Maddox for “A House Divided” and Kate McCunn for “Books in Between.” In the experimental category are Xuan Chen’s “Out” and Robert Drummond’s “Almas.” Narrative film winners include David Garcia’s “The Cuentos Project,” Sydney Freeland’s “Drunktown’s Finest,” Kara Sachs’ “King 4 a Day” and Ewen Wright’s “Validation.” In order to claim their New Visions award, winners must offer a range of services to the state as part of their contract. Services include training interns, offering free public screenings and hosting workshops. Congrats to the 2009 winners. Keep us posted on your progress!
The RiffTrax crew returns to theaters on Wed., Dec. 16. All your old “Mystery Science Theater 3000” pals (Mike J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett) will be flinging the wisecracks live from the California Center for the Arts at a wonderfully warped collection of holiday shorts. RiffTrax LIVE: Christmas Shorts-Stravaganza! will also feature a special guest appearance by “Weird Al” Yankovic himself. Tickets are available in advance through Fathom Events (ncm.com/fathom) or at the theater box office day-of (assuming they’re not sold out). The show will be simulcast here in Albuquerque at Downtown 14, Rio 24 and Cottonwood 16 starting at 6 p.m.