On Jan. 15 and 16, Albuquerque will be hosting its first full-blown comic book convention in more than a decade. There will be vendors, guest artists and appearances by several film and TV luminaries (Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flanery from The Boondock Saints, “The Incredible Hulk” himself Lou Ferrigno, Gil Gerard and Erin Gray from “Buck Rogers,” Herbert Jefferson Jr. and Anne Lockhart from the original “Battlestar Galactica,” Peter Mayhew from Star Wars).
In addition to all that, Albuquerque Comic Con will host the First Annual Comics in Film Festival. This festival, which runs concurrent with the convention, is being sponsored by Santa Fe’s Fireborn Films. Superhero-loving filmmakers are asked to submit short films between 10 and 45 minutes that are “based in a unique comic world” or are “based in the comic book industry.” That means, of course, that you can’t use licensed characters like Spider-Man. You’ve got to make up your own. According to the rules there is “no restriction on budget,” although they do clarify that “all work must be volunteers.” Not quite sure what that means. Entry fee is $250 per film. (By way of comparison, entering a short film in the Sundance Film Festival costs $35.)
A total of 12 films will be chosen for screening at the festival. Each film will be viewed at least once during the Albuquerque Comic Con, and all celebrity guests will be offered the chance to view the films. (Sorry, no guarantee that the kid who played baby Boba Fett in Attack of the Clones will watch your movie.) A panel of four judges will then pick several award winners (Best Director, Best Actor, Best Villain, Best Screenplay, etc.). A percentage of the entry fees collected will be given to the Best Film winner. On the last day of the convention, there will be a special screening for comic book publishers, who will have a chance to view all the films and decide if they want to create a comic based on any of them. (No guarantee on that, either.)
If you’ve got access to a camera and a cape, log on to comicsinfilmfestival.com for complete rules and submission info. Entries must be received by Thursday, Jan. 13.