Following a drastically reduced 2010 schedule, the Santa Fe Film Festival is experiencing a rebuilding year. The 12-year-old festival has stumbled a bit, accruing debt and losing sponsorships since the departure of founding director Jon Bowman. But this year, the festival is expanding to three venues (The Screen, the Center for Contemporary Arts and The Lensic) and has locked in an impressive schedule of some 30 features, documentaries and short film blocks.
Anchoring the prestigious opening night slot is the prodigiously praised French silent film The Artist. The lush romance, about a silent film superstar (Jean Dujardin) who frets over the invention of “talkies,” is generating spectacular Oscar buzz. Another festival highlight is Ralph Fiennes’ directing debut, a contemporary take on Shakespeare’s tragic war story Coriolanus. Though billed as a Sunday afternoon kids’ matinee, Ninja Kids!!! from director Takashi Miike (Audition, Dead or Alive, Ichi The Killer, The Great Yokai War, 13 Assassins) counts as a must-not-miss for any fan of insane Asian cinema. And that’s just a tiny sample.
The 12th annual Santa Fe Film Festival runs Thursday, Oct. 20, through Sunday, Oct. 23. You can check out a complete schedule of films and events online at santafefilmfestival.com. Tickets are available now by phone (505-988-1234), online (ticketssantafe.org) or at The Lensic box office (211 W. San Francisco, Santa Fe).