Reel New Mexico, Santa Fe’s monthly independent film showcase, returns this Thursday, Oct. 9, after an extended hiatus. Writer and film historian Jeff Berg will kick it off with a retrospective of classic and little-known features shot here in New Mexico. Clips from around 15 films—from 1898’s “Indian Day School” to 1989’s Pow Wow Highway—will be screened alongside Berg’s informative commentary. Tickets are $5. As before, the event will take place starting at 7pm at the La Tienda Performance Space at Eldorado. Go to reelnewmexico.com to get directions, see a list of upcoming films or submit your own work for consideration.
The locally shot horror comedy Pizza Girl Massacre will have its public debut this weekend and next. On Friday and Saturday, Oct. 10 and 11, you can catch it at Tricklock Performance Laboratory (110 Gold SW). Screenings start at 8pm each night, and admission is $5. On Thursday, Oct. 16, it will screen at Guild Cinema (3405 Central NE). That show starts at 10:45pm, and tickets are $6. The film tells the story of a theater troupe that rents a cabin in the woods to rehearse its newest play. But when a vengeance-seeking pizza delivery girl crashes the party, things get bloody. The film is written, directed and produced by Jason Witter (Hamlet the Vampire Slayer, “Plush”). It stars Amy Bourque, Rhiannon Frazier, Debi Kierst, Scott Bryan, Christy Lopez, Aaron Hendren and Daniel T. Cornish.
October is film festival month around these parts, with no less than seven film festivals landing between the beginning and end of October. Next up is the longest-running one of the bunch, the eagerly anticipated Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. It’s hard to believe SWGLFF is 12 years old—until, of course, you see the epic lineup of films, parties and special guest appearances spread over the course of 10 days.
The Way He Looks at SWGLFF
From Friday, Oct. 10, through Sunday, Oct. 19, the festival will screen 70 features, documentaries and shorts. The opening night film, by way of example, is the multi-award-winning Brazilian drama The Way He Looks (Oct. 10, 7pm). This sharp coming-of-age tale introduces audiences to Leonardo, an overprotective blind teenager who finds new freedom in a friendship with a new student in town—which only sparks jealousy on the part of his best female friend. Other potential highlights include the crowd-pleasing George Takei documentary To Be Takei (Oct. 17, 7pm) and a special appearance by actress Cathy Debuono, star of the “sexy, unpredictable” slasher comedy Crazy Bitches (Oct. 17, 9:15pm).
Tickets ($10), punch-cards ($35-$65) and full-festival passes ($100) can be purchased in advance at Self Serve (3904-B Central SE) or at the Guild Cinema box office (3405 Central NE) on the day of show. Go to SWGLFF.com for a complete schedule of events.
The Albuquerque Film and Media Experience, which doesn’t get started again until June of next year, wants to keep itself in the minds of local filmgoers. So organizers have put together a special screening this weekend. On Saturday, Oct. 11, at the KiMo Theatre (423 Central NW), AFME will host the US premiere of Yolanda Barker’s nutritionally minded documentary Cereal Killers. The film chronicles one man’s attempts to “hack his genes and drop dead healthy by turning the food pyramid on its head.” Basically, the guy ditches wheat and eats a lot of fat—paleo diet-style. If that sounds up your alley, the film starts at 2pm, followed by a Q&A reception featuring Ms. Barker and several local medical and sports professionals. Then, starting at 6pm, AFME will present the feature Animals. This narrative drama tells the story of a young, con artist couple that exists somewhere between homelessness and the fantasy of their imaginations. It won a special jury award at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this year. Tickets for each film are between $8 and $10 and are available at kimotickets.com.
The long-standing, road-tripping Gadabout Film Festival will make a pit stop in Albuquerque on Sunday, Oct. 12. Local micro-cinema collective Basement Films will host the indie art fest at the new subterranean screening space inside Harwood Art Center (1114 Seventh Street NW). The Gadabout (along with singer/songwriter/festival founder Eric Ayotte) is in the middle of a three-month tour, hitting over 75 cities in the US and Europe. The event starts at 6pm. A mere $5 gets you in the door for a night of awesome DIY music and short films. Head to gadaboutfilmfest.com for more info.
“Yosemite Through the Eyes of A Buffalo Soldier” at People’s Wildlife Film Gala
The KiMo Theatre is thick with films this week. In addition to the AFME screenings, plus all the usual KiMo stuff (De Niro films on Wednesday, European Classics on Thursday, the new Robin Williams series starting on Friday and the latest installment of “Magnificent Meryl” screenings on Sunday), KiMo is playing host to the People’s Wilderness Film Gala starting Tuesday, Oct. 14. From 8 to 10pm, the gala will showcase a collection of long and short films exploring “the beauty of wilderness, its meaning, importance, history and relevance.” Tickets are available for $8 at kimotickets.com. This (as well as several other screenings later in the week) are all part of the 50th Anniversary National Wilderness Conference. For more info go to wilderness50th.org/conference.
Finally, the increasingly essential 2014 Santa Fe Independent Film Festival celebrates its opening night this coming Wednesday, Oct. 15. There will be dozens of features, documentaries, shorts, panel discussions, book signings and more between then and Sunday, Oct. 19, when the festival closes out. (We’ll talk more about it in next week’s paper.)
Wednesday starts things off properly with a collection of six New Mexico-made shorts plus two local premieres. First up is the official opening night film, The Tribe. In it, a young Ukrainian boy becomes a student at a specialized boarding school for the deaf where he joins a hardcore gang dealing in crime and prostitution. After that it’s the nightmarish Canadian feature Rhymes for Young Ghouls. Set on the Crow Mi’gMaq reservation in 1976, the film details the daily life of a teenage girl who sells dope to bribe her way out of government mandated high school classes. When her drug money gets stolen and her father returns to prison, our heroine’s life falls apart in brutal fashion. The Tribe begins at 6:30pm at the CCA Cinematheque (1050 Old Pecos Tr.). Rhymes for Young Ghouls starts at 8pm at the Jean Cocteau Cinema (418 Montezuma Ave.) and is followed by an after-party at Zia Diner (326 S. Guadalupe St.). New Mexico Shorts rounds out the night at 9:10pm at the CCA. For complete times and ticket prices, go to santafeindependentfilmfestival.com.