Throughout the fall, the National Wilderness Conference will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the National Wilderness Act. Among the local New Mexico events is the People’s Wilderness Film Gala, which continues this Friday, Oct. 17, at the KiMo Theatre (423 Central NW). The documentary Wrenched will be shown that night starting at 7pm. Exploring the work of Edward Abbey’s Monkey Wrench Gang as well as those who were inspired by their story, the film “captures the passing of the monkey wrench from the pioneers of eco-activism to the new generation which will carry Abbey’s legacy into the 21st century.” The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance and the Society for Wilderness Stewardship will host a post-film discussion. Tickets are $20 apiece and available now through kimotickets.com.
The Santa Fe Independent Film Festival held its opening night on Wednesday, Oct. 15. But it really gets cooking this weekend with a crazy quilt of indie film selections from around the globe. Screenings take place at the CCA Cinematheque (1050 Old Pecos Tr.), the Jean Cocteau Cinema (418 Montezuma Ave.) and the Lensic Performing Arts Center (211 W. San Francisco St.). You can choose from hands-on events like the “DIY Filmmaking Workshop with Laura Terruso” (Oct. 17, 12pm), the “Palace Bar & Saloon Party” (Oct. 17, 9pm), the “Horse Ride Into the Plaza” (Oct. 18, 12pm), the “Masters Discussion and Book Signing with Ted Hope” (Oct. 18, 1pm) or the “SFIFF Awards Ceremony” (Oct. 18, 6:30pm). Or you can go with more voyeuristic events. Co-writer, co-director and co-star Jess Weixler (Teeth) will be in town showing off her new LA dramedy Trouble Dolls (Oct. 18, 6pm). From the far-flung environs of Bulgaria, we get the domestic drama Viktoria (Oct. 16, 3:30pm), about an unwanted daughter and a troubled mother bound together by hardship. Closer to home there’s the late-night premiere of the New Mexico-made exorcism drama Inner Demons (Oct. 18, 10pm). Of course that’s just the tip of the cinematic iceberg. It all wraps up on Sunday, Oct. 19, at 7:40pm with the closing night film Girlhood (Bande de Filles), about a French schoolgirl who drops out to join a female gang. Individual tickets are $10 and are available at the venues (although you might want to purchase them in advance, as popular screenings are likely to sell out). For a look at all the dramas, comedies, documentaries and more on offer, go to santafeindependentfilmfestival.com.
The 10-day-long 11th annual Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival closes out this weekend with a ton more features, documentaries and short film blocks to ogle. The party comes to an end on Sunday, Oct. 19, with the closing night film Cupcakes, starting at 7:45pm at the Guild Cinema (3405 Central NE). This Israeli-made comedy concentrates on a group of neighbors living in a Tel Aviv apartment complex who gather every week to watch a multinational TV singing competition. Figuring they can do better, the neighbors submit their own audition video and wind up in the running. This “kitschy pop musical” comes to us from filmmaker Eytan Fox (Yossi & Jagger). Admission is $10 general admission or $8 for SWGLFF members. For a complete list of films and events during this final weekend, go to swglff.com.