In honor of Earth Day, there will be a New Mexico premiere screening of Sylvie Rokab’s environmental documentary Love Thy Nature at the Unity Spirituality Center of Albuquerque (9800 Candelaria NE). Liam Neeson narrates this (non-religious) “uplifting cinematic journey” that shows how a renewed connection with nature “holds the key to a highly advanced, conscious new era.” The film has screened at 27 film festivals across the US and around the world and has earned 23 awards. Admission is free, but you need to go to tugg.com/events/95852 to reserve your seat. The screening is set for Friday, April 22, at 7pm. For more info go to lovethynature.com.
The 2016 Albuquerque Film & Music Experience continues through Sunday at various Albuquerque venues including the KiMo Theatre, the South Broadway Cultural Center and the Guild Cinema. This Saturday, April 23, the festival will host a special 45th anniversary screening for the family film classic Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. The film will start at 2pm at the KiMo Theatre (423 Central NW). The screening serves as a charity fundraiser to benefit the AFME Foundation, the Secret Garden Project and the Rio Grand Down Syndrome Network. Organizers are going all out to make this a special event. KASA-2 host Chad Brummett will emcee the show and lead a sing-along during the film. AFME will also host a costume contest for the best Willy Wonka characters. A Wonka-esque photo booth will be set up in the lobby so that attendees can take their pictures. To top it all off, there will be 10 “Golden Tickets” hidden inside the KiMo Theatre where lucky finders can win a Film Lover’s Pass for the 2017 Albuquerque Film & Music Experience. Tickets are $10 apiece and are available in advance through kimotickets.com.
UNM screenwriting professor Matthew McDuffie (writer of Odd Girl Out and A Cool, Dry Place) has directed his first feature, the indie drama Burning Bodhi. Described as The Big Chill for a new generation, the film follows a group of longtime friends who stumble back home after high school when word goes out on Facebook that the most popular among them has passed away unexpectedly. The film, which was shot right here in Albuquerque in the summer of 2014, stars Kaley Cuoco (“The Big Bang Theory”), Sasha Pieterse (“Pretty Little Liars”), Cody Horn (Magic Mike) and Academy Award nominee Virginia Madsen (Sideways). The film had its world premiere at the Austin Film Festival in November of last year. It will screen locally at Guild Cinema (3405 Central NE) on Sunday, April 24, starting at 7pm. McDuffie will be there to introduce the film and to participate in a post-film Q&A.