For some reason, October is film festival central. This week, in particular, is jammed full of them. For starters, there’s the Way OUT West Film Fest, which runs Oct. 11 though 20. (See feature film article for more info.) But that’s just the beginning. Read on, and watch out!
The 11th annual Santa Fe Independent Film Festival kicked off this past Wednesday, Oct. 16. The highly respected fest continues through Sunday, Oct. 20 at venues throughout Santa Fe. In addition to all the films, there are educational panels, workshops, filmmaker Q&As and nightly networking events. You can check out Hollywood classics (Some Like It Hot, The 400 Blows, The Wizard of Oz), several short film programs (including the Institute of American Indian Arts Student Shorts) and loads of features. Among the great documentaries at this year’s SFIFF are We Up: Indigenous Hip-Hop of the Circumpolar North (Oct. 18, 3pm at Jean Cocteau Cinema), which traces the rising stars of Arctic indigenous hip-hop, and Mr. Toilet: The World’s #2 Man (Oct. 19, 3pm at The Screen), a look into the life of an eccentric entrepreneur in Singapore who wants to solve the world’s sanitation problem. Features include the French psychodrama Sibyl (Oct. 17, 4:50pm at CCA), the Croatian romance Aleksi (Oct. 18, 9:30am at CCA) and the apocalyptic Native American zombie flick Blood Quantum (Oct. 20, 7:30pm at CCA). Of course that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens more films to pick through. Many of the filmmakers will be on hand to introduce their works. Among this year’s special honorees are Jane Seymour (there will be a tribute to her career featuring the 1980 romance (Somewhere In Time Oct. 18, 7pm at the Lensic) and Tantoo Cardinal (her 2018 drama Falls Around Her plays Oct. 19, 7pm at the Lensic). For a complete list of films and events, go to santafeindependentfilmfestival.com. Full festival passes are $325. Individual tickets are $14.
High Desert Screening is up next. Following up on last year’s debut outing, the 2019 High Desert Screening features local film and video artists sharing a selection of trailers, short films and music videos that promises to “entertain, educate and inspire New Mexico’s unique theatrical and visual arts scene.” The event takes place from 4 to 7pm on Saturday, Oct. 19 at the South Broadway Cultural Center (1025 Broadway Blvd. SE). Comedian Mary Byrd serves as MC for the evening, and a pair of local musicians are lined up to keep audiences entertained during intermission. Tickets are $10 general admission or $5 for children. There will be an after-party with organizers and filmmakers at Red Door Brewing (509 Central Ave. NW) that evening. To learn more go to facebook.com/highdesertscreening.
The Albuquerque Chinese American Film Festival takes place inside Simms Auditorium at Albuquerque Academy (6400 Wyoming Blvd. NE) on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 10am to 5pm. This year includes four films as well as a panel discussion with filmmakers. Director Pamela Tom will be on hand to discuss her documentary Tyrus, about famed painter and Hollywood sketch artist Tyrus Wong. The 1942 Disney animated film Bambi, which Tyrus Wong worked on, will be screened as well. Also on the screening list: Abacus (a documentary about a family-run American bank that faced criminal charges in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis) and “The Canton Army in the High Sierras” (a short look at Chinese railroad workers who built most of the Transcontinental Railroad through the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range). Admission is free and lunch is provided for the first 100 attendees. To guarantee a seat, go to bit.ly/35tNQqd.
Basement Films, Modern Albuquerque LLC, Historic Albuquerque Incorporated, the Albuquerque Historical Society and the Albuquerque Museum present “Home Movie Day” on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 11am to 5pm. Taking place at the Albuquerque Main Library (501 Copper Ave. NW), this “open screening” allows Burquenos to bring in their historic, homemade 8mm, Super 8mm, 16mm films and DVDs and share them with the public. This is part of a worldwide annual event allowing folks to share memories of their families, neighborhoods and communities. Admission is free.