Santa Fe Independent Film Festival: It’s a Wrap!

Editor | - November 5, 2012

"These events represent the dedication of the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival to support and create a vibrant film community in New Mexico"

The Santa Fe Independent Film Festival brought down the curtain on its fourth season. Celebrating five extraordinary days of cinema that included over 80 films, more than 20 educational panels, a Red Carpet Gala event, a Filmmakers Brunch, aVIP Filmmaker Reception, and five nights of parties at the hottest venues in downtown Santa Fe. Over 5,000 people attended the five-day Indie Fest. People from dozens of states from both coasts and international filmmakers joined in the celebration of independent film in Santa Fe during  the third week of October.

The festival opened with the New Mexico premiere of "Bless Me, Ultima" with Rudolfo Anaya and cast and crew at the Red Carpet Gala event. Closing on Sunday Oct. 21st, with the New Mexico premiere of "Tiger Eyes" with cast and crew followed by a very special mother and son Q&A by beloved author Judy Blume and her co-writer and producer son Lawrence Blume, who grew up in both Santa Fe and Los Alamos.

These events represent the dedication of the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival to support and create a vibrant film community in New Mexico. Santa Fe IFF also partnered with Farm to Table to bring a week of film and food, extending the tourist season into late October, with NM Lawyers for the Arts to present educational panels, and with Santa Fe County on the launch of the SFIFF mobile app available from the itunes store for an interactive way to experience the annual Fest.

The Santa Fe Independent Film Festival guests of honor included Chris Eyre ("Smoke Signals," "Skins,"  "Hideaway") who received the  2012 American Filmmaker Award. Wes Studi ("Last of The Mohicans," "Avatar") was awarded the 2012 Action Hero award. Jon Hendry, business agent of IATSE Local 480, received the 2012 Cornerstone Award for his contribution to the film industry in New Mexico. Tatanka Means ("Tiger Eyes," "Into The West") received the 2012 Tamalewood Award as an emerging star in New Mexico.  Lawrence Blume, director of "Tiger Eyes", accepted the award on behalf of Tatanka Meanswho was with his father Russell Means and the family in his last hours in South Dakota.  Judy Blume was awarded the 2012 American Icon award for her work in literature and her work on the adaptation for the script for Lawrence Blume's film "Tiger Eyes". Rudolfo Anaya accepted the 2012 American Author award for his contributions to American Literature and New Mexico History.

Jurors for SFIFF Film Awards this year included: Kalvin Henely, a film critic for Slant Magazine, a founding member of who has previously worked for The Chicago International Film Festival and The Walt Disney Company.; Judy Laster, the founder/director of theWoods Hole Film Festival, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, now in its 22nd year of supporting the work of independent filmmakers from around the world; Pierre Barrera, a Santa Fe native who has worked in over 25 films in every capacity in front and behind the camera; Steven Boone, a film critic for Roger Ebert's The Demanders and a writer at large at Capital New York. Paula Amanda, Associate Chair at tje Santa Fe University of Art and Design and director of Greer Garson Studios; Kathleen Broyles with the Sundance Feature Film Program and Film Festival since 1992, and the President of the Milagro Initiative in New Mexico.; and Chris Eyre, director of "Smoke Signals," "Skins" and "Hideaway", and sitting chair of the Film School at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design.

2012 Santa Fe Independent Film Festival Award Winners

  • Audience Choice Best Feature: "Funeral Kings" directed by Kevin and Matt McManus
  • Audience Choice Best Short: "Cardboard Titanics" directed by Sam Frazier Jr.
  • Best Narrative Short: "Silent River" directed by Anca Lazarescu
  • Best Documentary Feature: "Call Me Kuchu" directed by Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall
  • Best Music Doc: "Last Days Here" directed by Don Argott and Demian Fenton
  • Best Narrative Feature: "Supporting Characters" written and directed by Dan Schechter
  • Best New Mexico Feature: "Sun Kissed" directed by Maya Stark and Adi Lavy
  • Best Documentary Short: "Bone Wind Fire" directed by Jill Sharp
  • Best New Mexico Short: "Tailings" directed by Sam Price-Waldman
  • Best Screenplay: "Mosquita y Mari" written and directed  by Aurora Guerrero
  • Best Experimental Short: "Notes On Biology" directed by Jim Cummings
  • Best Experimental Feature: "An Oversimplification Of Her Beauty" directed by Terence Nance
  • Best International Feature: "This Ain't California" directed by Marten Persiel

Santa Fe Independent Film Festival was founded four years ago in 2009 by local filmmakers to bring the best of independent film to Santa Fe and reignite the historic love affair between Santa Fe and Film. 2012 marks the fourth year of Santa IFF's all volunteer organization offering a growing festival for independent film, filmmakers, and film lovers. Santa Fe IFF is dedicated to the economic development of our city and New Mexico film. Santa Fe IFF is committed to attracting a growing number of people who make and love films from all over the world to join each year's Fest to enjoy independent films and the unique charm of Santa Fe. The Fourth Annual Santa Fe Independent Film Festival continues its mission to exhibit the best of independent film to diverse audiences, create educational opportunities, and build community partnerships.