The Santa Fe Film Festival is a 10-day celebration of the best in cinematic entertainment, from around the world. Now in its 23rd year, the Festival can’t help but delight, with a program of over 100 screenings, panels, juried awards, Q&As for all films with filmmakers or representation, workshops, red carpet, press interviews, networking, and after-parties. One of the oldest film festivals in the world, the Santa Fe Film Festival next streams a new wave of independent features and shorts, February 17 – 26, 2023.
This year, the festival will showcase over 20 features and 7 shorts programs along with special events and panels in venues to include the Jean Cocteau Cinema, the New Mexico History Museum, the Center for Contemporary Arts, the Unitarian Church, and the Scottish Rite Temple. Highlights for this year’s event include:
* International Star Jacqueline Bisset (Bullit, Murder on the Orient Express, will be in-person to present her latest feature Loren and Rose along with a retrospective screening of a forgotten gem from 2001, Sleepy Time Gal in which she co-stars with Martha Plimpton and Nick Stahl.
* Karen Allen (Starman, National Lampoon’s Animal House) will be in-person to present her latest feature A Stage of Twilight along with a retrospective screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark, in which she co-starred with Harrison Ford. Allen will receive a lifetime achievement award at the ceremony on February 25th for which other festival honors will be given.
* Local comedian Isiah Yazzie will present a special interactive workshop at the New Mexico History Museum to include film clips from Hollywood films to highlight stereotyping in the industry along with audience participation and panel discussion.
* World-renowned and local author Cormac McCarthy is the subject of a new documentary Cormac McCarthy’s Veer produced at the Santa Fe Institute.
* Local filmmaker and musician Gary Medina Cook, former sonic architect for Joni Mitchell and Sting, will present his documentary Genizaro Experience-Shadows in the Light with a soundtrack including Rita Coolidge and Buffy-St. Marie. A post-screening discussion includes local experts and a performance by Comanche Dancers.
* Short film programs include Made in New Mexico, Queer Spirit, Ghosts and False Prophets, Native Voices, andThe Artist and the Collector.
* Feature film highlights include the opening night film When Time Got Louder starring Willow Shields (The Hunger Games and Netflix’s Spinning Out); Bobcat Moretti about an obese multiple sclerosis patient who takes boxing with Sally Kirkland (Anna), Vivica Fox (Independence Day) and Taryn Manning (Orange is the New Black); and The Burning Land set in the turbulent West Bank of Israel in the early 2000’s.
* Documentary feature highlights include the award-winning Sam Now about two brothers searching for their missing mother; A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Prison about a production of the Shakespeare comedy under lock-down in East Oregon; and Sloane: A Jazz Singer about a largely unknown performer who worked The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Ella Fitzgerald.
Why New Mexico?
New Mexico has been a key part of filmmaking since the first ‘short film’ entitled “Indian Day School” was shot by a crew sent by Thomas Edison in 1898. Filmmakers found that shooting in the light in our state added more drama, depth, and atmosphere to the story. Voted the best place to live for filmmakers, by MovieMaker Magazine, Santa Fe leads the charge of New Mexico’s growing film Industry, because of generous tax credits and partnerships with Universal, Netflix and others.
With a rich history in film, it’s not surprising that over 300 feature films from Westerns to Action genres and everything in between has been shot here since 1911. Select titles include 3:10 to Yuma, The Astronaut Farmer, Silverado, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Grapes of Wrath, Red Dawn, Independence Day, Young Guns, and Wild Wild West. Many of the films made here in New Mexico have had their premiere at the Santa Fe Film Festival.
In fact, over the years, the Santa Fe Film Festival has garnered international industry acclaim receiving submissions from all over the globe by bringing together distinguished industry professionals and film-lovers alike with the diverse categories of cinema. In the past, the Festival has screened thousands of features, documentaries and shorts, from 38 countries. This year promises to add to the luster and excitement of one of New Mexico’s shining stars of the entertainment industry. For more information, visit the website.This article was posted by David Salcido