KCET Cinema Series producer Michele Garza is heading over to the Santa Fe Film Festival this week. She'll be reporting back with pictures from the event, as well as other behind-the-scene goodies!
During my four days at the Santa Fe Film Festival, thirty films were screened, including prominently featured short films. I particularly liked the fact that many of the short films were directed by local New Mexican filmmakers. Lobster from director Jocelyn Jansons, is only 4 minutes in length, but manages to take a comic look at a young couple who must make the decision to prepare a live lobster for their evening meal. A culinary issue many of us have pondered. Jocelyn Jansons is a veteran in the entertainment industry, including a credit as associate producer for the Sundance hit Chuck and Buck.
Another standout for me was Energy Tap Out by director Adrien Colon, a short film featuring a mixed martial arts fighter who takes the cause of energy conservation to a zealous level. This homegrown film has been very popular in New Mexico, including winning the 2011 Best Comedy Award at this year's New Mexico Filmmaker's Showcase and featured at the Albuquerque Film Festival.
I was most anxious to see the documentary Wild Horses and Renegades by filmmaker James Anaquad Kleinert. A difficult documentary to watch as it explicitly chronicles the extreme violence facing the plight of the endangered American wild horse as oil and energy companies invade their environment. The film if anything makes a strong statement that greed takes precedence over the preservation of what most Americans consider a symbol of the American West. The message of the film is compelling and intense. It has made me shockingly aware of a cause that each of us should take an interest in voicing our opinion to our elected officials and community leaders.
Along with the film screenings there were a sprinkling of panel discussions with filmmakers, including one moderated by former KCET Cinema Series' host Kirk Ellis (Emmy Award-winning screenwriter of the HBO mini-series John Adams), in conversation with Academy Award-winning film editor Hughes Winborne, who has edited more than 25 feature films, including Crash, The Help (screened at the KCET Cinema Series), and Sling Blade.
Overall, the Santa Fe Film Festival offered film enthusiasts a reason to spend a weekend in Santa Fe. The film festival under the direction of its new executive director, Diane Schneier Perrin is worth watching as it grows into hopefully one of the film festivals not to be missed. I look forward to going back next year and expanding my coverage of the film festival.