May 31--Lainie Sevante Quirk is from the West Coast. Ivan Wiener is an East Coast guy. Both have more than 20 years in their respective industry and have Hollywood clients -- Quirk, an event planner, has longtime clients Robert and Sibylle Szaggars-Redford and Wiener, a concierge, who worked closely with Dennis Hopper until his death.
The duo has joined forces and are the co-founders of the Albuquerque Film and Media Experience, which takes place Monday, June through June 9 along Route 66 in Nob Hill.
The event is more than a film festival -- it's an experience for all senses.
"This event is to raise the profile of Albuquerque," Quirk says. "What we've created is this multi-sensory experience of music, art, food and film."
The duo has been planning AFME for months and will have a handful of films making their world premieres at the event.
"We've been getting a lot of press for the event," Quirk says. "We were just mentioned in the London Times and every day we find another story that's being written about AFME."
Wiener says the goal for AFME is to also help the community, and with that in mind, they have created the AFME Foundation. Quirk says the foundation will select different charities and organizations to donate money to.
"We want to have the opportunity to make our presence known in the community," she says. "We also want people to get a sense of what we're doing."
In fact, during the seven-day festival, AFME will host "A Taste of Film," at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 4. The event will feature a seven-course meal with each course inspired by a film shown during the event. The dinner is to benefit The Storehouse in Albuquerque, which is the state's largest food pantry.
"These were opportunities that we couldn't pass up," Wiener says. "We had the chef become inspired and pitched the idea to us."
Wiener says the duo are working hard to put AFME on the map on a worldwide scale.
He says it's important that the community is involved.
"The talent that is coming to AFME believes in our mission," he says. "It's also helped to get some names attached to the event and help make things happen."
Quirk says that the Redfords have been impressed by the work the duo has been doing.
"I'm not speaking on behalf of them, but they told me that they like what they're seeing," she says. "They've told me that we've already achieved a lot."
The AFME advisory board has international representation, as well as plenty of locals.
Larry Schwartz, vice president of investments, Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, says he wanted to be part of AFME because entertainment is important to the state.
"We need a sticky type of event to showcase what we have to offer," he says. "Given the amount of film and TV productions in the state, people will appreciate what the event is offering."
During the event, there also will be an "intimate conversations" portion that will feature actors and experts in the film industry. Some of those will be Emily Katz, Elizabeth Pena, Chad Brummet and Jeremiah Bitsui, Joshua Michael Stern, Wes Studi, Federico Castelluccio and Lew Temple of "The Walking Dead" and "The Lone Ranger."
The events will take place at various locations around Nob Hill. The films screened will be shown at the Lobo Theater, The Guild Cinema, UNM Sub and the KiMo Theatre.
Another world premiere will take place with "Circle the Wagen." The film by Ryan Steven Green was filmed along Route 66. See the ReelNM column in the Sunday Journal to read about Green's adventures along the famous stretch of road through New Mexico.
Making a splash
Sibylle Szaggars-Redford will present a special event during the Albuquerque Film and Media Experience. Szaggars-Redford and Icelandic pianist David Thor Jonsson will present art, dance, music and poetry at 6 p.m. June 8 at the Hiland Theatre to benefit the National Dance Institute of New Mexico. See page 2
Albuquerque Film and Media Experience
WHEN: Various times beginning Monday, June 3 through June 9
WHERE: Various locations
HOW MUCH: $8-$100 depending on event. Visit abqfilmexperience.com for full schedule and prices
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