Aug. 16--LAS CRUCES >> Roswell. It's a place name that conjures up all that is mysterious and deeply weird in the Land of Enchantment.
New Mexico filmmakers spin a new tale to add to the lore with "Roswell FM," opening the 2013 White Sands International Film Festival with a pre-screening at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 4 at Cineport 10.
"The host of a talk show, the only 'normal' guy on a paranormal talk radio station, quits his dream job to start a higher-paying but soul-crushing career to pay for his oddball nephew's college tuition," according to screenwriter
David Spence and director Stephen Griffin, who describe their work as "a film with a mountain of heart, humor and unforgettable characters. It's a quirky comedy with dramatic elements. It's all about standing up for family and friends."
Both also share producer credits with Cathy Henderson, Carl W. Lucas, Alan Trever and nationally-known filmmakers Mark Medoff and Rod McCall.
"We're definitely excited to be showing our film to people in my hometown. It was a very, very long journey. I wrote it when I was 20, so it's been eight years, now. We started filming in July 2011 and we just finished. We can't wait to have people enjoy it. That's really the reason we did it," said Spence,
a Mayfield High School graduate who attended New Mexico State University. He's the son of Jim and Kristi Spence of Las Cruces.
Spence met Griffin when they in film school at Florida State University.
"We were in very different disciplines. He was in writing and I was in production programs. We were friends and we collaborated on 'Lone Warrior," our thesis film," said Griffin, who grew up in Allen, Texas, a suburb of Dallas.
Both have made short features, but it's the first full-length feature film for the pair, who are both 28.
"We're really proud of it. It's very heartwarming. It's got a lot of charm, and really great characters," Griffin said.
They assembled a cast with some impressive TV and film credits, including star turns in some sci-fi classics. It's a return to the iconic spacey city for Brendan Fehr, who started as one of the three principal alien-human hybrids in the "Roswell" TV show. Mirelly Taylor portrayed Isabella Alpert in the hit TV series "Lost" and Brian Tee's credits include "Grimm" and "The Wolverine." The film's stars also include Jason London, Kevin P.
Farley, Don Stark, Arron Shiver, Joey Zimmerman, Doug Haley, Katalina Parrish, Erin O'Shaughnessy, Luba Bocian, Hugh Elliot, Jennie Kamin, Jesse Romero, Joe Bocian, Valli Marie Rivera, Audrey Griffin and Lila Brock.
C.K. Barlow created original music for the film.
The film was shot primarily in southern New Mexico.
"We did a few pick-up shots in Las Cruces and we used the exterior of La Posta in Mesilla. Most of it was shot in Roswell and Artesia," Griffin said.
In a phone interview from Los Angeles, where both are currently based, the pair said they are working on future projects with their production company 310 House Productions, named for a house in Florida where they lived with other film students.
"Right now, we're actively seeking distribution, and we hope to show it in festivals and build some buzz for it," Spence said.
The film festival runs Sept. 4 through 8 at sites throughout Las Cruces, featuring workshops, talks, special events and screenings of shorts and feature-length films. For information and a complete schedule, visit wsiff.com.
(c)2013 the Las Cruces Sun-News (Las Cruces, N.M.)
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