News Column

Film fest will now be held in spring

September 7, 2013


Sept. 07--COMING NEXT SPRING -- the Santa Fe Film Festival.

The annual festival -- which has been held in October and December in recent years -- will make the move to May 1-4, 2014.

"Spring in Santa Fe is so beautiful," said Anna Darrah, vice chair on the film festival's board of directors. "This is going to be a festival where the Railyard is the playground for everyone who attends."

The 14th installment of the event will also see partnerships between Hotel Santa Fe and the newly reopened Jean Cocteau Cinema.

Darrah said the festival board wanted to make the move in order to freshen up the event. She said moving the dates to May will allow the festival to be on the cusp of what is happening in film.

"With South by Southwest and Tribeca film festivals happening in the spring as well, we'll be able to help forecast which films will be the ones to watch," she said. "With our current festival lineup, we would provide some great Oscar contenders, but then they'd open in regular theaters in the following weeks because the Oscar campaigns were in full swing by the time we got the films."

While the previous festivals have been focused on independent and not-so-mainstream films, Darrah said May's festival will look toward a slightly more mainstream line-up.

"We're working to bring Hollywood to Santa Fe," she said. "We're planning on having great movies, panels and parties."

Darrah expects the festival to screen 60 films during the four-day event, 40-45 of which will be feature length.

There will also be a New Mexico Spotlight series, which will highlight some of the New Mexico-made films.

The festival will also return to giving away juried prizes -- the first time in three years.

"We're going to go back to awarding 'best of' for the festival," she says. "And it's all going to be juried."

While the festival is still more than half a year away, Darrah says organizers are working to get its volunteer crew set up.

"We're looking at anyone who has helped us out over the course of the 14 years," she said. "It's the volunteers that have helped make the festivals great."

While film submissions have ebbed and flowed over the years, Darrah says there's always interest in the festival.

And to gain the momentum for May's festival, The Santa Fe Film Festival is launching a new website and a social media campaign.

It is also hosting an event to be held on Halloween at the Jean Cocteau.

"There's still a lot of work ahead of us, but we're excited about this change," she said. "It's going to be great for the festival and Santa Fe to showcase both of them during a different time of year. We have a hard-working board that is constantly keeping its hand on the pulse of what's happening in the film industry."


(c)2013 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.)

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