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Magazine: Santa Fe Independent Film Festival 'worth the entry fee' view website

Magazine: Santa Fe Independent Film Festival 'worth the entry fee'

For the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, the streak continues.

MovieMaker Magazine has named the annual five-day series of screenings and panels one of the 50 film festivals 'worth the entry fee' for filmmakers, citing the event's 'solid independent line-up,' diverse panels and use of historic venues.

It is the fourth consecutive year the film fest has been recognized in the magazine's top-50 list.

The recognition pads Santa Fe's already-solid reputation as a film-friendly place for those inside the industry and outside the studio ecosystem, something the city and the state are working to foster for both artistic and economic development reasons.

"It's really the film festival that a city like Santa Fe has always needed," said Jacques Paisner, the independent festival co-founder and executive director.

MovieMaker, a quarterly trade publication that describes itself as the world's most widely read independent film magazine, compiled its international list by examining how and how well a filmmaker is able to connect to an audience at a given festival. Those criteria included networking opportunities, workshops and the extent to which festival programming comes from submissions as opposed to special invitations.

Liesette Paisner, the festival director, said the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival has established a 'greater film family' of return filmmakers since its founding in 2009. Emphasizing the community atmosphere of the festival has helped it develop from its fringe, single-venue beginnings, said the Paisners, who are siblings.

"It's one of those few festivals where you come and the filmmaker is celebrated more than the celebrity," Liesette Paisner said.

"We still have the celebrities, but we're really focusing on the artist," she added.

The annual festival now spreads across the Lensic Performing Arts Center, Violet Crown, the Jean Cocteau Cinema and more. The ranks of celebrity honorees in past years include John Waters, Gena Rowlands and Jacqueline Bisset, as well as local luminaries Shirley MacLaine and George R.R. Martin.

The entry fees for the Santa Fe festival vary depending on the nature and timing of the submission. A short film submitted early in the year will run a student filmmaker $25; a feature film submitted closer to the final August deadline will cost $90.

The 2017 Santa Fe Independent Film Festival is scheduled for Oct. 18-22.

Earlier this year, MovieMaker named Santa Fe the second-best small city to live and work as a filmmaker in North America, an improvement over the city's fourth-place ranking a year ago. The top-two designation was attributed to the creation of the new city-county film office, as well as the state's rebates for film and television productions.

In the magazine's larger-city category, Albuquerque ranked eighth.

More recently, The Hollywood Reporter named New Mexico one of the eight best places to make a movie on the cheap in the U.S. and Canada.

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