Festival Events

(Check back frequently, more events to come)
New Mexico History Museum Auditorium Douglas, Kirk (Ace in the Hole) - © Paramount

OCTOBER 19, 2011:
New Mexico History Museum Auditorium @ 7pm: Ace in the Hole - Opening Night Gala Screening


OCTOBER 21, 2011:
Lensic Performing Arts Center @ 7pm: This Film is Not Yet Rated - This film introduced by Kirby Dick
Warehouse 21: Sick - Q & A by Kirby Dick

OCTOBER 22, 2011:
Kirby Dick, Director of "This Film is Not Yet Rated" and Academy Award Nominee will be in Santa Fe to speak about his style and process, and accept the 2011 Santa Fe IFF American Filmmaker Award.



2011 Festival Movie List

(Early selections.  Complete schedule coming Oct. 1st)

  • Bombay Beach
  • RATING: Ages 13+
  • DIRECTOR: Alma Har'el
  • RUNTIME: 01hr : 12min
  • COUNTRY: US
  • PREMIERE STATUS: New Mexico Premiere
  • SYNOPSIS: The rusting relic of a failed 1950s development boom, the Salton Sea is a barren Californian landscape often seen as a symbol of the failure of the American Dream. A sea in the middle of the Colorado desert. First-time director Alma Har'el visits this poetically fruitful terrain in her distinctive documentary Bombay Beach, and finds there a motley cast including a bipolar seven-year-old, a lovelorn high school football star, and an octogenarian poet-prophet. Together they make up a triptych of American manhood in its decisive moments, populating the Salton Sea's land of thwarted opportunity.     [read more »]



  • Cultures of Resistance
  • RATING: Adults Only
  • DIRECTOR: Iara Lee
  • RUNTIME: 01hr : 12min
  • COUNTRY: US
  • PREMIERE STATUS: New Mexico Premiere
  • SYNOPSIS: Does each gesture really make a difference? Can music and dance be weapons of peace? In 2003, on the eve of the Iraq war, director Iara Lee embarked on a journey to better understand a world increasingly embroiled in conflict and, as she saw it, heading for self-destruction. After several years, travelling over five continents, Iara encountered growing numbers of people who committed their lives to promoting change. This is their story.



  • The Welcome
  • RATING: Adults Only
  • DIRECTOR: Kim Shelton
  • RUNTIME: 01hr : 33min
  • COUNTRY: US
  • PREMIERE STATUS: New Mexico Premiere
  • SYNOPSIS: The Welcome offers a fiercely intimate view of life after war, the fear, anger and isolation of post-traumatic stress that affects vets and family members alike. As we join them in a small room for an unusual healing retreat, we witness how the ruins of war can be transformed into the beauty of poetry. Their examples of unflinching honesty, courage and love lift us up, inspiring all of us once again to feel our common humanity, always the first casualty of war.



  • Losing Control
  • RATING: Adults Only
  • DIRECTOR: Valerie Weiss
  • RUNTIME: 01hr : 30min
  • COUNTRY: US
  • PREMIERE STATUS: New Mexico Premiere
  • SYNOPSIS: LOSING CONTROL is a quirky romantic comedy about a female scientist who wants proof that her boyfriend is "the one." The film is loosely based on Writer-Director Valerie Weiss' time getting a Ph.D. at Harvard Medical School. It's a zany, female-driven comedy rivaling BRIDESMAIDS in humor, but with the heartfelt theme about the universal fear that there is a right way to go about finding love and we might be going about it the wrong way.



  • The Power Of Two
  • RATING: Ages 13+
  • DIRECTOR: Marc Smolowitz
  • RUNTIME: 01hr : 32min
  • COUNTRY: US
  • PREMIERE STATUS: New Mexico Premiere
  • SYNOPSIS: THE POWER OF TWO portrays half-Japanese twin sisters, their lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis, survival through lung transplants, and emergence as international health advocates.



  • The New Frontier
  • RATING: All Ages
  • DIRECTOR: Melinda Levin and Irene Klaver
  • RUNTIME: 28min : 00sec
  • COUNTRY: US
  • PREMIERE STATUS: New Mexico Premiere
  • SYNOPSIS: The mythic cowboy lifestyle is beginning to adapt long-held, traditional family values with the ecological needs of dry, arid landscapes of the American Southwest.



  • My Grandfather's Ship
  • RATING: All Ages
  • DIRECTOR: Trevor Knapp Jones
  • RUNTIME: 04min : 00sec
  • COUNTRY: US
  • PREMIERE STATUS: World Premiere
  • SYNOPSIS: When Brendan's Grandfather passes away, he goes on an incredible journey into the deepest depths of his soul to mend the broken piece his grandfather left behind.



L'americano
  • L'americano
  • RATING: Ages 13+
  • DIRECTOR: Dominic Garcia
  • RUNTIME: 06min : 41sec
  • COUNTRY: US
  • SYNOPSIS: An Italian film about an american family that have lost their happiness and must figure out what is most important in their lives.



  • Happy New Year
  • RATING: Adults Only
  • DIRECTOR: Lorrel Manning
  • RUNTIME: 01hr : 14min
  • COUNTRY: US
  • PREMIERE STATUS: New Mexico Premiere
  • SYNOPSIS: "Sgt. Cole Lewis" mentally and physically scarred by his time served in Iraq and Afghanistan, finds humanity, compassion and friendship in a group of similarly injured veterans in the psychiatric ward at a remote Veterans Hospital. The group, ranging from guys left behind from WWII and Vietnam, to those recently injured in the Middle East, slowly become Lewis' new family. Along with them, he will attempt to redefine his sense of self, and find a new place in the world. Through humor and pathos, Lewis becomes a ray of hope in the ward, as the men find a way to combat their post-war grief. However, just as their luck starts to change, Lewis soon faces his fiercest battle yet.



  • The Encore of Tony Duran
  • RATING: Adults Only
  • DIRECTOR: Fred Sayeg
  • RUNTIME: 01hr : 30min
  • COUNTRY: US
  • PREMIERE STATUS: New Mexico Premiere
  • SYNOPSIS: Tony is a singer washed-up 20 years ago: fat, drunk, broke, and unemployed. He turns to crime to turn a buck, and proves incompetent even at that. Finding a path of human transformation and redemption; Tony sings again.



  • Third & Fourth
  • RATING: Ages 13+
  • DIRECTOR: Alex Barnes
  • RUNTIME: 08min : 30sec
  • COUNTRY: Australia
  • PREMIERE STATUS: New Mexico Premiere
  • SYNOPSIS: In an old rundown apartment block, a quirky feud develops between two retired neighbors. Their confrontation moves into an age old score to be settled!



  • Hold The Mayo
  • RATING: Ages 13+
  • DIRECTOR: Jeffrey Williams
  • RUNTIME: 00hr : 8min
  • COUNTRY: US
  • PREMIERE STATUS: New Mexico Premiere
  • SYNOPSIS: Sam is a beleaguered sandwich store clerk who is having a very bad day. Then he has a life-altering encounter with Frank - a force of nature who believes the customer is always right. Horribly, horribly right.



  • Fuzzy Connections
  • RATING: Adults Only
  • DIRECTOR: Jason Weissbrod
  • RUNTIME: 00hr : 19min
  • COUNTRY: US
  • PREMIERE STATUS: New Mexico Premiere
  • SYNOPSIS: Two best friends will encounter foxy groupies, a dog in a zoo, a lion in a jungle, and a pythagoream theorem. Will they find love in this fuzzy world?



  • John Gray
  • RATING: All Ages
  • DIRECTOR: Dan Baker & Chris Pollock
  • RUNTIME: 00hr : 8min
  • COUNTRY: US
  • PREMIERE STATUS: Not a Premiere
  • SYNOPSIS: John Gray writes his almanac of Life, Love and the Tending of Oats while his steam-powered world spirals out of control..



Beatles Stories
  • Beatles Stories
  • RATING: All Ages
  • DIRECTOR: Seth Swirsky
  • RUNTIME: 01hr : 32min
  • COUNTRY: US
  • PREMIERE STATUS: New Mexico Premiere
  • SYNOPSIS: A big fan of The Beatles growing up in the 60s, Seth Swirsky noticed that whenever he heard someone relating a story about themselves and The Beatles, he was 'all ears'. So, starting in 2005, he sought out and filmed those with never before heard, 'Beatles Stories'.



  • White Knight
  • RATING: Adults Only
  • DIRECTOR: Jesse Baget
  • RUNTIME: 01hr : 30min
  • COUNTRY: US
  • SYNOPSIS: Leroy Lowe (Tom Sizemore), grand dragon of the Texas Ku Klux Klan confronts everything he's been taught to hate when he's sentenced to three years of hard labor on a prison work farm, where Warden Merville (Stacy Keach), dead set on rehabilitating Leroy, chooses Emilio (Hector Jimenez), a Hispanic field worker imprisoned for fighting for labor rights, to be his cellmate.



  • Cancerpants
  • RATING: Adults Only
  • DIRECTOR: Nevie Owens
  • RUNTIME: 01hr : 35min
  • COUNTRY: US
  • PREMIERE STATUS: Regional Premiere
  • SYNOPSIS: Cancerpants "outs" the often hidden or taboo experience of breast cancer, while providing young women with a cathartic guide to battling breast cancer through the emotionally aware voice of Rochelle Poulson, breast cancer survivor.





A beautiful, quirky, and ultimately very moving film about the American Dream as it teeters on the edge of a desert sea.

     Terry Gilliam
     Director - Monty Python and the Holy Grail


The rusting relic of a failed 1950s development boom, the Salton Sea is a barren Californian landscape often seen as a symbol of the failure of the American Dream. A sea in the middle of the Colorado desert. First-time director Alma Har'el visits this poetically fruitful terrain in her distinctive documentary Bombay Beach, and finds there a motley cast including a bipolar seven-year-old, a lovelorn high school football star, and an octogenarian poet-prophet. Together they make up a triptych of American manhood in its decisive moments, populating the Salton Sea's land of thwarted opportunity.

True to her roots as a photographer, video artist, and music video director, Har'el crafts here an adamantly atypical and artistically innovative film—a dreamlike poem that sets the personal stories of these distinctive yet familiar characters to a stylized amalgam of observational documentary and choreographed dance, with music by Beirut and Bob Dylan, all cast against the atmospheric scenery of the titular ghost town. The result is a moving and surreal documentary experience—an evocative, symbolic portrait of rural America and its inhabitants. Winner of the Tribeca film festival doc competition.

Film director Alma Har'el tells the story of three protagonists:

- The trials of Benny Parrish, a young boy diagnosed with bipolar disorder whose troubled soul and vivid imagination create both suffering and joy for him and his complex and loving family.

-The story of CeeJay Thompson, a black teenager and aspiring football player who has taken refuge in Bombay Beach hoping to avoid the same fate of his cousin who was murdered by a gang of youths in Los Angeles.

- And that of Red, an ancient survivor, once an oil field worker, living on the fumes of whiskey, cigarettes and an irrepressible love of life.

The narratives are interspersed with CHOREOGRAPHED SEQUENCES in which the protagonists DANCE – to music specially composed for the film by ZACH CONDON of the band BEIRUT, and songs by BOB DYLAN.