Santa Fe New Mexican

Santa Fe Independent Film Festival gains international recognition 

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For the fifth consecutive year, the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival has been named one of 50 film festivals "worth the entry fee," according to MovieMaker Magazine, a quarterly trade publication that has produced an annual list of top-tier festivals in the U.S. and abroad since at least 2012.

The only film fest in the Southwest to make the list released earlier this month, the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival stands out for its "deep dives" with top actors and screenwriters, the magazine wrote, who host "masters discussions" and constitute an "eclectic pool of expert opinions from which to glean."

On top of that: "Where else can you see [A] Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin talk film at the very theater he owns--the historic Jean Cocteau Cinema?"

The accolade "highlights Santa Fe and [the independent film festival] as a top destination for film exhibition and a creative center for filmmakers," said Liesette Paisner Bailey, the festival director.

Last fall, the festival, which launched in 2009, saw its third consecutive year with attendance better than 10,000 and screened more than 100 films alongside workshops, panels and networking events.

Special guests, performers and honorees included the filmmaker John Waters, filmmakers John Sayles and Maggie Renzi, writer N. Scott Momaday, director Robert Redford and actors Ethan Hawke and Wes Studi. 

Its 10th annual festival is scheduled to begin Oct. 17. The regular deadline for film submissions is Tuesday but shorts and features may be submitted up to Aug. 1.

By Tripp Stelnicki

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