The 2014 White Sands International Film Festival is set for September 3-7, 2014 and promises to be a momentous event.
In its 10th year, the festival is growing in popularity each year and becoming a starlet in the realm of film festivals in the Southwest region. In addition to a great selection of independent films, this year is highlighted by a workshop series featuring some of the most innovative professionals in the industry.
Rob Sharp, President of the White Sands International Film Festival anticipates a great turnout for this year’s event. He says the festival is receiving more and more attention each year, from people within the industry and the public.
“The film industry is thriving throughout New Mexico and we account for some of that success here locally,” said Sharp. “The festival is a great opportunity to experience films from amateur and professional filmmakers from throughout the country and around the world. The film genres and story lines vary which makes this festival attractive to the film junkie or the general public.”
The festival kicks-off on September 3rd, Wednesday evening with its premiere film, Odd Way Home, starring Rumer Glenn Willis, daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. The film entails two strangers (Rumer Willis & Chris Marquette), each living at the edges of society, are fatefully united for a harrowing and inspirational journey through the enchanting vistas of New Mexico. A passionate young woman escaping her abusive past, and a reclusive young man with Autism, take a journey that redefines the notion of family, (Summary by metacritic.com/movie/the-odd-way-home). The film stars Rumer Willis, Chris Marquette, Brandan Sexton III, Veronica Cartwright and Bruce Altman.
The film debut in October of 2013 at the Austin Film Festival and also featured at the Omaha, Los Angeles, Albuquerque and Waterfront Film Festivals this year. The Odd Way Home was filmed in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and the screenplay is written and directed by Director, Rajeev Nirmalakhandan, who was raised in Las Cruces and is a professor at NMSU’s Creative Media Institute. He has written, produced, edited and directed several short narrative films, screenplays and documentary films, the Odd Way Home is his first, full feature-length film. Screening for the premiere starts at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 3rd at the Cineport 10 in Theatre 1 at the Mesilla Valley Mall, located at 700 S. Telshor Boulevard in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
The premiere kicks-off a week-long list of films on the big screen, showcasing 7 feature films, 35 short narratives, 16 documentaries and 16 student productions. All of them can be seen on the big screen at the Cineport 10.
This year’s festival offers its strongest lineup of workshops to date including an award-winning screenwriter, a legendary EFX puppeteer, an up-and-coming gore specialist, culminating with a special presentation from “American Horror Story,” cinematographer Michael Goi. Workshops and seminars are sponsored this year by Creative Media Technology and Andele’s Dog House restaurant on Saturday, September 6, 2014 at the beautiful East Mesa campus of the Doña Ana Community College, 2800 N. Sonoma Ranch Blvd. (complete workshop lineup below)
In addition to the film screenings, workshops and VIP parties, this year’s festivities will kick off with a 48-hour filmmaker’s competition. Grand prizes of $300 each are at stake in two different categories for filmmakers competing film frenzy, sponsored by the Doña Ana Arts Council. Teams will compete to write, film, edit and submit a 5 to 10 minute short narrative film in two-day’s time. The completion begins on August 30 with the final cut due on Monday, September 1st at 9 a.m., official rules are available online at wsifff.com. The films can be seen on Thursday, September 4th at the Cineport 10 starting at 6 p.m. A social follows at 8:30 p.m. at the Game Sports Bar & Grill Patio at 2605 S. Espina, Las Cruces, NM.
The festival is hosting an opening night party for filmmakers on Wednesday evening at La Posta Restaurant, 2410 Calle de San Albino, in Mesilla, NM. The festival’s Award Gala is set for Friday, September 5th at 7:30 p.m. in the Rio Grande Theater, located at 211 N. Main Street in downtown Las Cruces. Following the award ceremony is the Enchantment Award VIP Party, 9 p.m. at the St. Clair Winery and Bistro located at 1720 Avenida de Mesilla in Las Cruces, NM.
For a complete film festival schedule visit wsiff.com or call Helping Hands Event Planning at (575) 522-1232 for more information.
Lies I Told My Little Sister
5 Ways 2 Die
A Night Like These
Box of Sound
Directors on Directing
Dogonauts: Enemy Line
Downton By Lamplight
Franky and The Ant
Gift of Gab
Independent Film Maker
It Don’t Mean Nothing
Life In Darkness
Moses on the Mesa
No Love Lost
One Armed Man
Our Urban Wilderness
Rabda Vaasta short
The Heebie Jeebies
The Mary Contest
What A Gun
A Silent Waltz
Call It Blue
Chaisson: Quest For Oriud
Color of War
I M Possible
Life on the line
Life Under The Bridge
The Wig People
You and Me
Agave is Life
Chew On This Dangers of the American Diet Exposed
Coney Island Dreams for Sale
Extending the Play
Fire In The Blood
Journey to the 100 Man Fight: The Judd Reid Story
Not Anymore A Story of Revolution
Quiet Elegance: The Architecture of Hugh M. Kapt
Refuge Caring for Survivors of Torture
Silent Epidemic The Untold Story of Vaccines
The Tinaja Trail
Wanda the Wonderful
What Ate My Mum? And Will IT Eat Me Secrcy Country
All workshops and seminars take place at the East Mesa campus of Dona Ana Community College.
All VIP Platinum pass-holders to the White Sands International Film Festival have free admission to all workshops. A workshop pass is $20, which entitles the holder to one or all of the workshops. Tickets and more information including campus map and bios are available online at wsiff.com.
“TELLING A GOOD SCREEN STORY, IT’S HARDER THAN YOU THINK”
Presented by Kirk Ellis
10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. – Classroom location TBA
Emmy-winning producer/writer Kirk Ellis (“John Adams” “Into The West”) will lead an interactive discussion of the fundamentals of screen storytelling, utilizing clips from both feature films and television programs to illustrate the art of structure and character building.
“SPECIAL MAKEUP FX AND GORE”
Presented by Timothy Sedillo
10 a.m. to noon – CMT Studio
Join Timothy Sedillo a CMI graduate for a bloody good time as he discusses and demonstrates the art of special makeup FX and how you can make and use them on any budget. This class will include practical makeup FX, blood recipes, gore, and gag FX.
“VISUAL EFFECTS AS SEEN IN LABYRINTH AND DARK CRYSTAL”
Presented by Mike McCormick
Noon to 1:30 p.m. – Classroom location TBA
Special effects wizard and puppeteer Mike McCormick talks about his work in such seminal films as “Labyrinth,” “Dark Crystal,” “Return of the Jedi” and the television series “Breaking Bad,” revealing the secrets of radio control vs. wire control puppetry, creature fabrication, costuming and much more.
“CREATING THE LOOK OF ‘AMERICAN HORROR STORY'”
Presented by Michael Goi, ASC
2 to 4 p.m. – Auditorium
Join world-renowned cinematographer Michael Goi, ASC (“American Horror Story,” “Glee,” “My Name Is Earl”) as he discusses and demonstrates the artistic concept behind the approach to American Horror Story visuals and how he uses simple lights to bring about that concept. He will also share general information on being a cinematographer in movies and television today, how to build a career and how to get started.
“CREATING THE RIGHT KIND OF FILMMAKING WORKFORCE”
Presented by IATSE 480
Noon to 1 p.m. – Auditorium
Members of IATSE 480, including Jon Hendry, will discuss set readiness and the importance of union presence in all craft areas – catering, drivers, props, hair, wardrobe, construction, etc. – to fulfill the needs of visiting productions.
“CHILEWOOD: WHY THE FILM INDUSTRY IS PROFITABLE FOR ALL”
Presented by RFDAC
1 to 2 p.m. Auditorium
Come meet select members of the Regional Film Development Advisory Council – State Rep. Jeff Steinborn, CMI professor/filmmaker Rajeev Nirmalakhandan, CMI professor/documentarian Phil Lewis, industry veteran/former film liaison Bill McCamey and actor/educator Mark Vasconcellos – to discuss and learn why the film industry is and can be a powerful economic stimulator for Doña Ana County, surrounding areas and what that means for local businesses and inhabitants.