Pueblo Film Fest to feature familiar faces, newcomers
By Jason Morgan Edwards
Special to the Times
The Gallup-based comedy/drama “Drunktown’s Finest” will be the featured film at the 3rd Annual Pueblo Film Festival, slated for Nov. 19-20 at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque.
Several short films and documentaries will also be screened. And, to round out the two-day event, there will be several panel discussions with actors, directors, and various filmmakers.
Bettina Sandoval (Taos) is the lead organizer. She and her staff at IPCC are trying to provide a platform and showcase for Native actors and filmmakers through hosting the Pueblo Film Fest.
“My main goal is to promote Native filmmakers,” Sandoval said. “I feel like we should be doing that here. It’s going to be a pretty special event. We’ve had good attendance in the past. And, I think this year might even be a little bit bigger.”
There will be a mix of films, music, and panel discussions through the weekend. The two days are also broken out by subject matter. Sandoval explains, “Saturday is more culturally oriented films, ways-of-life kinds of things. And, our feature film leads into our contemporary film series. Here, we’re going to have a lot more of what’s going on today with Native youth, or just Native communities, in general.”
Shortly before the feature is screened on Saturday, the New Mexico Film Office will convene a panel discussion focusing on the production and more business-oriented aspects of New Mexico’s growing film industry.
Sunday’s schedule starts off at 10 a.m. with panel discussion featuring a few well-known faces and voices. Invited panelists include: Sydney Freeland (Navajo), Ernest Tsosie (Navajo), Forrest Goodluck (Navajo/Hidatsa/Mandan/Tsimshian), and James Lujan (Taos). They will be answering questions as to their backgrounds and experiences in the film industry.
Later on Sunday, the “Storytelling Through Film” panel will feature a more in-depth discussion and explanation of the rich oral tradition of storytelling through film. Among the invited panelists are Dwayne Joe (Hopi/Navajo), Felecia Nez (Navajo) and Kenneth Kanesta (Cochiti). The films’ subject matter will cover various topics of Native life, from traditional arts to the abstract.