Making the screen scene: The 16th annual Santa Fe Film Festival

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Michael Abatemarco

Sophie and the Rising Sun opens the 16th Annual Santa Fe Film Festival on Wednesday at 7 P.M., December 7th at the Jean Cocteau Cinema. (Photo via @Sophie

The 16th annual Santa Fe Film Festival launches on Wednesday, Dec. 7, and continues through Dec. 11, with screenings and special events happening all over town. This year’s festival highlights Latin American films, art documentaries, and Native cinema and includes discussion panels, workshops, and more. The festival opens at the Jean Cocteau Cinema (418 Montezuma St.) with a 7 p.m. screening of filmmaker Maggie Greenwald’s Sophie and the Rising Sun with actor Takashi Yamaguchi (Letters From Iwo Jima), who will be in attendance for an audience Q&A after the film. The screening follows a reception for festival passholders at the Gerard Vachez Gallery (418 Montezuma, next to the Jean Cocteau) at 5 p.m. The gallery is showing Faces of Film, an exhibit of artist Grant Kosh’s portraits of legends of the silver screen. An opening-night party at Cowgirl BBQ (319 S. Guadalupe St.)starts at 9 p.m. and features the music of Golden General and the Felecia Ford Band ($10 cover for non-passholders).

Screenings continue at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 8, at the Jean Cocteau with Tadashi screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-4-23-12-pmNakamura’s film Mele Murals, showing with the documentary short Arctic: Change at the Top of the World. A shorts program, Love Is Strange, screens at 1 p.m. at the Center for Contemporary Arts. Also showing at CCA on Thursday is Prison Dogs, along with the shorts The Gathering and Patarei Prison, at 3 p.m., and a Native Shorts program at 5:30 p.m. that includes the films Un Jour, The Hero Pose, How to Steal a Canoe, and more.

Friday’s screenings include the documentary The Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille along with the short A Done Deal, both showing at 1 p.m. at the Jean Cocteau; The Other Kids with the short Towed at 3 p.m. at CCA; and the documentary A Dangerous Idea, showing at The Screen at 6 p.m. with the short Hold on to You. Celebrity appearances over the course of the festival include John Benjamin Hickey, Daphne Zuniga, and Julia Jones, all of whom appear in the festival film Search Engines (showing at CCA at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10).

Also on Saturday, Dec. 10, CCA is showing Art of the Prank, a documentary on media hoaxer Joey Skaggs, and the short Getting Ed Laid at 1 p.m. The Jean Cocteau screens the drama Kensho at the Bedfellow at 1 p.m., and Domenica Cameron-Scorsese’s comedy Almost Paris plays at 5 p.m. at The Screen with the short The Joneses.

On Sunday, Dec. 11, CCA is showing the Turkish drama My Mother’s Wound at 3 p.m., Ridley Scott’s beloved 1991 crime drama Thelma & Louise plays at the Jean Cocteau at 5 p.m., and The Screen shows an LGBT shorts program that starts at 7 p.m. The Scottish Rite Center (463 Paseo de Peralta)hosts a panel, “From Stage to the Screen,” at 1 p.m., followed by an acting workshop with Benjamin Hickey. The annual awards ceremony, also at the Scottish Rite Center, starts at 4 p.m. and honors Santa Fe’s own Jon Bowman — film critic, manager of the Jean Cocteau, and the festival’s co-founder — who also served as its executive director for the first decade.

Tickets for individual screenings are available at the theaters. All-access VIP passes ($299) are available through the festival website. For a complete schedule of screenings and events, visit or call 505-216-6063. Look for next week’s Pasatiempo for more in-depth coverage, including film reviews.


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