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Santa Fe Festival Launching By Popular Demand

Festival Launches By Popular Demand

The Santa Fe Film Festival kicks off an expanded, year-round slate for 2005 with a new series called By Popular Demand, bringing back prize winners and crowd favorites from the annual December festival.

The inaugural run of By Popular Demand will consist of two days of film screenings, Jan. 29 and Feb. 19, at the Cinemacafe, 1616 St. Michael’s Drive.
Anchoring the Saturday, Jan. 29 showcase will be screenings of:
• Zapata, Alfonso Arau’s colorful epic tapestry recounting the legend of the Mexican revolutionary icon, at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
• Dancing from the Heart, Marilyn Hunt’s stirring profile of the charismatic leader behind a traditional San Juan Pueblo dance troupe, at 1:30 p.m. It’s paired with Chris Kientz and Simon James’ animated short Raven Tales, winner of the festival’s prize for best Native American film.
• And, Rhett Muse’s Turmoil, an incisive documentary account of political chaos and conflict in oil-rich Venezuela, at 7 p.m., playing on a double-bill with Mercedes Allen and Jordan Sharon’s Educating Marissa, about the tragic slaying of a Santa Fe High School student.
Zapata enjoyed its U.S. premiere at the festival, which also honored Mexican actor and director Arau (Like Water for Chocolate, A Walk in the Clouds) with a Luminaria Award for lifetime achievement. The film has stirred controversy south of the border focusing on Arau’s daring approach examining Zapata’s life from a dreamy, mythical perspective.
Since its appearance in Santa Fe, Dancing from the Heart has been accepted into the prestigious Dance on Camera Festival running this month in the Walter Reade Theater at the Lincoln Center in New York City. The film by Hunt, a veteran dance critic, introduces Andrew Garcia and follows his embrace of dance as a means to overcome alcohol addiction.
Raven Tales is the first short incorporating the marvels of modern computer animation to recount ancient Native American lore. Besides its SFFF award, the short placed second in the first annual New Mexico Governor’s Cup Challenge.
Educating Marissa revisits the rape and murder of Santa Fean Marissa Mathy-Zvaifler at an Albuquerque hip-hop concert. The documentary not only is a salute to the vibrant teen-ager, but also poses the question: How can communities mobilize to prevent such crimes?
Turmoil is the debut film by a longtime KOAT-TV cameraman based in Santa Fe. It has sparked considerable debate in Venezuela, as well as keen interest from several cable TV channels eager to acquire broadcast rights.
Jon Bowman, executive director of the Santa Fe Film Festival, said By Popular Demand gives viewers a second chance to discover cinematic gems first rolled out during the December festival.
“We present nearly 200 features, documentaries and shorts over our five-day run, so even the most dedicated film buffs can’t see them all,” Bowman said. “We have received a flood of requests from the public asking for an encore of popular titles and this series is designed to help meet that demand.”
In particular, he said the festival is pleased to extend a platform for locally made titles, such as Dancing from the Heart and Turmoil. “You can always wait in hopes of catching them on the tube, but it’s no substitute for meeting the filmmakers and getting to see these pictures on the big screen.”
By Popular Demand returns on Saturday, Feb. 19, with reprises of two award winners from the 2004 festival:
• Christos Sourligas’ quirky romantic comedy Elephant Shoes, winner of the Audience Choice Award, at 1:30 and 7 p.m.
• And, the Creative Spirit Award winner, Bill Rose’s Loss of Nameless Things, at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. This documentary retraces the fall and resurrection of an extraordinary playwright, Oakley Hall III, whose career was sidetracked at the peak of his creative genius as a result of a debilitating accident.
By Popular Demand tickets will be sold at the door only, beginning a half-hour before each Cinemacafe showtime. Individual admission is $9.
For more details on the series and other upcoming Santa Fe Film Festival events, visit online at
Major sponsors for the series include the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, The Santa Fe New Mexican, KBAC-FM, Comcast and Thomas Properties.


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