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The Top 10 Films at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival
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The Top 10 Films at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival

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Updated: 12 December 2015
The Santa Fe Independent Film Festival represents Santa Fe as a world-class destination for films and cinemas. These first ten announced titles represent about one third of the feature films to be shown at the festival this October and will be followed with a full line-up of short films, educational events, and parties at the hottest venues in downtown Santa Fe. Stay tuned for Opening and Closing Night film announcements. Save the date for the 7th Annual Santa Fe Independent Film Festival October 14-18, 2015. Full schedule will be announced in mid-September. Early-bird Festival Passes are available at https://tickets.ticketssantafe.org/single/PSDetail.aspx’psn=2377, individual tickets will be available by mid September.
Santa Fe Independent Film Festival
Santa Fe Independent Film Festival

All Eyes and Ears

Directed by Vanessa Hope

An auspicious exploration of relations between the U.S. and China, All Eyes and Ears explores figures such as U.S. Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman Jr., as he struggles to maintain diplomacy amid international tensions over security and economic expansion. The documentary weaves in his adopted Chinese-American teenaged daughter, Gracie Mei, as she fosters a newfound appreciation for her bicultural heritage and blind legal advocate, Chen Guangcheng, as he seeks asylum in the U.S.A. Through their individual and often-interlocking stories, filmmaker Vanessa Hope deftly pinpoints the historical events, ideologies, and policies that have come to define U.S-China relations. All Eyes and Ears adroitly illuminates the delicate, intersecting layers of history, ideology and politics at play behind current diplomatic maneuvers. Director Vanessa Hope will be in attendance for a Q&A.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fsaf66LB_u4

The Babushkas of Chernobyl

Directed by Anne Bogart and Holly Morris

The Babushkas of Chernobyl is an affectionate portrait about an extraordinary group of women who live in Chernobyl’s post-nuclear disaster “Zone of Alienation” or “Dead Zone.” For more than 25 years they have not only survived but have thrived, on some of the most contaminated land on earth. Their existence in this dystopian environment speaks volumes about today’s complicated nuclear realities. Surprising footage of the women going about their rural, isolated routines as if there’s nothing unusual about where they’re picking berries or raising livestock fills this documentary. Winner of Best Documentary at Los Angeles Film Festival. Director Holly Morris will be in attendance for a Q&A.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3XF56BaxF4

Harry & Avis

Directed by Nathan Hollis

Set in the breathtaking expanses of Scotland’s countryside & Edinburgh proper, Harry & Avis is a romantic comedy following two eccentric lovers who take a camping trip to Loch Lomond National Park. This spontaneous camping trip is meant to invigorate the couple’s relationship, but Harry’s neurotic existential ponderings interfere. As Harry finds himself contemplating life’s perplexing questions, Avis tries her best to remind him the importance of carefree spontaneity. Just as the two begin to find a middle ground, they find themselves in the midst of a mystery. Director Nathan Hollis will be in attendance for a Q&A.

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/119135051

Honeytrap

Directed by Rebecca Johnson

Based on true events, Honeytrap is set in Brixton, London and tells the story of 15-year-old Layla and the realization of her own beauty. In this urban melodrama, Layla lures a hopeless romantic boy into a brutal trap set by gang members and Layla’s other love interest. Rebecca Johnson brings to light themes such as machismo, the abuse that comes along with it and grand paranoia.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sDtYgGxwB8

Honeytrap

Directed by Rebecca Johnson

Based on true events, Honeytrap is set in Brixton, London and tells the story of 15-year-old Layla and the realization of her own beauty. In this urban melodrama, Layla lures a hopeless romantic boy into a brutal trap set by gang members and Layla’s other love interest. Rebecca Johnson brings to light themes such as machismo, the abuse that comes along with it and grand paranoia.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sDtYgGxwB8

Inside the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival
Inside the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival

Krisha

Directed by Trey Edward Shults

An especially fraught Thanksgiving holiday brings a woman’s troubled, booze-soaked history into blistering yet compassionate focus in Krisha, an intimate and unnerving character study. After years of absence, Krisha reunites with her family for a holiday gathering. She sees it as an opportunity to fix her past mistakes, cook the family turkey, and prove to her loved ones that she has changed for the better. Only, Krisha’s delirium takes her family on a dizzying holiday that no one will forget.

Trailer: http://www.indiewire.com/embed/player.jsp’videoId=0000014d-29d6-dd98-ad5f-edde30ed0000&width=480

Mekko

Directed by Sterlin Harjo

After serving 19 years in prison, Mekko has no home or family so he makes his way to Tulsa where no one takes him in. With nowhere to go Mekko ends up sleeping on the streets. He is taken in by the homeless native community. At times jovial, there is a dark undercurrent to the community. He begins having issues with a man named Bill, who Mekko is convinced is an evil witch. Mekko turns to the old teachings of his grandmother in order to rid the community of this ‘witch’. Mekko is in search of his home and the strength to forgive himself of his past. Official Selection of 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pv4TZ6bulk8

The Adderall Diaries

Directed by Pamela Romanowsky

Not long into the 2007 trial of programmer Hans Reiser, accused of murdering his wife, the defendant’s friend Sean Sturgeon obliquely confessed to several murders (though not the murder of Reiser’s wife). Elliott, a writer stymied by past success, writers block, substance abuse, relationship problems and a serious set of father issues, chronicles this bizarre murder trial that amounts to less than the sum of its parts. Caught up in the film-ready twist and his tenuous connection to Sturgeon, Elliott makes a gonzo record of the proceedings. The result is a scattered, self-indulgent romp through the mind of a depressive narcissist obsessed with his insecurities and childhood traumas.

The Seventh Fire

Directed by Jack Pettibone Riccobono

Terrence Malick presents this haunting and visually arresting nonfiction film about the gang crisis in Indian Country. The film presents us with Rob Brown, a Native American gang leader on a remote Minnesota reservation. He is sentenced to prison for a fifth time and must confront his role in bringing violent drug culture into his beloved Ojibwe community. As Rob reckons with his past, his seventeen-year-old protégé, Kevin, dreams of the future – becoming the biggest drug dealer on the reservation. Director Jack Pettibone Riccobono will present Q&A following the film with subject of the documentary Rob Brown.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqrBPgNe6xs

They Look Like People

Directed by Perry Blackshear

Christian and Wyatt are two friends that are both hearing voices. Encouraging and inspirational words fill Christian’s mind while the words echoing in Wyatt’s ears bring no solace. Calls arrive on Wyatt’s broken phone, warning him of an impending war where people around him are turning into evil creatures. This leads him to decide whether to protect his only friend from the impending war, or from himself.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrsUOmKlAzI