Inside the 2022 Santa Fe Film Festival in-person event, venues, screenings, workshops, Q&As and valuable networking #NMFilm #SantaFeFilmFestival #FocusonNewMexico

The beginnings of the Santa Fe Film Festival began to grow organically over forty years ago with an offshoot of an area festival creating a “New Directors/New Films” program in partnership with MOMA ( NYC) which has attracted many notable Hollywood directors and directors. stars. From that beginning as a hub to celebrate filmmakers, the Santa Fe Film Festival was officially established in 1999 as a non-profit organization and was awarded “The Cider House Rules” as its first best feature. footage.

Watch this interview with co-founder and current board member Kurt Young as he talks about the festival over 20 years ago.

Over the years, the festival has grown and continued to connect filmmakers here in New Mexico, which is also the best place to live and work as a filmmaker according to MovieMaker Magazine.

“Four times at No. 1 is amazing, and it’s a testament to how many
Albuquerque exploded as a center of production,” says Tim Molloy, editor of MovieMaker. “Big investments from Netflix and NBCUniversal have helped tremendously, as have state and local officials who are proud ambassadors for Albuquerque and other great New Mexico communities from Santa Fe to Taos. Job opportunities abound in New Mexico, and the state is doing an impressive job of helping train more locals to join its highly professional teams. Albuquerque is a charming, friendly, affordable, and very liveable city that offers a great work-life balance. Santa Fe is very commutable with Albuquerque and feels like a resort town that somehow offers endless creative opportunities, while constantly filling your sense of wonder. Together they form a cinema corridor unmatched anywhere. Both are accessible to mountains which can double as New Hampshire and desert landscapes which can double for Mars. The region has heart, beauty and a spirit of exploration that you won’t find anywhere else on earth. And yes, Los Angeles is a short plane ride away, but maybe you can just convince the Los Angeles producer you’re meeting to move to New Mexico.

This year’s festival was different, however, as it was held in person, in the 2nd year of the COVID pandemic, and well, with attendees concerned about safety protocols. Festival organizers recognized that the requirements of most filmmakers, cast and crew needed to be vaxxed and so the decision was made that attendees should be vaxxed. This was communicated to the filmmakers ahead of the festival and opened the door for over 90 filmmakers from 4 countries to confirm their attendance at the festival. The team had a COVID compliance organization, VIP StarNetwork, provide testing, PPE and the team on site to support this decision and be a valuable resource for festival staff.

Programming the festival this year was first-time programmer JD Piche, who most people who know him will call it a walking IMDb, not only has he produced over 13,000 video interviews with film professionals entertainment above and below the Oscar line at film festivals, but he is also a graduate of the London Academy of Film and TV and this coupled with his academic background from the television studio to film and theater (obtaining his SAG-AFTRA card in 2007), has proven to be an invaluable resource, not just for his knowledge, but his ability to be the trusted support filmmakers hope to get at a festival, where their work is evaluated.

The highlights of the first weekend

The festival’s screening venues included the Jean Cocteau Cinema, which locals know is owned by George RR Martin, the Center for Contemporary Art (CCA) and the historic Scottish Rite Masonic Temple where they held their screenings of gala and two castings.

Weekend Two Highlights
Casting Society at the Magic and Genius of Casting presentation at the 2022 Santa Fe Film Festival at the Scottish Rite Temple

The festival also coordinated with the filmmakers for Q&A after their screenings, which further enriched the experience of the filmmakers who attended the screenings with the audience.

2022 Santa Fe Film Festival’s Funeral Queen Q&A
No More Goodbyes screening and Q&A at the 2022 Santa Fe Film Festival at the CCA

New friendships with local New Mexicans and out-of-state filmmakers, producers, actors, and others in attendance were forged from the screening, Q&As, and then afters and lunches, giving participants the time to forge these relationships.

No More Goodbyes – after the crowd of screenings.

Awards were handed out over both weekends to the filmmakers in attendance, including the first weekend where Anthony Edwards received the Lifetime Achievement Award while the film he was producing on “The Tricky Part” was represented by the two directors, Raphael Sbarge and Martin Moran at a gala screening.

Anthony Edwards at the 2022 Santa Fe Film Festival Filmmakers Luncheon Awards at La Fonda on the Plaza
Arcadi Palerm-Artis at the Santa Fe Film Festival 2022 Filmmakers Luncheon Red Carpet at La Fonda on the Plaza

It was also the first year that the Casting Society awarded two Best Casting Director awards for two films at the festival.

Casting Society at the 2022 Santa Fe Film Festival Filmmaker Luncheon Awards and Red Carpet

In addition to the lunches, there was karaoke and venues included La Fonda on the Plaza’s La Terraza room for two weekends, Santa Fe Brewery and Santa Fe Spirits.

2nd Weekend Awards Luncheon at La Fonda in the Plaza
Karaoke at La Fonda in the La Terraza room at the Plaza
Photo fun with these two filmmakers – Paula Rhodes “Delicate State” and Spirit of New Mexico winner America Young and her film “Back to Lyla”

The workshops were also a big hit with the filmmakers and attendees and the festival has been working to secure powerful resources to support the festival and plan more events for future events:

Filmmaker Steve Balderson demystifies film financing during this workshop
  • Sony Pictures Television Executive Casting Masterclass
  • Casting Society of America Executive Presentation
  • Production partners: how these filmmakers manage it, even from a distance!
  • Discover how storytelling, music, poetry, graphics and other devices turn fact-based films into works of art that inspire viewers AKA Documentaries
  • Film Financing Q&A: Director/Producer of 18 Independently Funded Films Explains How to Obtain Funds to Make His Film
  • Find out how to prepare your project for promotion, which apps and technology tools to use to help you excel
The production panel: Paula Rhodes, America Young, Dan Castellaneta, Deb Lacuesta, Aeryn and Gentry Lee, Aaron Toronto and Amy (from Viet Nam)

Want to see more? Watch our video interviews from the red carpet:

2022 Santa Fe Film Festival Interviews

We’ve also captured over 800 images to share from the 10-day festival here on Flickr:

Casting Society at the Magic and Genius of Casting presentation at the 2022 Santa Fe Film Festival - DSC_0639

Overall the festival was well received by everyone and everyone was happy to hang out and network, see their movie on the big screen and well come to Santa Fe, it’s not just a destination but it’s t’s a great place for filmmakers.

The winners of the SFFF awards ceremony were selected from 25 feature films, 35 feature documentaries and more than 100 short films from more than 500 submissions and are presented online via the Santa Fe Film Festival online streaming platform by local technology company Xerb.TV.

For the full list of movies, synopses, and other special events happening during SFFF 2022, please visit For more information on the Santa Fe Film Festival or for press inquiries, contact Stephanie Piché, Executive Director of the Santa Fe Film Festival at [email protected]

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