ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Descansos are seen all over New Mexico. The roadside markers are a memorial to those who have died along the roads in New Mexico.
This is what inspired filmmaker Ron Weisberg to jump in and direct the short film, “Descanso.”
Weisberg says he was approached by a mother of a child who takes acting classes with him.
“They asked me if I would produce the film,” he says. “I read the script and thought it was very poignant, especially here in New Mexico. The story was good and the family had its heart in the right place.”
“Descanso” follows a jaded contractor who is worried about his wife’s pregnancy and must move a grave marker to progress with construction for his latest project. The family who put up the descanso is notified and they rush to make sure it is restored.
Weisberg says, of course, there is more twists and turns in the story.
The idea for the film came from 11-year-old Christopher W. Garcia and was written by his father Don.
“It’s amazing to see that this entire project is the result of Christopher,” he says. “He wanted to make a difference and is using film as a way to get the message across.”
The film stars Garcia, Heather Nicole, Chase A. Fox and Chris Ranney.
Weisberg says the cast is about 80 percent complete and shooting will start soon. He says the goal is to produce a 12-minute short film that will then be sent out to film festivals.
“This is such a great subject,” he says. “We’re still rasing money for the film, but it’s coming along.”
Weisberg says the crew is trying to bring forth the importance of descansos.
He’s also looking at getting the public involved to tell their stories and will feature them in the end credits of the film.
“When I approach anything, I approach it from the story – what it means for people and for me,” he says. “I’m the one that came up with the idea for the story to be a memorial.”
Inaugural film fest: Closet Cinema, producer of the annual The Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, has joined forces with the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico to bring “Transcastic! ABQ’s Transgender Film Festival.”
The festival opens Friday, April 4 with a party at ArtBar, 119 Gold SW.
Roberto Appicciafoco, festival director, says with the emergence of transgender-themed films and filmmakers on the rise in recent years, it became apparent that a festival was needed to help celebrate and highlight these films.
The films to be screened will be “Transvisible: The Bamby Salcedo Story,” “Too Cold Out There Without You,” “Turning,” “Open Up to Me” and “Melting Away.”
To see the full film schedule, visit swglff.com/transtastic2014. All screenings will be at the Guild Cinema, 3405 W. Central. Advance full fest passes will be available at the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico, 120 Morningside NE, or at The Guild Cinema.