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UNM film students to showcase projects

Crew members with the short film “CentralSide,” filmed on location around Albuquerque. (Courtesy of Leticia Chadwick)

Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal

It’s been nearly two semesters of work.

Ideas were floated – some of them coming to fruition.

At the KiMo Theatre on Thursday, graduating seniors in the Interdisciplinary Film & Digital Media program at the University of New Mexico will present their capstone projects.

The course is the final project for those pursuing a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary arts, and the topics and focus center on professional practices and critical discourse for interdisciplinary and collaborative artists.

Sixteen projects will be screened during the event.

Philip Hoang films a scene on location for the short movie “Roughstock.” (Courtesy of Evalina Lopez)

“There are going to be four animated pieces, a video game, a fashion show and 10 live-action shorts,” said Adam Turner, lecturer at UNM Film and Digital Arts. “There are more films than there used to be because we changed how we are doing the program.”

The screenings will mark the last presentation with the Interdisciplinary Film & Digital Media as its own stand-alone program. UNM announced last month that the IFDM program would become part of the Department of Film and Digital Arts. The change allows more areas of study, and UNM officials hope that the program will produce more graduates.

According to UNM officials, the changes were needed after Netflix announced in October that it would be purchasing Albuquerque Studios and productions began to increase in the state.

Turner and Matthew McDuffie, professor of practice, are the two instructors overseeing the capstone projects.

“These students are great, and I’ve had them for three years,” Turner said. “We’ve been able to put them through a program of storytelling and visual syntax to advanced production.”

Nikki Cartwright applies makeup to Taylor Rodriguez, who plays Bo Wills in the short film “Roughstock.” (Courtesy of Evalina Lopez)

Leticia Chadwick and her crew worked on the production for the film “CentralSide.”

It’s the story of a girl who finds herself on the streets and what she endures to survive.

“A majority of our locations have been outside. We’ve featured a lot of local murals Downtown, as well as some Albuquerque icon spots like the rainbow fence,” Chadwick said.

For producer Logan Nowicki, working on “Roughstock” has been a journey.

“Roughstock” focuses on the pressures of rodeo, crime, family and struggle in the modern West. It centers on Bo Wills, a former world champion bronc rider, and his predicament of struggling to compete in the rodeo and working outside of the law with his estranged brother.

It was filmed in Bernalillo in March and was directed by Cole Brewer. The short film shot over the course of eight days.

Nowicki and Brewer also traveled to Casper, Wyo., at the end of April to a collegiate rodeo.

“We filmed some inserts and B-roll,” Nowicki said. “They gave us free rein. We’re hoping to get the short into some festivals and eventually make this into a feature film.”

Turner said Rachel Bossert has written and is directing a short animated project called “Donut Disaster.”

“The project is entirely in 3-D animation,” Turner said. “Rachel has been working on this project for well over a year now and has enlisted the help of dozens of 3-D animators to get it done. It’s a very impressive effort.”

The screening will consist of two 75-minute programs separated by a 10-minute intermission.

During intermission, the audience will have an opportunity to play a video game created by students on a computer system in the lobby.

Established in 2005 under New Mexico’s Media Industries Strategy Plan, IFDM was built on existing strengths in the Anderson School of Management, Arts and Sciences, the College of Fine Arts, and the School of Engineering, and focused on film editing, production and marketing.

According to UNM, the new program has four objectives – integrate filmmaking and digital media, build a native New Mexico Hollywood, train the residents of New Mexico and foster research.

The program is designed to offer students a degree that can be customized to meet a variety of interests and needs. Students interested in game design, engineering, filmmaking, animation, visual effects, audio production, graphic design, screenwriting, journalism, multimedia or business will find a path through Film and Digital Arts in one of the four areas of study.

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