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New horizons: Four Corners Film Festival puts Farmington in the spotlight

“Heart, Baby,” which has New Mexico ties, will be screened at the Four Corners Film Festival.

As the film industry continues to grow, so do the opportunities for film festivals to pop up.

The newest is the Four Corners Film Festival, which begins screening films on Tuesday, Sept. 10. The festival runs through Sunday, Sept. 15, in various locations in Farmington.

“We’ve been working on the festival for more than two years,” says Heath Adam Cates, co-founder of the festival. “My friend Brent Garcia and I have been advocates for the film industry up in the Four Corners area for more than two years. We wanted to create a place where filmmakers can showcase their films to a wide audience.”

The film festival received over 350 submissions this year. Of those, 191 are official selections.

Like other festivals, the Four Corners Film Festival will not only screen the films but will also feature panel discussions.

The panels range from landing your first TV role/acting to location scouting to screenwriting to improv.

Cates says there are more than a dozen panels for those interested in film.

The festival will also have a few special screenings, including “Heart, Baby” and “Aurora’s Law.”

The latter was shot completely in Farmington with Steven Michael Quezada, Quinton Aaron and a mostly New Mexico-based cast.

The other films are featured competition films – “Zilly’s War” and “How to Be Alone.” Zilly’s War” was also filmed in New Mexico.

“Aurora’s Law,” which has New Mexico ties, will be screened at the Four Corners Film Festival.

There will be short-film blocks that include a Native American shorts, international shorts, New Mexico filmmaker shorts and short documentary film block.

“All of the planning was started prior to Netflix coming to Albuquerque,” Cates says. “The film industry is growing in this area. We didn’t want to have to uproot our families. We want to create something for our home. We love the community here. Having the oil and gas industry has helped the area when it booms, and when it isn’t, it hurts our town. We know what kind of influence the film industry can have in Farmington.”

Also part of the film festival is a fashion show.

The designers include Stevie Boi, Vauje, Tiffany Rae and Jolonzo Goldtooth. The show will feature an appearance by dancer Poppin John.

“I wrote a production-based performance, and we’re incorporating dance music and visual effects,” Cates says. “It’s a really cool production.”

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