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At the late night, NM feature, picture show

A behind the scenes look at “Monday,” which was filmed as part of the “Rebel Without a Crew” series. (Courtesy of Alejandro Montoya Marin)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Drive-in movies are making a comeback.

And film lovers are getting a chance to see some flicks.

Organizers with the Balloon Fiesta Drive-In have joined forces with Friends of New Mexico Film and The Santa Fe Film Festival in presenting “Spotlight on New Mexico Films.”

The event will take place at 7 p.m. Monday, July 27, at Balloon Fiesta Park.

“This is an opportunity to showcase New Mexico films at a time when theaters have been closed,” says NaNi Rivera, Santa Fe Film Festival executive director. “Kurt Young reached out to us and wanted to recognize the local film community and be part of the drive-in event.”

Rivera curated the night of film which features six New Mexico projects.

She was able to choose films that represented the recent rising star honorees at the New Mexico Film and Television Hall of Fame.

“We decided to showcase the rising stars because they are future of filmmaking,” she says. “It came together pretty well and the filmmakers are excited to do something safe and that complies with the Governor’s health orders.”

While the regular Balloon Fiesta Drive-In movies start at $25 plus tax a carload, Rivera says she wanted to keep it affordable to more people. It will cost $15 plus service fees.

“This is so the filmmakers will get paid,” she says. “It’s also an opportunity for those who never make it to film festivals around the state to come out and support the local film community. We have grown so much over the years and the quality of films continues to raise the bar.”

The films slated to show are:

• “Monday” by Alejandro Montoya Marín. The film was made when Montoya Marín competed on the reality series, “Rebel Without a Crew,” where he was given $7,000 to make a film. The film follows Jim a slacker-stoner who’s being dumped and fired. He’s now trying to put his life together only to find himself.

• “OffSet Web Series S2: The Black Mamba Episode” by Joe Lonesome.

• “Kaya” by Catherine Fordham. The film tells the story of a woman’s desperate search through truck stops and motels. Her life explodes in vigilante justice when she discovers a young girl being trafficked by the same crew of truckers who took her teenage sister.

• “Illumination” by David Baca. The short film pays homage to the silent film era and Disney and Pixar.

• “Wild Heart & Guitars” by Anton Kozikowski. The film explores the relationship between an American guitarist and a Mexican dancer.

• “jE Suis (I Am)” by Faith Strongheart.

Rivera says there will be food trucks and giveaways at the event.

“The filmmakers will also be there socially distancing,” she says. “It’s a great event that I hope grows. I’d like to do it monthly or twice a month. We’ll see how it goes.”

Those interested in contacting Rivera with a film submission can email

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