America to see 'Bless Me, Ultima' - Albuquerque Journal

America to see ‘Bless Me, Ultima’

“Bless Me, Ultima” is going national.

After a successful run in New Mexico and El Paso, the low-budget independent film is slated for a limited nationwide release beginning today.

Arenas Entertainment Founder and CEO Santiago Pozo announced that the film had an extremely successful box office run in regional release earlier this year, and the company decided to market it to other areas.

The film opened on Oct. 19 in five New Mexico theaters, a day after premiering at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival. To date, the film has grossed more than $325,000 in New Mexico and averaged $16,000-plus per screen on its opening weekend, making it the No. 1 film in the region that weekend.

 Miriam Colon, who plays Ultima, and Luke Ganalon, who plays Antonio, in a scene from “Bless Me, Ultima.”

Miriam Colon, who plays Ultima, and Luke Ganalon, who plays Antonio, in a scene from “Bless Me, Ultima.”

Similarly, the film was successful in its El Paso release on Sept. 19, averaging $10,000-plus per screen on its opening weekend and grossing more than $100,000 since its Sept. 21 debut in that city.

The film will open in seven states that include major markets such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Phoenix, Tucson, Denver, Las Vegas, Nev., Chicago, Miami, Dallas and San Antonio.

“Bless Me, Ultima,” is based on the provocative award-winning novel by celebrated New Mexican author, Rudolfo Anaya. It is a turbulent coming-of-age story about a young boy, Antonio, played by Luke Ganalon, growing up in New Mexico during World War II. When a mysterious curandera (healer) named Ultima played by Miriam Colon comes to live with his family, she teaches him about the power of the spiritual world.

As their relationship grows, Antonio begins to question his strict upbringing by his parents, played by Dolores Heredia and Albuquerque-native Benito Martinez. Through a series of mysterious and at times terrifying events, Antonio must grapple with questions about the nature of divinity and his own destiny.

“We firmly believe that this wonderful movie, which is based on a book that is celebrated in the American Southwest, can be embraced by the entire country,” said producer Mark Johnson. “It’s a book that many of us, and especially those of us that come from the East Coast, have never heard of. It’s a wonderful story of spiritual discovery about a young man’s life in the ’40s in New Mexico. I think it’s a very smart movie.”

It was directed by Carl Franklin at Greer Garson Studios on the campus of Santa Fe University of Art & Design in 2010.

It was filmed at Ruby Ranch in Las Vegas, N.M., Pecos River Ranch in Rowe, Abiquíu, Garson Studios and the old Manderfield School in Santa Fe and the production employed 150 New Mexicans during its nearly three-month shooting schedule.
— This article appeared on page C1 of the Albuquerque Journal


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
APS bus drivers get a pay boost amid ongoing ...
ABQnews Seeker
Board of Education OKs hiring, referral ... Board of Education OKs hiring, referral bonuses as rate reaches $18 per hour
2
Crime Stoppers release photo of car in fatal ABQ ...
ABQnews Seeker
Crime Stoppers released a photo of ... Crime Stoppers released a photo of the silver Mustang involved in the fatal shooting of a 20-year-old man during a road rage incident last ...
3
APD: Uber passenger killed in West Side crash
ABQnews Seeker
A man was killed after his ... A man was killed after his Uber driver got into a crash Thursday afternoon on the West Side. Gilbert Gallegos, an Albuquerque police spokesman, ...
4
Man's death in custody of APD ruled a homicide
ABQnews Seeker
Officers found to have violated policy ... Officers found to have violated policy in use-of-force procedures
5
Lovebirds flock to reopened county building for licenses
ABQnews Seeker
Some marriages delayed after closure of ... Some marriages delayed after closure of headquarters due to vandalism incidents
6
Police shooting in homicide probe is detailed
ABQnews Seeker
Suspected carjacking by person of interest Suspected carjacking by person of interest
7
Latin film showcase: Cine Magnífico! will screen 23 movies ...
Albuquerque News
Cine Magnífico! the Albuquerque Latinx Film ... Cine Magnífico! the Albuquerque Latinx Film Festival has given visibility over the years to f ...
8
Stadium bond opposition sparks ethics complaint
2021 city election
A Downtown Albuquerque resident said his ... A Downtown Albuquerque resident said his neighbors and the public should know who is behind the campaign to defeat the city's $50 million stadium ...
9
Sheriff accused of colluding with PAC
2021 city election
Campaign calls allegation 'baseless' Campaign calls allegation 'baseless'