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Filmstock to showcase region’s best films

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — James Lee wanted to showcase independent short films. For the past four years, he found a way with his Filmstock Film Festival based in Arizona. Now, the festival is on its way to the Land of Enchantment and is aptly titled Filmstock New Mexico.

The festival will feature 10 short films, four of which are winners at the Arizona festival.

“We started this festival to get films as much exposure as we could,” Lee says. “It’s very difficult for a short film to get exposure and we wanted to have an outlet for these types of films.”

Filmstock New Mexico
WHEN: 7 tonight. Panel starts at 5:30 p.m.
WHERE: KiMo Theater, 423 W. Central
HOW MUCH: $15 at www.kimotickets.com

The films slated for screening are “Brightwood,” “The Company,” “Demur,” “Elegy for a Revolutionary,” “Eyes Manouche,” “The Gaffle,” “The Germaphob,” “Those That Play Your Clowns,” “Vinyl” and “Ritz & Spitz.”

Lee says Filmstock is set to travel through New Mexico, Colorado and Utah, as well as Arizona.

“What we’re building is a self-contained short-film circuit,” he says. “We’re giving film lovers a chance to see what some of the best short films in the region are.”

Lee says adding Albuquerque to the mix was a no-brainer.

“Of the four states, Albuquerque has a huge legacy of filmmaking,” he explains. “We have a lineup that includes some New Mexico made films and can’t wait to see how the audience responds to the films and its programming.”

Lee says that $1 from each ticket sold at all the Filmstock festivals will be donated to help fund a local film project.

This year’s project is “The Hunt: Legionnaire.” The film is about the ongoing saga of Django, Gypsy exorcist and stalker of the creatures of the night, an unrepentant and unwilling loner with a checkered past, who has been drafted into service by supernatural forces beyond his control.

“This is a great way to give back to the film community,” he says. “We’re hoping as the festival grows, so will the donations. These are all independent filmmakers and don’t have the backing of big studios.”

A panel discussion also will be held at 5 p.m. before the screenings. An after-party will take place at Hotel Andaluz beginning at 9 p.m.

The panel includes New Mexico-based film experts, such as Barton Bond, Jocelyn Jansons, Talia Koch, Ann Lerner, Lucinda Ulrich and Charlie Gravina.

“We’re hoping that we can create a conversation on how important independent filmmakers are,” Lee says. “It’s a great opportunity to see what’s going on out in the film world.”

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