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‘Organic process’: NM filmmaker ‘so proud the world will have a chance to see’ her short movie

Hugo Victor Chavez as Antonio in “Stardust Memory.” (Courtesy of Cindy Kemp)

Cindy Kemp was working at Central New Mexico Community College’s School of Applied Technologies. As her retirement date got closer, she wondered which direction she would go.

Enter CNM’s Film Production Program.

This is where Kemp fell in love with the film industry – a road she continues to travel today.

The New Mexico-based filmmaker is celebrating a global distribution deal for her short film “Stardust Memory.”

“I like romances, and writing a romance was important to me,” she says. “After 12 rewrites and three title changes, it became ‘Stardust Memory.’ ”

The film follows Cassie, a woman torn between two men – Todd and Antonio.

Cassie feels in her heart that Todd is not the man of adventure she wants, so she embarks on a road trip to find Antonio.

On her journey, she meets Tomasita, who assures her that Antonio is real and tells her to follow the setting sun.

She warns Cassie that things are not always what they seem. Cassie finds the elusive Antonio and discovers a past long forgotten and a future with the man truly meant for her in this lifetime.

Brian Battaglino, Shane Urioste and Cindy Kemp on the set of “Stardust Memory.” (Courtesy of Cindy Kemp)

With a small budget to make the film, Kemp traveled to the Jemez Mountains to film for five days.

The cast and crew were entirely local.

“It was an organic process,” she says of the production. “We had a last-minute change in cast, and it seemed to work itself out. It was very interesting to see how it all plays out.”

The film screened at the Guild Cinema in Albuquerque in March 2019. After that, it went through the film festival circuit, where it picked up some accolades.

After it screened at the Non-Violent Global Film Festival, Kemp was approached by Global Cinema Online for a distribution deal.


New Mexico-based filmmaker Cindy Kemp. (Courtesy of Cindy Kemp)

“It was pretty surprising,” Kemp says of the deal. “I thought someone was playing a joke on me. We’re excited, because the entire world will get an opportunity to see this film. This could possibly open up doors to many more collaborations with other filmmakers.”

Kemp’s goal in film is to focus on romantic stories that don’t have any violence.

She says it’s important for her to keep on this path.

“As a filmmaker, I want to do nonviolent films and comedy,” she says. “There’s is so much violence in the world right now, I want my films to remain positive and give an audience a break from everything.”

Kemp already has another script ready to go and hopes to keep making films in New Mexico.

“The entire crew was from CNM, and the actors were from the Albuquerque area,” she says. “This is now my calling card, and I’m so proud the world will have a chance to see it.”


SEND ME YOUR TIPS: If you know of a movie filming in the state, or are curious about one, email Follow me on Twitter @agomezART.

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