Virtual vision: Albuquerque Film + Music Experience goes online for second year - Albuquerque Journal

Virtual vision: Albuquerque Film + Music Experience goes online for second year

Buffy Sainte-Marie is being honored at this year’s Albuquerque Film Music Experience, where she is receiving the Robert and Sybille Redford for Creative Achievement. (Mark Zaleski/Associated Press)

Sixty-six films.

Eleven center stage conversations.

These are the events that will be presented virtually during the ninth annual Albuquerque Film + Music Experience.

Whether to show the films virtually was a decision that AFME Executive Director Ivan Wiener had to make.

“It was the responsible thing to do,” Wiener says of the move to a virtual festival. “The COVID numbers were rising and we decided to ensure everyone’s safety and present it online for a second year.”

Wiener says another reason the festival went to an online format was that many venues throughout the city weren’t available.

“We’re dying to get back into in-person festivals and events,” he says. “The biggest challenge was taking into consideration what the community needs.”

The festival will run from Monday, Sept. 20, through Sept. 26.

Wiener says that although the festival was originally planned as a hybrid event, there is a lot of online programming for film lovers.

One other perk is that the film lineup will be accessible from 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 20, through Oct. 11 on eventive.org.

Aside from film and music, AFME has become known for its conversation series.

This year’s Center Stage Conversations will include Rhea Seehorn from “Better Call Saul,” as well as the first Native/Indigenous Academy-Award winner, Buffy Sainte-Marie, activist LaDonna Harris, actress Frances Lee McCain, Yamaha Entertainment Group founder Chris Gero and television composer Snuffy Walden.

Wiener says Sainte-Marie will receive the Robert & Sibylle Redford Award for Creative Achievement.

Wiener says some of the top films from the film festival circuit will be screened at this year’s festival.

“The Sound of Us,” “The Album,” “Vinyl Nation” and “Fanny: The Right to Rock” are films that will strike a chord with viewers.

“Music and film always bring people together,” he says. “These four films are remarkable and tell incredible stories.”

As with previous years, AFME always gives back to students through its foundation.

This year, the festival is providing over 500 passes to film programs and students at University of New Mexico, Central New Mexico Community College and high schools that teach film, Wiener says.

“It’s a complimentary sponsored pass,” he says. “It’s one of our goals, and we’ve seen an increase in donations to buy these student passes.”

Events start at $10, and passes range from $36 to $100.

“With the virtual platform, we don’t have a limited number of seats,” he says. “This gives more opportunity to reach more film lovers, all while educating an audience.”


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