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New Mexicans and film projects grab some Oscar nods

A scene from Santa Fe native Joshua Oppenheimer's film, "The Act of Killing." The film is nominated for an Oscar for best documentary.

A scene from Santa Fe native Joshua Oppenheimer’s film, “The Act of Killing.” The film is nominated for an Oscar for best documentary.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — While “Gravity” and “American Hustle” dominated the Oscar nominations, films with New Mexico ties weren’t totally shut out.

Santa Fe native Joshua Oppenheimer picked up an Oscar nomination for his film “The Act of Killing.”

The film was nominated in the documentary feature category.

The controversial film, explores the Indonesian genocide of 1965-66 from the perspective of some of the men involved in the mass murders.

During the two years, it is estimated that one- to three-million suspected communists were massacred by anti-communist death squads who were working for the Indonesian Army.

One of the men followed is Anwar Congo, who is said to have killed 1,000 people.

The film is available on Netflix, Amazon, iTunes and video on demand.

Another tie to New Mexico is the documentary, “CaveDigger.” The film is directed by Jeffrey Karoff, who lives in Los Angeles.

Ra Paulette and his cathedral-like art caves are the subject of “CaveDigger,” a 2013 documentary by filmmaker Jeffrey Karoff. (Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Karoff)

Ra Paulette and his cathedral-like art caves are the subject of “CaveDigger,” a 2013 documentary by filmmaker Jeffrey Karoff. (Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Karoff)

The film follows artist Ra Paulette, who digs cathedral-light art caves into sandstone cliffs in northern New Mexico.

Paulette’s creations take him years to complete and decided to dig 14 caves in New Mexico.

Paulette was born in Chicago but grew up in Indiana, according to his biography online.

In 1985, he moved to Dixon, becoming a “human back hoe” digging wells, outhouses and rock retaining walls. He also worked as a residential teacher for mentally disabled adults. His manual labor skills transitioned into his cave digging projects.

Some New Mexico-filmed projects also garnered some Oscar nods.

Santa Fe native Kira Davis is a producer of the film "Prisoners.

Santa Fe native Kira Davis is a producer of the film “Prisoners.

“The Lone Ranger,” which filmed largely in New Mexico got two nominations in the makeup and hairstyling and visual effects.

Meanwhile, “Lone Survivor,” which was filmed around northern New Mexico and Albuquerque garnered two nominations as well in the technical categories.

The film, which is No. 1 at the box office, garnered nominations in the sound editing and sound mixing.

“Prisoners,” which starred Hugh Jackman was produced by Santa Fe native and New Mexico State University alumna Kira Davis. The film picked up a nomination for cinematography.

 

 

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