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Bateman Makes Himself At Home

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Former teen idol Jason Bateman is becoming quite the local. From eating at Scalo in Nob Hill to attending Isotopes games, the guy is apparently seeing quite a bit of Albuquerque while he’s shooting the comedy “Paul” with stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.

Pegg and Frost worked together to make the cult comedy flicks “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz.” Pegg has become a rising star and plays a young Scotty in the “Star Trek” prequel.

“Paul” is a comedy about two sci-fi geeks who make a pilgrimage to the infamous Area 51 in the Nevada desert. In the middle of the desert they have a bizarre encounter with an alien called Paul, which leads to a road trip. Maybe they’ll check out Roswell while they’re here.

But last week when L.A. Dodgers star Manny Ramirez was in town to play for the Isotopes, Bateman was spotted at the game. Bateman is reportedly a big Dodgers fan. Those who did notice him in “Hancock,” opposite Will Smith, may remember he wore Dodgers clothing at one point.

But he’s also a peanut fan. While waiting in line to buy nuts at Isotopes Park, he made friends with several fans in line. Then, as soon as he reached the peanut counter at Isotopes Park, the park ran out of nuts.

Though his publicist said he was too focused on his work to talk with the Journal, he hasn’t been too busy to flash his 1,000-watt smile and charm some peanuts off unsuspecting fans.

Though Bateman’s picture was in Tiger Beat teen magazine and on locker posters for most of the 1980s (surrounded by hand-drawn hearts, I’m sure), he’s grown up to be, though not quite an A-list actor, a well-respected actor who’s a pro at straight-man roles. From his days on “Valerie” as David Hogan to his recent turns in “Arrested Development” and “Juno,” he’s become a serious actor, even notching a Golden Globe win for “Arrested Development.”

Film festival deadline

The submission deadline for the new Albuquerque Film Festival is Wednesday, July 15, for both feature and short films.

For those who haven’t heard, the festival will be Aug. 6-9 and will feature several films from local filmmakers, celebrity guests, parties, panels, workshops and more. It’s taking the place in the annual calendar of the Duke City Shootout.

Santa Fe has had its bigtime festival. Taos has its festival. Even White Sands has a big festival. It’s about time Albuquerque – where most movies are made – has its own, too.

It really is a shame that the city named by Movie Maker Magazine as the fifth best in the nation to make a film looked like it might not have a film festival of any kind this year. So far, AFF organizer Rich Henrich has confirmed several special guests who will speak on panels, including Giancarlo Esposito from “The Usual Suspects,” Todd Jefferson, director of games for Marvel Comics, and Zaid Serafi, an Oscar-winning special effects artist who worked on “Sin City” and “Pirates of The Caribbean.”

Though fees for submitting your film are $40 for features and $20 for shorts, in an interesting twist, fees will be waived if you can personally deliver your film and prove that you got to the festival office on public transportation. It shouldn’t be that hard. The festival office is at 102 Gold SW, across First Street from the Alvarado Transportation Center. Visit for more information.

Santa Fe’s festival

The Santa Fe Film Festival, which will kick off Dec. 2, is accepting all genres of films through Sept. 7, but you can save some cost by meeting the early-bird deadline of Monday, July 13 ($45). The regular deadline is July 27 ($50). If you really need the extra time, spend $70 and get your film in by Sept. 7. Submit three DVD copies with production information. This year, though, the SFF is being a bit more selective and is accepting only 110 films, down from the nearly 200 it’s featured in the past. For more information, visit ‚ÄČ or call (505) 988-7414.