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N.M.-Made Film Premiering at Festival

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The 10th annual Santa Fe Film Festival promises a full slate of movies and panels sure to warm any film lover or filmmaker’s heart.

For the film lover, the 2009 festival will bring more than 100 screenings of some of the hippest features and short films, as well as documentaries and animated films.

One of the nice surprises will be the world premiere of the big film “Crazy Heart,” which stars Jeff Bridges. In the movie — which was filmed in New Mexico and features an all-star cast, including Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell and Robert Duvall — Bridges is a brokendown country musician who struggles for redemption. “Crazy Heart” will be shown at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, at the DeVargas Theatres.

But there’s a host of other premieres and special features.

Actors Tommy Lee Jones and Wes Studi will be honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards for their work on many New Mexico films. Studi has been known as a supporter of New Mexico filmmaking for years and appeared as Lt. Joe Leaphorn in the PBS TV remakes of the Tony Hillerman mystery novels and several locally filmed movies. Studi will appear in the coming big-budget James Cameron film “Avatar.”

His film “Geronimo: An American Legend” will be shown at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, at The Screen. Studi and his wife live in Santa Fe.

Jones has also appeared in several films shot here, including “In the Valley of Elah,” “No Country for Old Men” and “The Missing.” In a tribute salute, his films “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada” and “The Missing” will be shown at the Santa Fe Film Festival.

But there will be other premieres, too. The film “Yeardley” is a dramatic feature that follows a man who’s been accused of sexual harassment, whose wife leaves him and is sent on a journey of selfdiscovery.

“We did some research on quality festivals. We were looking for a regional festival. If you don’t have a big name, you can’t get into the bigger festivals, but we wanted something that would get foot traffic,” said producer Paul Papadeas. “We were ecstatic when we got accepted.”

Ultimately, he said, he wants to sell the film for distribution but, more importantly, he wants people to see the film.

For the filmmaker, there is a wide selection of panels on everything from distribution to scriptwriting and how to budget for a film.

Tickets are $10, or a 10-pack for $75, an all-film pass at $300 and an all-festival pass is $450. Films will be shown at the DeVargas Theatres, Jean Cocteau Theatre, The Screen, Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, the New Mexico History Museum and the National Dance Institute. Visit ‚ÄČ or call 505-989-1495 for more information.