Albuquerque Film Festival Kicks Off Summer with Screening of The Cool School

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The three-year old festival honors artists Dennis Hopper, Larry Bell and Dean Stockwell.

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This year’s festival promises to be as exciting and surprising as the last two years, with incredible films and people from New Mexico and around the globe. --Rich Henrich

Though the Albuquerque Film Festival doesn’t launch until later this Summer on August 18st – 21st, festival director and Film 4 Change founder Rich Henrich is kicking-off the season on June 7th by presenting a remarkable film called The Cool School as a part of “Savor Albuquerque’s” event line-up.

Why The Cool School? “Film 4 Change seeks to present films and the related arts that celebrate story and the art of being human. The story of The Cool School is a quintessential example of how creativity creates change and impacts economy through a dedication to the arts and a persistence of vision. The fact that we have a world-famous artist such as Larry Bell, who is featured in the film, willing to share his perspectives and stories about how this group of artists who created the scene in Los Angeles, is a huge opportunity for all of us who are engaged in the continued growth of the arts in Albuquerque,” says Henrich. (Larry Bell splits time between L.A. and his studio in Taos).

About The Cool School: From 1957 to 1966, the Ferus Gallery was the catalyst of modern art in Los Angeles. Launching the careers of luminaries like Warhol, Ruscha and Lichtenstein, Ferus built an art scene from scratch and transformed the cultural climate of the West Coast.

The Cool School also includes commentary from two other famous transplanted New Mexican artists/actors who are also very close to the festival – the late Dennis Hopper and Dean Stockwell. Hopper was the 2009 recipient of the AFF Lifetime Achievement Award. Last year, in 2010, Henrich did not give out the award due to Hopper’s passing on May 29th and in turn, renamed it The Dennis Lee Hopper Award in his honor. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in film and the related arts and is awarded to an individual with a persistence of vision that reflects the independent spirit of Dennis Lee Hopper. This year, Henrich is proud to announce that Dean Stockwell, a close friend to the late Dennis Hopper and Larry Bell, has been selected as the 2011 award recipient.

“We’re delighted that Mr. Stockwell has agreed to accept this award and we are planning to screen a retrospective of his work including his personal favorite Married to the Mob, which he was nominated for an Academy Award and David Lynch’s Blue Velvet which he stars opposite Dennis Hopper. This year’s festival promises to be as exciting and surprising as the last two years,” says Henrich, “with incredible films and people from New Mexico and around the globe.”

We’re also adding some genre films and are happy to screen The Dead Inside, a supernatural zombie musical that is sure to entertain. We will be screening films at The Guild, The Kimo, The Cell and the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino ABQ, a producing sponsor of the Albuquerque Film Festival and host hotel for our panels, workshops and parties. Todd Jefferson, Director of Marvel Games will return to AFF to host his popular panel on Games, Comics and Movies and share insights from ComiCon.

Workshops will cover technical aspects of filmmaking from camera to post-production as well as screenwriting, social media marketing and film financing. Panels will feature Hollywood insiders, agents, executives and a yet to be announced actor’s panel hosted by a very special guest.

“We’re also thrilled to announce that actor Michael Madsen of Reservoir Dogs fame will be attending the festival in August and we are extremely pleased to announce our opening night film, Amigo, written and directed by John Sayles and starring Chris Cooper. As part of our film series on art and creativity, we will also screen Philip Pearlstein: Naked Vision, a documentary about the controversial artist who’s dedicated over 60 years of his life to painting nudes. Art and Culture critic Dave Hickey will lead a discussion following the film. The rest of our programming is still in the early stages with the next deadline for submissions of narrative features, documentaries, short films, music videos and multimedia projects set for June 5th and the final late deadline will be June 30th.”

For more information on upcoming events, submitting, volunteering or attending this year’s festival as well as more information on the screening of The Cool School, Larry Bell, Dennis Hopper and Dean Stockwell please visit or find us on facebook at for the latest updates.

Event: Albuquerque Film Festival and Savor Albuquerque present
The Cool School – Followed by Q & A with artist Larry Bell
When: Tuesday, June 7, 2011, 7pm
Where: Kimo Theater, 423 Central Avenue Northwest,
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Tickets: Fundraiser for Film 4 Change and the Albuquerque Film Festival, open to the public with a suggested donation at the door.

About Film4Change and The Albuquerque Film Festival:
The mission of Film 4 Change is to transform community through the power of story, laughter, art and music. We produce, promote and present socially conscious media and present an annual festival of film and the related arts that celebrates the art of being human and the craft of being an artist and storyteller. At Film 4 Change, we believe stories shape and transform who we are and what we do both individually and collectively. We strive to work with filmmakers, storytellers, artists, musicians and change-makers to bring about a more tolerant and compassionate world through educational workshops, lectures, screenings and responsible use of community resources while sharing the unique character of the Southwest on screen, in print and on stage.

Now in its third year, The Albuquerque Film Festival is establishing itself as a first-rate festival that represents diversity, innovation and creative achievement in film. Their programming includes art exhibits, one-act plays, music, comedy and engaging workshops and panels with industry leaders and of course, lots of great films along with parties and unforgettable personalities. The festival looks for sci-fi, comedy, fantasy, animation, documentaries (especially lost technology and conspiracy theories),
music docs, webisodes and TV Pilots.

Media inquiries please contact Wendi Gelfound, Marketing Director, Albuquerque Film Festival at: marketing(at)abqfilmfestival(dot)com
or call 575-770-2895.


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