Showcase for New Mexico filmmakers

When Doug Montoya would get behind on rent payments for his improv theater in Albuquerque, he’d brainstorm ways to get cash quickly.

“We could rob a bank,” he jokingly told fellow actors. The idea became the premise for Third Act, a comedy film Montoya wrote and directed that is set to premiere Sunday at the Santa Fe Film Festival.

The annual festival, with showings at several venues from Thursday through Feb. 13, includes more than 100 screenings along with panel discussions, juried awards and workshops. Running for more than 20 years, the event has offered New Mexico filmmakers an opportunity to showcase their work.

The lineup features two short films by Native artists in the state. Stanley Bain, a Navajo filmmaker who grew up on the Navajo Nation in Arizona and lives in Albuquerque, will screen his 18-minute black-and-white film Together, which depicts a queer couple dealing with grief, loss and alcoholism after a breakup. Feeding Po’Pay, a 13-minute documentary by Laguna Pueblo filmmaker Geoff Kie, explores Indigenous food sovereignty.

Montoya’s Third Act — a feature-length film at one hour and 53 minutes — tells the story of a theater company facing eviction because it could not pay its rent. The actors stage a heist at a local bank.

Read more at the Santa Fe New Mexican By Michael Tashji [email protected]