Signature Film Fest Returns to City Different

The Santa Fe Film Festival 2022

Over the past couple of years, film festivals have bent over backwards to accommodate audiences in today’s COVID-rich environment. Many have moved to online-only formats. But the 2022 Santa Fe Film Festival is moving ahead with nine days’ worth of film screenings at a string of venues across the City Different. Festival Director Stephanie Piché is excited to be in front of audiences once again. “We are still going live and in-person and working hard to get the final action items done in anticipation of our opening night,” says the busy director. The festival is scheduled to open Thursday, Feb. 3 and run through Sunday, Feb. 13.

All attendees must provide proof of vaccination, including booster, to get festival passes and gain entry to venues. All attendees must wear masks in all festival venues. The festival will even offer PPE and testing courtesy of COVID compliance sponsor VIP StarNetworks, ensuring the safest environment for viewers at Jean Cocteau Cinema, CCA Cinematheque and the Scottish Rite Theater.

In addition to hosting a master class in casting, a virtual production panel and a film financing Q&A, SFFF is making a trip down south to Albuquerque for a one-night only screening. “We are excited to have the special event we are producing in Albuquerque on Feb. 9 to celebrate Black History Month with the film One Pint at a Time,” points out Piché. The documentary (about Black-owned breweries) plays, appropriately enough, at Albuquerque’s Nexus Brewery (the only Black-owned brewery in the state) starting at 7pm. Seating is limited and tickets are going fast.

The Santa Fe Film Festival in its current form started in 2000 with noted local film critic Jon Bowman acting as executive director and guiding light for the next decade or so. Even from the festival’s earliest days, Santa Fe had little trouble luring high-quality independent films and well-known guests. “We have had over 500 films from 36 countries submitted,” says Bowman’s successor of this year’s crop. “We have over 90 filmmakers coming from four countries.”

By  Devin D. O’Leary for The Paper