--2 Homecoming Highway
Aug. 21, 2017
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Homecoming Highway

The Return to New Mexico

August 12, 2010, 12:00 am
By Mike Zolnick
In Spoken Word, director Victor Nuñez and his local crew chronicle the homecoming of a New Mexico native, caught between the his new world in the San Francisco spoken-word scene and the problems endemic of his home. Spoken Word opens Friday, Aug. 13 at the Center for Contemporary Arts with an opening-night fundraiser complete with DJs, live poetry readings and an afterparty at Milagro.


Nuñez’ film centers around Cruz Montoya, a rock star making the rounds on the West Coast poetry circuit, who returns home to New Mexico after receiving a call that his father is fatally ill. Cruz finds himself at odds between his California life and the poverty of his hometown, and fears he'll fall back to his old New Mexico ways.


Locals Bill Conway, Karen Koch, and Joe Ray Sandoval came together to produce a film almost exclusively in New Mexico and by New Mexicans. Koch estimates that about 98 percent of the crew is local.


“They were carefully scouted that way. It was really important for us,” Koch says. “I've got people from Española, Santa Cruz and other places around northern New Mexico. It's a great way to interact with other people from around the community and to get everyone who knows the world that we're shooting in and about involved.”


Luminaria Films, which produced Spoken Word as well as several other locally filmed independent works, is a member of the New Mexican Producers Coalition, whose efforts have helped to present state legislation, raising awareness for local filmmakers.


As more and more big-name Hollywood and independent films alike are being made in New Mexico, local organizations are working toward interest-free loans and tax reliefs for local filmmakers, especially those who support the change to a greener industry.


Koch applauds her production company for creating a movie with environmentalism at the forefront of filming.

“We're doing simple things like recycle, reduce, reuse,” she says. “We don't allow plastic water bottles; we gave everyone a canteen at the beginning. We recycle all of our waste. We're even composting from catering.”


Don't miss this emotionally resonant family drama all this week at the Center for Contemporary Arts.



Spoken Word


Opening Night Fundraiser

7:30 pm

Friday, Aug. 13


110 min.

Unrated (appropriate for all audiences)


Center for Contemporary Arts

1050 Old Pecos Trail



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