Some months after the Santa Fe International Film Festival (née Independent Film Festival) closed out its 15th year by packing in folks in numbers not seen since before the pandemic, its offshoot organization, the Santa Fe Film Institute, announced today it has awarded $12,000 in funding to five filmmakers and film students. This year’s cohort also represent the first time all recipients hail from New Mexico in the institute’s three-year grant-making history.
At $4,500 for her film How to Say “I Love You in Tewa,” Santa Fe-based Tewa filmmaker Charine Gonzales received the largest sum through the program’s Regional Filmmaker Grant. Taos filmmaker Hillary Bachelder, meanwhile, received $1,000 to pursue a documentary film about the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon fires from last year—the largest in New Mexico history; as did Albuquerque’s Erica Nguyen for her film Phantom Roots. Santa Fe filmmakers Katharine Broyles and Adrian Pijoan each picked up $500 for their next projects.
Student filmmakers also got in on the funding through the Santa Fe Film Institute’s $4,000 Imogene Hughes Scholarship, named for the late matriarch of the Bonanza Creek ranch, which was split into $3,000 for Institute of American Indian Arts student Jordan Martin, $500 for the University of New Mexico’s Ryan Beane and another $500 for Gonzales, who also attends IAIA. Two New Mexico high school students also received $1,000 grants each, though their names were not included in a statement to protect their privacy, according to a spokeswoman from the Santa Fe Film Institute.
“These opportunities for filmmakers beginning their journeys have a long lasting and substantial impact,” Jacques Paisner, Santa Fe Film Institute president and Santa Fe International Film Festival founder, tells SFR, “not just on the careers of these young people, but also for the entire film industry in New Mexico.”
The institute plans to kick off the applications process for its 2024 round of funding soon, though an official date has not yet been set. When the time comes, New Mexico filmmakers can apply for up to $5,000 in funding, while filmmakers in Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado can apply for up to $2,000. Any future announcements will be made public through santafe.film.