Brent Kliewer harnesses his film-programming experience and passion for filmmaking for his curatorial duties at The Screen, a theater founded in 1999 at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. A former critic for the Santa Fe New Mexican and critical-studies professor in the university’s Moving Image Arts department, Brent relies on his encyclopedic knowledge of world and contemporary cinema to choose each week’s selection. Brent’s picks are projected in 35mm or digital format on a high-definition curved screen that boasts a 16-speaker Dolby Digital surround-sound system built within an old soundstage. In addition to an array of lauded celluloid, The Screen has hosted visits and screenings with numerous Hollywood stars and insiders, including Robert Redford, Tommy Lee Jones, Brokeback Mountain screenwriter Larry McMurtry, and an extra from Raiders of the Lost Ark who almost got to hug Harrison Ford.
Within an hour, Battlefield New Mexico's personnel can transform any space—from a tiny backyard to 500-acre expanse—into an outdoor laser tag venue. Before the first bout, team commanders show players how to use their taggers and run through the rules of various gaming scenarios. During the fast-paced battles that follow, participants convene at team bases and duck for cover behind inflatable crates. Along with laser tag, Battlefield New Mexico staffers run rounds of water tag during the summer and enliven parties with a 20-foot wide inflatable movie screen and projector for film viewings or big-screen video game playing.
Fire and wind: that’s all it takes to fly. Hot air ballooning’s sheer simplicity sparked pilot Scott Appelman’s interest in the sport 30 years ago. “In a lot of ways, it’s the exact opposite of the way the world is today,” says the Rainbow Ryders, Inc. founder. “And I think that gives it a certain degree of romance.”
Further evidence of ballooning’s inherent romance can be found in the number of proposals and weddings that have taken place aboard Rainbow Ryders’ fleet of 19 balloons, earning the company a spot on Yahoo’s list of top five places in the nation to pop the question. Even if engagement is not on passengers’ agendas, the crew still strives to ensure a memorable expedition. Guests can join the launch crew to help inflate the balloon before takeoff, and upon landing, pilot and passengers clink glasses in a champagne toast to celebrate another successful flight.
Though whimsy and romance may prove the biggest draw, Rainbow Ryders’ untarnished safety record is what ultimately keeps the balloons hovering. Since 1982, experienced pilots have safely floated 160,000 people over the Rio Grande Valley. Pilots not only helm top-tier equipment, but carefully monitor the region’s weather patterns to ensure smooth thermal drafts and minimize hitchhiking requests from migrating geese.
For the fourth year in a row, the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival has gathered filmmakers and performers to celebrate the independent film movement. The organizers continue to hold the event in an effort to boost economic development while also providing opportunities for educational, cultural, and artistic growth for the community. In doing so, they host panels with authors and decorated directors and question-and-answer sessions after screenings. Sponsors such as Cowgirl BBQ, KUNM 89.9 FM, and Garrett's Desert Inn serve swag and grub respectively, and every night of the festival sees its visitors feting films at bars around Santa Fe. The screenings, many of which are New Mexico premieres, take place at the historic Lensic Performing Arts Center, Warehouse 21, and the Center for Contemporary Arts.
A cinematheque, gallery, and educational center all in one, the Center for Contemporary Arts champions a diverse range of art forms, from digital media and performance art to independent and animated films, as well as Oscar-nominated documentaries. Culled from various artistic backgrounds, the art center's staff gained experience in various aesthetics by studying fine art, producing films for Sundance, and trying to calm down the guy from Edvard Munch's The Scream. Using their acquired knowledge, staff members educate guests during art exhibitions, movie screenings, and lectures.