Thursday, October 22, 2009
"Red Mesa" Takes Top Honors and International Film Festival
Governor Bill Richardson today congratulated “New Visions/New Mexico winner Ilana Lapid for winning best short film for “Red Mesa” during the13th Annual Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival. Lapid wrote and directed the film, which beat out hundreds of other entries for top honors. The prestigious event is an Oscar qualifying film festival, which means that “Red Mesa” can now be submitted to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for consideration of Oscar contention.
Lapid was one of the first recipients of the state’s New Visions/New Mexico Contract Awards, receiving $15,000.00 toward the making of “Red Mesa.” She co-produced the film with local New Mexicans Jake Pokluda and John Ward, worked with local first Assistant Director, Dennis Crow, and many other New Mexico film crew on this project through the Film Technician Training Program at New Mexico State University Dona Ana Community College and with the support of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees Local 480.
“Ilana Lapid has made the State of New Mexico proud with her win at this prestigious international film festival,” Governor Richardson. “I created the New Visions program to support the overwhelming talent and creativity of our homegrown filmmakers and I am proud that this effort is helping our filmmakers realize their deserved international acclaim.”
In exchange for their contract awards, recipients of the New Visions/New Mexico Contract Awards must provide a service to the state’s film efforts, such as training other New Mexico filmmakers who are new to the industry, workshops and seminars and conducting outreach to high school students interested in pursuing film/media careers. The Film Technician Training Program is now offered at five community colleges around the state including: Dona Ana Community College, Santa Fe Community College, CNM in Albuquerque, Northern New Mexico College at El Rito, and Eastern New Mexico University at Roswell. More information on these programs are available on the New Mexico Film Office website, www.nmfilm.com under “Workforce Advancement.”
Set against the backdrop of the US/Mexico border, “Red Mesa” is the coming of age story of Lynn, 17, caught in between her love for her grandfather and her forbidden romance with a Mexican laborer from a neighboring ranch. Lynn’s deception of both men leads to a terrible accident when the three of them are thrown together under a situation of great stress. Coming face to face with the painful realities of the border, Lynn realizes that meaningful relationships can only be based on honesty and the courage to stand up for what you believe.
The film is dedicated to the late Michael Laurence, who was in charge of the NMSU Film Technician’s Training Program at that time and was a strong supporter of Ilana and this project.