UPDATE 8/27/2012: A (*240 SEAT CAPACITY) New Mexico Premiere has been scheduled for Oct. 17 at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, details here.
Albuquerque Film Office Director, Ann Lerner says, “I believe they (the producers) were looking for an unbiased audience reaction to their movie – with an audience that was probably not so familiar with the story of Bless Me Ultima as all of us New Mexicans are. The story is quite dear to our hearts after all!”
Local crew and actors who worked on the production have been widely disappointed along with rabid fans of the literary work (by Albuquerque resident and iconic author Rudolfo Anaya), on which the movie is based, to learn that there is no local screening currently scheduled.
A rep for one of the production companies behind the movie, Monkey Tree Films, has assured locals that a New Mexico premiere is in the works.
State Film Office Director Nick Manianatis confirms to OHI, “We’ve been working with the producers in planning a cast and crew screening in NM – more to come.”
While local talent awaits their time to screen this passion project, Anaya himself has had a private viewing the film. The author had this to say to La Bloga:
The movie is excellent, it captures the story and characters. Every single person attending the screening gave it fantastic, positive reviews.
I am positive la gente is going to love the movie. Like my friend John Nichols said, a novel becomes a short story when turned into a movie. Don’t expect to see the full novel on screen. Everyone knows that.
Carl Franklin did a great job with the story and bringing characters together as familia. Except for Miriam Colón, the cast are actors that don’t have big celebrity names. I hope they do after their roles in the movie. Everyone did excellent work.
Carl Franklin, the director, did talk to me and asked me questions, but the screenplay is his work. I approved his work. Some themes in the novel are left out, but the story works.
I met the director several times here at our home. I was invited to play a role in the movie and attend all shooting events, but I stayed home. My feeling was to let them do their work. I don’t make movies.
I met all the actors at the cast party. They had only positive things to say of the process. Miriam Colón visited me here at our home. She is lovely, a perfect Ultima. Her face shines in the movie, so does Luke (Ganalon) who plays Antonio.
…the people will love it. Will there be critics? Of course. All art is criticized if only by responding to it. Let the people enjoy and judge. I feel confident the movie will be around in 50 years.