The Southern Colorado Film Festival

“I am looking forward to conversation and debate around the issues the films we have selected bring up,” said Southern Colorado Film Festival Director Lares Feliciano. “I hope people will walk away inspired, enlightened, moved, and motivated.”

The 2013 Southern Colorado Film Festival (SCFF), a re-incarnation of the successful 2008 festival, will feature films from around the world, from the San Luis Valley to Nicaragua to Taiwan. The festival runs from Thursday, September 12th to Sunday, September 15th. Films will be shown at Carson Auditorium on the Adams State University campus and receptions will be hosted by the all-volunteer festival committee at local businesses in Alamosa.

“We have an opportunity to experience independent film in southern Colorado, a region with a variety of landscapes to explore–mountains, deserts, wetlands, sand dunes–as well as a variety of issues–drought, food security, environmental conservation, privilege,” Feliciano said. “We don’t usually have this opportunity in southern Colorado.”

The Festival opens with a film exposing the dangers of overfishing lobster in the waters off  Nicaragua, My Village, My Lobster. The film shows the ripple effect of the environmental and economic impact to the region, but also the severe health impacts on divers who must dive deeper and longer to make lobster pay. Brad Allgood, producer of My Village, My Lobster, will join the audience via Skype for a Q&A session after the viewing.  Dr. Ben Waddell, ASU assistant professor of sociology who has led student field trips to Nicaragua and met Allgood in the field, will introduce the film and facilitate the Q&A.

A Perilous Journey, which closes out the festival, follows the real life survival story of Alex Brown who was trapped on the out-of-bounds side of Wolf Creek Ski area in a blizzard for three days.  Brown’s reflections on his life during those three days  provides a quintessential look at surviving in the wilderness under adverse conditions and the “luck,” as he calls it, involved in survival. Danny Le Donne, the film’s director and producer, will be on-hand for the film and to field questions after the viewing.

Independent films reflecting the festival’s theme of land, water and community fill the weekend along with panel discussions about the films and the issues they raise. The festival is being planned in conjunction with Autumn at Adams series at Adams State University, a week-long opportunity to learn, engage, and act on world issues. Student films will be showcased on Saturday and a jury will award prizes for the best films of the festival to local and amateur and international and professional filmmakers.

“I believe that there is power in sharing stories and that film is the foremost mode of storytelling in our current culture. If we allow mainstream media to be our only source of story, our varied truths and experiences will fall behind the shadow of unrealistic ideals and pressures. It is up to us as community members to make space for sharing stories that go deeper than the latest rom-com or action film and challenge us to embrace the diverse and complex world we live in,” Feliciano said.

Organized by less than a dozen volunteers, the Southern Colorado Film Festival’s mission is to cultivate conversation and enrich the spirit and creativity of the San Luis Valley by providing diverse independent film programming that is relevant and which connects the issues of our region to the world.

“I am passionate about film and I am passionate about community. A film festival in a place like Alamosa is a great way to bridge the two, to inspire locals to create their own media and tell their own stories, and to put the little town I love on the map,” Feliciano said.

by Michelle Le Blanc

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