The Durango Independent Film Festival is about halfway over, but some of the 2012 highlights are yet to come and theyre not on the silver screen.
This years panels, though there are just three (and ones technically a workshop), might be the best ever. All three will be moderated by Rich Henrich, co-founder of the Albuquerque Film Festival and the founder of the Film 4 Change Foundation.
It will start Saturday morning, when filmmaker, writer and director Alex Cox will share the secrets of how to tell a good story on screen. For the Power of Story panel, hell be joined by filmmakers Alethea Root and Jules Bruff, whose feature Part Time Fabulous is one of the early crowd favorites this year, and Manny Otto, an associate publisher at MWP, the largest publisher of film and screenwriting books.
Coxs directorial résumé includes Repo Man, which will be screened Saturday morning before the panel discussion, as well as Sid and Nancy and Kurosawa: The Last Emperor, and he wrote screenplays for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and X Films: True Confessions of a Radical Filmmaker.
Arrive early, as this one should fill up quickly.
Later Saturday, Durangos own stunt legend Bud Davis will lead a demonstration workshop about movie stunts.
He asked if he could blow up a car, but we dont have that kind of money, Henrich said.
Henrich said Dave Welz with the local Four Corners Film Office came up with the idea for the stunt workshop.
The stuntmen are the guys behind the scenes who make movie magic happen, Henrich said.
The final panel will be Sundays Whats So Funny? (With Three Guys Who Know), a look at comedy on stage and screen. The three guys are actor and Second City vet John Rubano, photographer and actor Craig Semetko and actor-comedian Steven Michael Quezada, who plays Gomez on the TV series Breaking Bad.
Were going to find out what makes somebody funny and how to make people laugh, Henrich said. Can someone learn how to be funny? Well find out.
In between panels, theres still plenty of time to catch a few flicks. There are 15 more screening sessions, and some titles generating some early buzz among audiences are the features Holiday Road, Cellmates, Part Time Fabulous and La Hora Cero, though such samplings are unscientific at best.
The real winners will be announced Sunday night during the closing awards ceremonies at the Durango Arts Center.