A Special Announcement: The White Sands International Film Festival

After a mini-vacation, I’m back! Time to return you back to all of the things here at TheFocusedFilmographer. I’m looking forward to bringing you some more great trailers, posters, reviews, polls and more. But first, to start things back up, today I’d like to excitedly share an official announcement for you here.

crierEvery year filmmakers strive to see the object of their passion receive attention, distribution and acceptance by critics, companies and audiences alike. Film festivals play a big part in ensuring that more independent films receive that precious opportunity. You may be familiar with a few such as Cannes, Tribeca, Sundance, Toronto International, etc.sundance_film_festival_egyptian_theater_03_1

Not only do these festivals serve as a great venue for filmmakers to showcase their work, pick up distribution and network more in order to bring more great films to the world (Quentin Tarantino, David O. Russell, Steven Soderbergh, Darren Aronofsky, Paul Thomas Anderson and more are just a few names of directors that got their big break at film festivals.), but these festivals also serve as fantastic defenses for the film industry as a whole and the possibilities and benefits it can bring to any community, state and country around the world.

One such growing festival takes place every year in my city of Las Cruces, New Mexico: The White Sands International Film Festival (official site).


Each year, approximately over 100 films are entered into the WSIFF in numerous categories ranging from narratives to documentaries to shorts and more. In addition to the spotlighted films, the WSIFF contains “informative workshops and social opportunities for everyone” for attendees to participate in. Each year the attendance and prestige of the event grows along with the excitement as different films receive their world premieres and different special guests make appearances.

The White Sands International Film Festival gives awards in the following categories:

  • Best Student Short
  • Best Narrative Short
  • Best Documentary
  • Best Director
  • Audience Choice
  • Grand Jury Prize

The festival also awards a Lifetime Achievement Award to a filmmaker, actor or other in the profession who has shown a body of work of remarkable achievement over their lifetime. 


This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to actor and director Lou Diamond Phillips who joins the ranks of previous special guests and winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award [Jeffrey Tambor (2012), Val Kilmer (2011)] who have attended the White Sands International Film Festival. Other actors have attended and/or received recognition at the festival in past years, including Milla Jovovich, Linda Hamilton, Famke Janssen, Bill Pullman and Spencer List.



MY SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: in regards to the White Sands International Film Festival, TheFocusedFilmographer.com has been chosen to be the official blog of the WSIFF!

What does that mean? Well, tentatively, from September 1 to September 8, every post here will feature reviews, interviews and more of the films, filmmakers, actors and participants of the film festival. Those looking to attend and wishing to know which must-see films should not be missed will also be able to visit here prior to their showings for spoiler-free reviews.

A workshop session at The White Sands International Film Festival
A workshop session at The White Sands International Film Festival

Working with the board for the 2013 White Sands International Film Festival has been a great experience so far and remains an exciting opportunity. I look forward to presenting all of the great work of the filmmakers, actors, writers, directors and more of this year’s upcoming festival. Stay tuned as more information will be available in the coming months.

(A “WSIFF” tab at the top of the page -under the site name banner- will appear shortly for a quick link to all posts and reviews for the 2013 White Sands International Film Festival.)

Excerpt from the paper showcasing local filmmakers. The bottom is a picture of myself with filmmaker Matthew Valdovinos and actor Jeffrey Tambor from 2012’s WSIFF.

Last year’s was phenomenal and I can’t wait for all of you to see what else this prestigious film festival from New Mexico has to offer.

What can you do? Read the posts, attend the festival, support your local filmmakers, share the festival with others (via the official site and this page) and get out there and make more films! The festival is September 4-8 and with plenty of films it will be nigh impossible to see them all. I will help you with your choices of which ones to see and cannot wait to share! Get ready, the festival is only four months away!dates

(I wish to thank the White Sands International Film Festival for allowing me the chance to be a part of this great event…and also extend a special “thank you” to the editor of my weekly newspaper movie review column, entitled “Terrence’s Take,” Tracy Roy.)

Thanks for reading and stay tuned!


-Terrence Faulkner a.k.a. TheFocusedFilmographer


  1. So, Hollywood is finally putting together a film about all the super cool Battle Suit training skipped in ‘Starship Trooper’ and would be missing if Joe Haldeman’s ‘Forever War’ is ever brought to the big screen.

    Sorry, I’m not getting much of a vibe off ‘Ender’s Game’.

    PS: I remember Jeffrey Tambor when he played a whimpish Assistant DA with dreams of Judgeship on ‘Hill Street Blues’. You take a debonaire photo.


  2. That’s awesome to see you take part in The White Sands International Film Festival, T! Woo hoo, look at you hobnob-ing with the stars 😉 Looking forward to your coverage of the fest in the Fall.


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