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NMSU professor?s short film selected for international showcase, to screen in Albuquerque

?La Catrina,? a short film by a New Mexico State University professor, is one of 31 films selected worldwide for the 2016 Women in Film & Television International (WIFTI) Short Film Showcase.

Woman?s face decorated with festive Dia de los Muertos face paint.
A scene from the short film ?La Catrina,? written and directed by Ilana Lapid, assistant professor with NMSU?s Creative Media Institute. The film was selected for the 2016 Women in Film & Television International Short Film Showcase. (Courtesy photo)
 Portrait of woman in brown jacket.
Ilana Lapid, assistant professor in NMSU?s Creative Media Institute, will be the special guest for New Mexico Women in Film?s International Women?s Day celebration in Albuquerque, March 8. Lapid?s short film, ?La Catrina,? will be screened during the event. (Courtesy photo)

WIFTI is a global network comprised of more than 40 chapters worldwide with over 10,000 members, dedicated to advancing professional development and achievement for women working in all areas of film, video and digital media.

The film, written and directed by Ilana Lapid, CMI assistant professor in NMSU?s Creative Media Institute in the College of Arts and Sciences, is about the cycle of grief and healing of a woman coming to terms with the loss of her husband, a farm worker who died on the border.

As one of many WIFTI Showcase screenings happening worldwide in honor of International Women?s Day, the film will screen in Albuquerque at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 8, at the Special Collections Library, 423 Central Ave. N.E. WIFTI?s New Mexico chapter, New Mexico Women in Film, will host the event.

?It is a story of personal relevance, exploring how we sometimes cannot choose our life circumstances, but we can choose how we respond to them,? Lapid said of ?La Catrina.?

The film embraces borderland culture, following the journey of a widowed farm worker who, in grieving the loss of her husband, becomes La Catrina, the character of death associated with Dia de los Muertos,

The 10-minute short was primarily filmed on agricultural land outside Anthony, N.M., and features non-actors and no spoken dialogue ? only subtitles in English and Spanish, Lapid explained.

?The film is an experimental performance art piece inspired in part by illustrated folktales,? she said. ?It is designed to feel like a visual fable, almost like a picture book.?

Previously, ?La Catrina? served as a video installation in the JUNTOS Art Association exhibit ?Icons and Symbols of the Borderland? at the Centennial Museum in El Paso, from October 2015 to January 2016.

The film crew for ?La Catrina? included CMI students Robert Dugan, director of photography, and David Morales, director of photography and editor. Members of the JUNTOS Art Association also contributed to the project, including the association?s artistic director Diana Molina, who produced the film.

?As a faculty member at CMI, I am fortunate to have talented students, and ?La Catrina? provided us with an occasion to work together outside of the classroom,? Lapid said. ?The fact that ?La Catrina? was selected for the 2016 WIFTI Short Film Showcase is an exciting opportunity for us to put our film out into the world.?

Later this semester, ?La Catrina? will also screen at the 2016 Taos Shortz Film Fest in Taos, N.M., April 7-10.

To view the trailer for ?La Catrina,? visit https://vimeo.com/146025153.

For tickets to New Mexico Women in Film?s March 8 screening of ?La Catrina,? visit www.nmwif.com. For more information on Women in Film & Television International, visit www.wifti.net. For a complete listing of films in the 2016 WIFTI Showcase, visit www.mediafusionent.com/#!wifti2016/bsns9.