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International film fest kicks off today in Las Cruces

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The Las Cruces International Film Festival is going on its ninth year, and festival organizers say it has gotten better and better each year. The 2024 LCIFF will take place April 3-7 at Cineport 10, located at 700 S. Telshor Blvd., with ticket prices ranging from $8-150.

This year’s Las Cruces International Film Festival poster was painted by artist Vicki L. Crouse. (Image courtesy of LCIFF)

This year’s festival will feature many diverse films and opportunities to interact with esteemed filmmakers and actors. There will also be an awards ceremony that will take place at the end of the festival. Multiple special guests will be in attendance, including Ron Perlman of “Hellboy,” and Academy Award nominee and “Runaway Train” star Eric Roberts.

Moviegoers grab their snacks in the Cineport 10 theater lobby, a space that will soon be filled with filmmakers and film enthusiasts. The LCIFF kicks off this evening with a special screening of “Little Brother.” (Photo by Kylie Garcia/Kokopelli)

The man who created the festival and helped get it to where it is today is local filmmaker and NMSU professor Ross Marks, who started it back in 2014. According to the LCIFF website, the festival tends to draw about 12,000 people every year. It has brought in 1,500 filmmakers and 80,000 visitors since its start, and 700 student participants have been involved in putting the festival together since 2014.

It is largely run by students in NMSU’s Creative Media Institute, and “is one of the largest student-run film festivals in the U.S.,” according to LCIFF Marketing and Communications Director Kyle Ivy, who taught the film festival preparation class this semester.

Student participants have said they enjoy being a part of the festival, as it provides them with experience, networking opportunities and confidence. One of these students is Nicole Rodarte, a digital film major set to graduate this May. Rodarte said that she is appreciative of the opportunity to better her skills. In the fall 2023 semester, she and her classmates took a class where they made decisions on the films and guests that would be in the festival. In the spring class this semester, it was all about preparation, logistics and marketing for the big event.

“It has been a great boost for my own professional career,” Rodarte said. “Ross Marks has really helped launch my career in this way.”

While the festival has grown in many ways, one area that Marks said the festival is currently working to grow is in diversity. “I can tell you that in 2025, it’s gonna be an all-hands-on-deck, real hard push to create a festival that has more women in it, that has more people of color, and that is more reflective of our student body,” Marks said. “So, I don’t know that we’re as successful in 2024 as I would like us to have been, but you learn from that, and you make adjustments and changes, and you make the next year better.” 

LCIFF ticket information is available online, as well as a detailed agenda of this year’s festival. The  festival kicks off Wednesday evening, April 3, with a special screening of the locally produced, New Mexico-based film, “Little Brother.” 

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