CMI Strength Across Borders — LCIFF’s 48-Hour Film Challenge | New Mexico State University - BE BOLD. Shape the Future.
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Strength Across Borders — LCIFF’s 48-Hour Film Challenge

Borders have played a major role in CMI professor Ilana Lapid’s life since the beginning. Growing up in three different countries and teaching in the borderlands inspired Lapid to further explore borders with films like Red Mesa and Yochi, as well as through three different Faculty-Led International Programs and courses specifically dedicated to border cinema. Spanning across three cities in the border region, the 2021 LCIFF 48 Hour Film Challenge which Lapid is spearheading ties neatly into this arc.

With a grant from the Southwest and Border Cultures Institute, the support of the Las Cruces International Film Festival, and the help of many CMI students, Lapid assembled the 48 Hour Challenge to encourage local filmmakers and artists of any experience level to create short films that reveal the experience of those living on the borderland during the pandemic. “We want to ask: How do borders not only divide us, but also connect us? Borderlands are a really rich zone for creative connections.” Lapid said about the project.

Stories in the competition must comply with COVID regulations, featuring only individuals within one’s household, and may only be filmed in one’s own home. However, electronic long-distance collaboration is encouraged, and a video call scene is required. Admission is free, and prizes range from $100 to $400 dollars. For full details about the competition, visit the LCIFF website, or register here.

“We are a film school in the borderlands.” Lapid said about the CMI program. “It’s exciting for us to tell stories about our region—the challenges, conflicts, hopes, and dreams of people living in our borderland. Let’s draw strength from who we are and where we come from.”

The 48 Hour Challenge will be kicking off this Friday, February 26, and completed films will be shown by the Las Cruces International Film Festival.