The Santa Fe Independent Film Festival began in 2009 as a fringe festival that took place in a community center. By 2011 it was the biggest event of its kind in New Mexico, screening over 100 films during a 5 day Fest. The 2011 festival honored Academy Award Nominee Kirby Dick (Invisible War), Tony Mark (The Hurt Locker) and unit production manager Alton Walpole (Crazy Heart). The 2012 festival honored Chris Eyre (Smoke Signals, Skins), Rudolfo Anaya (Bless Me, Ultima), and Judy Blume (Tiger Eyes) and included two sold out screenings at the Lensic Performing Arts Center and a Red Carpet event. The festival also organized a historic filmmakers brunch, bringing industry professionals and local filmmakers together for a discourse on the future of filmmaking in New Mexico. At the 2013 festival honorees included Wes Studi (Avatar) and John Waters (Hairspray).The 2014 festival hosted over 10,000 attendees and presented lifetime achievement awards to Shirley MacLaine and George RR Martin. The Santa Fe Independent Film Festival was recognized nationally by IndieWire Magazine as “a young Sundance”. Santa Fe Independent Film Festival has grown from humble beginnings to becoming one of the top annual events in New Mexico and has effectively extended the tourism season in Santa Fe into late October. In November 2013 Santa Fe Independent Film Festival was named one of Moviemaker Magazine’s 25 Coolest General Film Festivals on the planet. In April 2014 the Festival was named Moviemaker Magazine’s “50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee in 2014”. In addition to the annual Festival, the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival now hosts screenings throughout the year including a free outdoor community screening every summer as part of the annual summer series “Festival de Santa Fe”.