As we approaching the end of editing and get closer to our broadcast date on October 12 on NM PBS, we remember...this beautiful article about the story of the film from the Santa Fe New Mexican - Tripp Stelnicki really captured the whimsy of Nasario's stories.
We still have wonderful opportunities to SUPPORT the film as a HERITAGE DONOR or SPONSOR. Stand with us to tell the stories of New Mexico's heritage. Click here for details. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call cell 609 651 5840, Shebana Coelho
We will have 2 free preview screenings of the film before it's broadcast.
We are glad to welcome the Santa Fe Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as one of our Outreach Sponsors for our Oct 5 Santa Fe preview event.
Follow us on FACEBOOK or SIGN UP for our MAILING LIST to stay in touch as we head from the Rio Puerco to a TV screen near you. Thank you!
Remembering the Rio Puerco
By Tripp Stelnicki
The New Mexican | Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 10:20 pm
Once, by the Rio Puerco, a young Nasario García went for a ride with his grandfather, who was called Lolo. Across the arroyo, García saw a bear. He called out in warning.
Lolo said, “Oh? He’s my friend. Come.”
They rode their horses across the arroyo to a thicket of berry bushes, not far from the watchful bear. Lolo picked two or three. “Try these,” he told his grandson. “They’re good, aren’t they? That’s why the bear comes here, and he comes here all the time.”
That is one of García’s recuerdos, or memories, from his early childhood days growing up near the Rio Puerco. For the first time, García, 80, of Santa Fe, a folklorist and historian, is sharing his Rio Puerco recuerdos on film.
On Thursday, García and film director Shebana Coelho will be at Collected Works Bookstore to preview clips from the documentary Nasario Remembers the Río Puerco and speak about his recuerdos.
The ranching villages near the Rio Puerco in the shadow of Cabezon Peak in Sandoval County emptied when drought dried the river and overgrazing spoiled the land in the 1950s. All that remains of the people who made their lives in the valley 50 miles west of Rio Rancho are crumbling ruins.
Some of García’s memories are commonplace: seeing his first bear or galloping through the village as a child, dodging the prairie dog mounds. Others veer into magical realism: a cousin, returning home from a date after curfew, having been clawed bloody by a bobcat but miraculously bearing no wounds. There were vibrant fiestas, marches and dances late into the night, where a boy was obligated by tradition to dance with his mother, grandmother and sisters before he could dance with anyone else.
His recuerdos share a common protagonist: the landscape. The stories belong to his village of Ojo del Padre and his stretch of the Rio Puerco Valley, its hills, its arroyos, its buttes, he says. The film “projects the past into the present, and hopefully into the future,” he says.
The idea for the film occurred to Coelho, who wanted to show the storyteller among the landscape, to hear García tell his stories where they are set.
“A storyteller can tell stories over and over again, and there’s something different in the telling,” Coelho says. “Nasario has spoken these stories, and he’s published them, but I realized there was a film because we haven’t seen Nasario on the land. That’s a different encounter. ... What happens? For someone who listens, who doesn’t know the story, what does it wake up in you?”
Nasario Remembers the Río Puerco shows García wandering through the arroyos, the ruins and the memories lingering there. The film includes a series of García’s vignettes, Coelho said, as well as tableaus re-created with artifacts recovered from the dilapidated, disappearing homes.
“The feeling of the stories is so strong when you go to the Rio Puerco,” she says, “because there’s just enough left.”
Valley residents began abandoning their homes after a fire destroyed a wood-and-stone dam crucial for supplying the acequias, García says. Subsequent droughts didn’t help. His grandfather was one of the last to leave, he says, in 1958. Since then, the largely dried-out valley has belonged to ghosts.
There’s one story García hasn’t told often: At age 9, in 1945, when his family left their ranch by the river for Martineztown, an Albuquerque neighborhood, he was glad. “I was tired of eating pinto beans, I was tired of eating corn, I was just tired of the way of life,” he says. “It was very difficult for a young boy.”
He didn’t think much of his valley until he went to Spain many years later for graduate study. On weekends, he and his wife would travel to the small villages in the Spanish countryside, where they saw the fiestas. “When I came back, I said to myself, ‘I’m going to talk to my grandparents,’ ” he said.
He wasn’t yet a trained interviewer or folklorist, but García considers that initial conversation with his elderly grandparents about the valley one of his career’s most illuminating. His curiosity was inflamed. “I wondered about all these people who used to live here,” he says. “Where are they? I started connecting dots, and I started interviewing them.
“The connection between Spain and New Mexico took me back to the valley,” he says.
Coelho found García when she heard him tell a story about his grandmother at Collected Works Bookstore. She approached him after the reading, and a partnership was born: Coelho adapted a book of García’s oral histories into a stage play, When the Stars Trembled in Río Puerco, which was performed in Albuquerque and Santa Fe in 2013 and 2014.
For the film about the Rio Puerco, Coelho and the filmmaking team are seeking donations through Indiegogo.com, a crowd-funding website, to finance the months of editing ahead. PBS has expressed interest in airing the film, Coelho says, and her dream is to premiere the documentary there during National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is celebrated Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.
A sense of Hispanic heritage is at work in García’s drive to preserve the past. He remembers asking a class of Hispanic students what each of them was doing to preserve their culture.
“A kid raised his hand, and he said, with a straight face, ‘I go to Taco Bell once a week, and I buy a burrito grande,’ ” García says. “My heart fell down to my feet.”
García’s recuerdos can help stem that cultural tide, just as they preserve the spirit of a fading valley. When García returned to the Rio Puerco to film a scene this past year, he came to the spot where he saw his first bear and Lolo told him not to fear. The berry bushes were still growing.
Contact Tripp Stelnicki at 505-428-7626 or email@example.com.
We had a dramatic return to the Rio Puerco last weekend for pick up shoots - epic RAIN, the biggest rainfall of the season, swept away all our previous plans and invited us to create something absolutely beautiful and organic - which we did - thankfully, creatively. The river was running when we left! We took that as a good sign of our film being showered with blessings from the valley. And we were also grateful to be able to leave safely on roads which - after heavy rain - can become like ice and slip and slide dangerously.
Instead of filming the 'girl sprit' of the river by the river bed, we filmed her in evocative ruins that were walking (in mud) distance from where we stayed. Instead of filming the dry river, we got to film the running water. Nasario remembered nights of rain as a child, putting buckets and coffee pots under drips and the symphony of water falling here and there that would lull him to sleep.
The highlight, after the thunderstorms rendered us house bound for half the day - was climbing a hill behind the house at dusk, to see the white smudge of the moon emerging and on the llano, three horses galloping.
We did - in the end, get what was right for the film, what we might never have gotten before - beautiful light, magic feeling. And we probably have to return for a day shoot.
But, in the desert, the rain always blesses..
We arrive now to our last month of editing with 25k needed to finish the beautiful timeless homage to Nasario García and New Mexico heritage that we have envisioned for years.
We have opportunities for SPONSORS - for up to a 1 min commercial spot that accompanies the broadcast and HERITAGE DONORS - just five 5k donations will get us there. We need this by end August for September finishing expenses - all this to be ready for our October 12 NM PBS broadcast. Plus two preview events, October 4 at the South Broadway Cultural Center and October 5 at the New Mexico History Museum.
This is where we need your help most, this last month of Nasario remembers the Rio Puerco.
Do you have suggestions for SPONSORS or DONORS. Are you one or the other or both?
We'd love to hear from you. Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at
cell 609 651 5840
In gratitude for your support for our wonderful journey so far
Shebana, Shelene, Cecile, Kelvin, Dirk, Arianna and the production team
Why this film, why now? So much fun to talk all things Nasario remembers the Río Puerco with Richard Eeds - and in the company of our great editor Shelene Bridge - about the October broadcast on NM PBS, and our invitation to Sponsors/Underwriters. Have a seat, have a listen....
NEXT, over the next 3 months, we start editing the fine cut, film pick up shoots, finalize the music, and million and one things more that go into finishing a film. And fundraise some more...! But now that we have a broadcast commitment, we have beautiful opportunities for underwriters and presenting sponsors. If you have leads us for, please let us know!
The biggest expenses, for technical processes like sound mix, color correction, and fine cut editing is what will give this film the high production values and quality that reflects the care with which we've envisioned & crafted it. We’re tremendously grateful for the support of all our friends in getting us here.
It’s been such a beautiful unfolding, step by step, shot by shot, story by story. We invite you with us for the rest of the journey to the screen.
A NEW DONATIONS PAGE
Our new Donations page features original illustrations by Kat Kinnick.
Have a look, por favor, at opportunities to contribute to some of our To Dos:
As always, como siempre, Gracias & onwards to this last phase of
re-imagining the Río Puerco.
Shebana, Shelene, & the team at Nasario remembers the Río Puerco
Hello friends of Nasario remembers the Río Puerco: Our small post production team, Shelene Bridge, our editor, me, the assistant editor Shawn Wayman–we all feel we’ve been in a parallel universe of sorts these last few months, as we gratefully, industriously, full-heartedly work on the film - thanks to the donations and goodwill contributed by you, our friends and supporters.
All this will take us to the end of this first phase of editing and we’ve been so gratified to be able to log, transcribe, digitize, organize the footage, create paper scripts, find beautiful music, archival footage and photos, including an iconic map made by a famous Spanish mapmaker named Miera y Pacheco which puts Nasario García’s Rio Puerco hometown on the map as “Guadalupe de Los Garcías” as early as the 1780s. And, of course, we are editing every day, transforming hours of footage into a story for the screen.
Our goal is to finish a full rough cut by early May - we have another date with New Mexico PBS on May 12 to show them this version and hopefully, proceed to a broadcast contract and date.
www.nasarioremembers.com email: email@example.com
Cell 609 651 5840 Facebook @NasarioRemembers
Visit our Vimeo Channel to see our trailer more clips
Support the project - Donation Sponsorship Opportunities
We're delighted to have the trailer included in the New Mexico Women in Film's Film Fiesta 2017 - screening alongside wonderful shorts, narratives, documentaries and experimental films and playing in 4 cities in New Mexico - starting April 20, Details below. Please come and see us all!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: March 1, 2017
Shelene Bridge, NMWIF Fiesta! Producer firstname.lastname@example.org 505-795-8580
NM WOMEN IN FILM CELEBRATES WITH FILM FIESTA!
SANTA FE, NM - New Mexico Women in Film has planned a quadri-city F ilm Fiesta! in Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and Santa Fe, April 20-23, 2017. The NMWIF FIESTA! 2017 mission is to honor current NMWIF Members, who are in good standing and regardless of gender, by showcasing their creativity, vision and artistry of their film work and network emerging film students at the institutions of higher education throughout New Mexico.
The NMWIF FIESTA! 2017 will be presented at the New Mexico Highlands University’s Ilfeld Auditorium, Las Vegas, Thursday, April 20; South Broadway Cultural Center, Albuquerque, Friday, April 21; New Mexico State University’s CMI Digital Media Theater, Saturday, April 22; and Santa Fe University of Art & Design’s The Forum, Sunday, April 23.
The NM WIF FIESTA! 2017 screens from 5:00pm - 9:00pm each day with an intermission 6:30pm - 7:30pm. All Access Tickets for each location are $15. More information is available at NMWIF.com.
Thirteen of the best films by NMWIF members and emerging film students will be screened in each city at the NMWIF Fiesta! 2017. Selected films are as follows:
Charlotte; in Retrospect, Monica Montoya, Student at NMSU
Days Young & Golden, Andy K astelic, Student at UNM
Frankie and Jude: Star Wars - ANOTH ER Star Wars Story, Amy Baklini, NMWIF Member
La Douleur Exquise, Charlie Gravina, NMWIF Member
Pinky Promise, Catharine Pilafas, NMWIF Member
Shadows of Waste, Holly Adams, NMWIF Member
Barbara’s Story, JoAnne Tucker, NMWIF Member
Gris, Erica Nguyen, NMWIF Member
Legacy, Mark Lewis, Student at IAIA
Longshotsville, Jody McNicholas, NMWIF Member
Nasario Remembers the Rio Puerco, Shebana Coelho, NMWIF Member
Acrophobia, Rand Hadid, Student at SFUAD
Cruzar, Ann Bromberg, NMWIF Member
NMWIF is a chapter of Women In Film & Television International, which has over 40 chapters worldwide. By creating a professional alliance with the international force, New Mexico members make a statement of professionalism and intent as filmmakers and film workers.
THANK YOU. For every donation, every good wish, every hope sent our way, we offer our profound GRATITUDE. We reached our goal to start editing a rough cut of this film.
Look for your Perks to be fulfilled by end February.
We've been in touch with New Mexico PBS and the timeline we came up with is to show them a work in progress end March and a rough cut end April and by that time, we hope to have a broadcast date - hopefully for early October.
We also might take a chance with applying to ITVS which is for national PBS.
As we go into editing the rough cut, it'll become clear to us where the gaps are in the story for "pick up shoots" or specific music or stock photos or footage. After completing a rough cut, "finishing a film" is also its own process, with important highly specialized tasks such as color correction, a sound mix, composing a score. We're also dreaming of recreating a mythic memory of Nasaro and his dad: seeing wolves crossing the river one morning and composing and recording an original corrido (ballad) of the Rio Puerco, "en ese tiempo, el Rio Puerco era como una flor, at that time the Rio Puerco was a flower." Side by side with being grounded in gratitude, we have our eyes open to what lies ahead, including finishing funds to fully realize the vision of this film.
For now, first things first - we go into the edit room and get to work on our beautiful footage, carrying deep THANKS to you who have made this part of the journey possible! We'll keep you posted!
And please reach out whenever you'd like - we're always glad to hear from you with any suggestions, ideas or just to say hello. You can also follow us on Facebook and here on the blog.
Gracias gracias and onwards, adelante to editing this film about Nasario García, a remarkable folklorist, who has persisted, for decades, in speaking his stories to reconnect us to la tierra, historia y comunidad, land, history and community in New Mexico.
Shebana and the Production Team at Nasario Remembers the Rio Puerco
Director, Shebana Coelho cell: 609 651 5840
The Río Puerco valley puckers and shines, like scalded milk
spilled from the sky's bucket.
Late in the summer, the land and its dry riverbed
crumble into the colors of crushed wheat.
A voice-over stitches the air: Esta historia comienza
en el fin.
Nasario walks an arroyo and stops by a bush
in the low shade of a cliff.
When he was a child, his Grandpa Lolo brought him here
to see the bear—a small brown bear
feasting on gooseberries.
Fiddle notes slide sideways . . . like a girl in a satin dress
gliding into the cypress arms
of a Spanish guitar.
Thorns rustle against the dust.
Nasario takes a series of objects out of a wooden box
and lays them tenderly
on a table--
his mother's two frying pans (new in the 1930s)
a child's shoe
a rusty cup
an array of hand-tools with worn handles
a man's work-boot curled at the toes--
"And this is the scale
my father would hang with gunny sacks of corn
before we took them to Jemez Pueblo
to trade with the Indians
for apples, peaches, apricots, grapes--
because we had no fruit in the valley."
The stories the viejitos told crackled with magic--
witchcraft, animals, landscape.
Nasario, crowned in cumulus cloud, remembers:
"En ese tiempo el Río Puerco era como una flor."
An evening primrose opens its pale petals; pink
phosphorous dots the desert floor.
"The only thing you hear out here anymore is the whistling
of the wind," Nasario says.
"But back then we heard
the fluttering of crows in the cornfield,
coyotes howling at night—it was like a symphony
of animal music."
The frame of a small house releases its broken adobe bones
to the earth—ashes to ashes.
Crees que las piedras nos recuerdan?
Nasario reads "Mi Casita" in his voice of rustling leaves.
And the shadow
Y la sombra
con cada rendija
que la cobija.
-Anne Valley-Fox, January 12, 2017
Born in Paterson, New Jersey, Anne Valley-Fox was raised in Santa Monica, California and schooled at University of California at Berkeley during the Free Speech Movement. There, she began writing poetry in classrooms with Josephine Miles and visiting poet James Tate; in her senior year she was awarded the Eisner Prize in Literature. She cut her poetic teeth on the San Francisco poetry scene for several years before moving to northern New Mexico with her first-born son, Ezra. Her poetry books are Sending the Body Out, Fish Drum 15, Point of No Return and How Shadows Are Bundled. Her nonfiction books include Telling Your Story (with Sam Keen) and five volumes of oral histories compiled from archives of The New Mexico Federal Writers’ Project. In 2016 she received a William Matthews Poetry Prize from the Asheville Poetry Review.
Her most recently poetry collection, Nightfall (Red Mountain Press) is a collection of vivid poems from an American poet in her seventh decade. www.redmountainpress.us.
Our Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to edit this film ends Tue, Jan 31.
See the trailer, read our story, join the journey
There are all kinds of Perks for donating, chief among them, the support you give to a story that belives in land and community and connection.
News from Nasario Remembers the Rio Puerco