Aggie Filmmakers: The Dust Storm

Three NMSU alumni worked on a film shown at the inaugural Las Cruces International Film Festival.

By Sante Guajardo

Staff Writer

Two NMSU alumni will have their feature film shown during the inaugural Las Cruces International Film Festival today, March 4, at Las Cruces’ Allen Theaters.

The Dust Storm is about two people who used to be lovers but had to end it. They are given a second chance at their love when the main character finds himself on a business trip in Nashville.

The film is the brainchild of Ryan Lacen and Anthony Baldino, who previously worked on bigger budgeted movies in the past but who always wanted to write and direct their own movie.

So they went in on The Dust Storm together, sharing writing and directing credits. They also recruited NMSU alumnus and current Creative Media Institute guest instructor Ben La Marca to serve as the film’s editor.

Principle photography lasted about 14-16 days, which is typical for a single camera shoot like this. Within those days, they were able to get around 65-75 hours of filming. Editing then lasted around four months with a month break. The directors reconvened in Las Cruces to finalize the movie. All told, the production took about seven months to complete.

“Since they finished out here, the directors wanted to bring it to a film festival out here,” La Marca says. “They wanted to bring the film to where they worked on it.”

Their overall goal for the film is to pick up some distributors at some of the film festivals they’re submitting to. These distributors will purchase the movie and work with media like Netflix, Redbox, and iTunes in order to get the movie out in the movie market.

“The movie is a labor of love and a lot of work went into this without making a ton of money and it’s shown through this movie,” La Marca says. “I think it really tells a true story about something we all go through and I think that truth really comes out in the film.”

The movie will be showing at the Las Cruces International Film Festival today at Allen Theaters. The festival will host around 24 films with the festival concluding on Saturday.