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Filmmaker irrigates a flow of change through documentary

 When asked about the one thing she wants people to take away from her films, tears formed in the eyes of Aracely “Arcie” Chapa, a documentary filmmaker and manager of multimedia services with the University of New Mexico’s Center for Regional Studies. She recounted a memory of attending a Rocky Mountain Collegiate Press Association competition. Her mother was a month away from dying. “She was so happy when I got back, and when I told her, (she) couldn’t believe I had won the big award. And she said, ‘Always use your talent to give a voice to the people who don’t have a voice and to make a difference.’ That’s always been my mission and my goal. That’s what drives me,” Chapa said.

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House Bill 134 seeks to place free menstrual products in public schools

 A bill seeking to create menstrual equity in schools by providing free menstrual hygiene products in New Mexico public schools will be introduced on Monday, Jan. 30: House Bill 134, titled “Menstrual Products in School Bathrooms.” The bill is sponsored by Reps. Christine Trujillo and Kristina Ortez and will be introduced first to the House education committee with a proposed budget of $3 million.

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REVIEW: ‘A Thousand and One’ is a hazy epic straight from a storybook

 It’s never too early to plan ahead: while some moviegoers concern themselves with what might take home the gold at the 2023 Oscars, others look to this year’s Sundance Film Festival, which has once again provided us an early glimpse at the films to watch for next year’s upcoming awards season. There may not be any making quite as many waves as the Grand Jury Prize - Dramatic winner “A Thousand and One,” whose millenium-spanning story announces writer-director A.V. Rockwell as a talent to watch.


AFMX provides a film festival experience like no other

 With the film industry in New Mexico growing at a rapid pace and big-name production houses like Netflix bringing large-scale operations to Albuquerque, it’s clear more college graduates will gravitate toward the field after finishing school. The Albuquerque Film and Music Experience seeks to provide those opportunities in the field to students by connecting them with industry professionals while also allowing them to showcase their own work, according to executive director Ivan Wiener. The festival is currently open for submissions to its 2023 festival, with students interested in submitting in the student film category being permitted free submissions by emailing for a fee waiver code.

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‘The Legend of Vox Machina’ succeeds on charisma check, but just barely

 On Friday, Jan. 20, Amazon Prime Video released the first three episodes of the second season of “The Legend of Vox Machina,” animation studio Titmouse Inc.’s adaptation of the wildly successful Dungeons and Dragons actual-play show “Critical Role.” Though impressive in scope and showing plenty of promise for what’s to come, season two so far is underwhelming, if not as an adaptation, then as a story on its own. This season, “The Legend of Vox Machina” follows titular adventuring party Vox Machina as they track down legendary magical items to help them defeat a cadre of villainous dragons dubbed the “Chroma Conclave,” bent on ruling the world. If it sounds played out, that’s because it is — mostly.

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5 and Why: 5 best places to read on campus

 As students and faculty return to the University of New Mexico main campus, it can be harder than ever to find a nice, relaxing place to unwind with a good book. To help readers get back in the swing of things amid the bustle of a new semester, fifth year student Arely Ortega shared five of her favorite places to read on campus. El Centro de la Raza As far as study spots on campus go, you can’t get more welcoming than the various student resource centers on campus. To Ortega, the most relaxing of these is El Centro de la Raza, located in Mesa Vista Hall.

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REVIEW: 'Puss in Boots: The Last Wish' brings back our favorite fearless feline hero

 “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” brings back the fan favorite legendary cat from the “Shrek” franchise for an adventure filled with delightful storytelling and nostalgia. A surprisingly delightful movie, “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” shows that Dreamworks Animation Studios can still produce films comparable in quality to the “Shrek” and “How to Train Your Dragon” movies of old. With the spring semester starting up and the thoughts of graduating or simply moving on to the next year of college hanging over many of us, the movie helps one escape with a nice dose of childhood nostalgia.

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President Stokes’ speechwriter brings impressive resume back to New Mexico

 When Brian Jay Jones graduated from the University of New Mexico with a degree in English literature, his aspiration to be a novelist was dashed by a realization that he was a terrible fiction writer. Now, with a decades-long career as a legislative staffer and four biography credits in tow, UNM President Garnett Stokes’ official speechwriter has found his own voice in writing by breathing life into others’. As Stokes’ executive communications manager, Jones helps to coordinate all written and spoken correspondence from the president and gets “last pass” on any speeches to be given by her. Prior to coming to work at UNM, Jones worked as a legislative assistant for senator Pete V. Domenici and later senator Jim Jeffords.

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REVIEW: ‘The Last of Us’ adaptation honors and furthers video games

 On Sunday, Jan. 15, HBO released the first episode of the highly anticipated “The Last of Us” series, based on the critically acclaimed game of the same name created by publisher Naughty Dog. The TV show comes one day after the game's 10th anniversary, originally released on Jan. 14, 2013. A big challenge with any video game adaptation is trying to create a series that will be engaging for the incoming viewer but faithful enough for fans of the game. It feels like most of the time with adaptations like this, the writing falls flat and is inaccurate to the game — with “The Last of Us,” fans have nothing to worry about.

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Mens Basketball: Lobo forward takes on teams with scholarship and style

 Morris Udeze is a graduate student and a forward for the University of New Mexico men's basketball team. Udeze, who currently sits at third on the team in scoring, is graduating in the spring and is currently finishing his last semester playing with UNM; he previously earned his undergraduate degree at Wichita State University and is currently taking classes to continue playing basketball. Udeze transferred to UNM from Wichita State in May 2022 for his last year of eligibility for college basketball. He has been incredibly valuable to the Lobos, where he is currently third on the team in scoring with 15.7 points per game, grabbing 8.3 rebounds and guarding the opponent's forwards and centers of defense.

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ASUNM Southwest Film Center spring preview

 The Associated Students at the University of New Mexico Southwest Film Center, located on the first floor of the Student Union Building, is a student-run organization that showcases films for free throughout the semester. The upcoming spring semester includes a line up of film screenings and returning annual events.  The main purpose behind the SWFC is to connect the larger student body with film, according to Emma Harrison, the program’s assistant director. “The purpose of the Southwest Film Center is to present new, experimental, classic and student-made films for free to the UNM student body, and to provide fun opportunities for students to engage with and learn about film,” Harrison said.


OPINION: “Avatar” highlights the danger of computer-generated films

 Well, it’s official: we’re gonna see a whole lot more “Avatar” in the next 10 years. With “Avatar: The Way of Water” poised to make its money back, essentially confirming that we’ll see an “Avatar” 3, 4 and 5, we can rest easy knowing know that the original “Avatar” truly did have some sort of cultural impact and naysayers were just wrong. This begs the question, though: what about its impact on filmmaking, or rather, lack thereof? At the time of writing this article on Saturday, Jan. 14, the sequel is poised to reach $566.7 million at the US domestic box office over Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend which will put it at number 13 for the highest grossing films of all time in the US and Canada, according to Deadline.  

GALLERY: Monster Truck Rally

OPINION: Monster trucks rally is a Rio Rancho smash hit

 On Jan. 13 and 14, the Rio Rancho event center sold out every seat in the house for the Toughest Monster Truck Tour. And my god, were they tough: the flips, the stunts, the cars smashed are all enough to attest to that — and the crowd ate up every moment.  The trucks featured included Dozer, who made their indoor arena debut, Buckshot and the corvette Rat Attack. Dirt Crew, my personal favorite truck, looked like a dump truck (monster-sized, of course). Also present was Tailgator, who rivaled Dirt Crew for best aesthetic with a gator-themed truck, and Maximus, a brand new truck who made their debut.

GALLERY: Comic Con

Albuquerque Comic Con turns fandom into family

 This past Friday, Jan. 13, Albuquerque Comic Con began at the Albuquerque Convention Center. The event — which brings fans of comics, movies and TV shows together from all over New Mexico — ran until Jan. 15. This year, Albuquerque Comic Con brought in guests ranging from Ari Lehman, the first Jason Voorhees from “Friday the 13th,” to Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants. A complete list of guests from the event can be found on their website. Also in attendance this year was local comic book artist David Harrigan, also known as the “Art Assassin.”

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UNM student bookstore highlights underrepresented communities

 In 2019, Robin Babb, a senior at the University of New Mexico, opened her own independent bookstore Harvest Moon Books in hopes to highlight stories written by underrepresented communities. In the three years since opening, Harvest Moon Books has gone from an online shop to an in-person shop as part of the And Stuff Retail Collective. Babb strives to make Harvest Moon Books  a place where new and local authors can have a platform. She especially wants to focus on queer and transgender authors along with newly translated English pieces — most importantly, she wants to provide what other stores can’t.

GALLERY: "I Am" Suicide Awareness Show

Benefit fashion show supports suicide awareness

 On Sunday, Jan. 8, New Mexico high school student Anistacia Mia Aragon organized a fashion show entitled “I Am;” to “illuminate and raise awareness of the mass epidemic of suicide and using fashion to bring awareness, as well as empower those who attend,” according to the Menual School website. The show and benefit was hosted at the National Hispanic Cultural Center with all ticket proceeds going toward local suicide prevention programs in New Mexico Aragon is currently a senior at Menaul School and this was her first time organizing an event like this. She’s also the current titleholder of World Latina Teen USA with the platform of teen suicide awareness, according to the event’s website.

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“This Place Rules” doesn’t rule

Two years ago on Jan. 6, 2021, a group of right-wing pro-Trump rioters stormed the capitol building in Washington D.C., marking the violent culmination of a historic cultural and media frenzy around the polarizing 2020 election cycle. This event, and the frenzy leading up to it, are the subject of journalist and documentarian Andrew Callaghan’s new documentary on HBO, “This Place Rules,” which premiered Dec. 30, 2022. Though laudable, the filmmaking is surprisingly shallow, making “This Place Rules” an ultimately skippable watch.


5 and Why: 5 tips to help survive senioritis

  The spring semester is about to begin at the University of New Mexico and with that, a new set of seniors and another wave of burnout. UNM’s Student Health and Counseling and the Women’s Resource Center came together to give us five tips to prevent and survive senioritis. “Stress is an inevitable part of college. But it's definitely (on the) high-end your senior year. This is where you are feeling that burnout; you have a lack of motivation. Maybe you're a little bit lazier than you were previously. You can have feelings of hopelessness. You can have thoughts of giving up. You may also feel panic and anxiety and worry as well,” Tiffany Martinez-Durant, Education and Outreach Manager from SHAC, said. 

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OPINION: What’s a New Year’s resolution without resolve?

For most people, the new year brings a fresh chance to start over with a clean slate and implement changes into one’s life. However, each year, New Year’s resolutions create the opposite of resolve. Instead, they serve only as another thing to do in a world full of short-lived trends. I don’t have a problem with the idea behind resolutions. In fact, I like the idea of having a long-term goal for the year — it seems to me as if they can only provide benefits. However, as we often see, that’s not quite the case.

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UNM grad Tayler Suazo moves from mortar boards to med school

One of the first things you might notice about upcoming University of New Mexico graduate Tayler Suazo is her loyalty to place and to family. Graduating this fall with a Clauve Outstanding Senior Award and a bachelor’s of science in biology with a double minor in chemistry, and health medicine and human values, one might expect frequent and numerous parties and celebrations to be in order. Suazo, at the time of her interview with the Daily Lobo, however, is back with family in her hometown of Abiquiu: a small town in northern New Mexico. It was here that Suazo first realized she wanted to be a doctor — and she knew she wanted to stay in New Mexico to do it.


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