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One Albuquerque Media Documentary Love in the Valley Gets Official Selection into Santa Fe Independent Film Festival

Film documenting artist Lonnie Anderson's inspirational acts of creativity on Valentine's Day turns into a complex narrative about transformative change.

September 24, 2021 - For more than 25 years, indigenous Albuquerque artist Lonnie Anderson has been performing inspirational acts of art and creativity on Valentine's Day for his wife, Anne. Anderson, affectionately dubbed “The King of Valentine’s Day” by news outlets, showcased some of his creations during LOVE: Valentine Art, an exhibition at the South Broadway Cultural Center earlier this year.

Love in the Valley, a documentary produced by the City's One Albuquerque Media to accompany the opening of Anderson's exhibition, has been officially selected into the 2021 Santa Fe Independent Film Festival taking place October 13-17. One Albuquerque Media and filmmaker Kel Cruz initially planned to create a short profile video on Anderson featuring the opening of LOVE: Valentine Art, but what began as a simple story blossomed into a complex narrative about trauma, healing, breaking stereotypes, and transformative change for Anderson and the South Valley.

Abandoned at a Wyoming orphanage as a child, Anderson found his way back to New Mexico. The South Valley of Albuquerque, an area with a reputation for violent crime, has been the backdrop for most of Anderson's art. The South Valley of Albuquerque has a misunderstood reputation for being violent and a place to avoid. In many ways, the South Valley embodies a culture of abandonment that is not only internalized by its inhabitants but embraced. It's something that bonds them together, because like Anderson, they understand that they are more than just the caricature that people make them out to be.

Love in the Valley is a story about transcending stereotypes through the power of love. The film has resonated with viewers, one of whom is the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival (SFiFF). Anderson and the team behind Love in the Valley will attend in-person screenings for SFiFF and look to continue to create opportunities for community discussions and community projects. In addition the team will continue on the film festival circuit, and was recently selected for the Red Nation International Film Fest.