Fronteras Micro-film Festival

Border-themed film festival and immersive exhibition

Since 2020, Dust Wave has produced award-winning, no-budget short films. Throughout our creative journey, we've observed that short films are often neglected by film festivals. Shorts are typically screened in two-hour blocks, trapping viewers and forcing a “reset” every few minutes. This format limits audience engagement and reduces festival value for filmmakers.

The first goal of the Fronteras Micro-Film Festival is to re-imagine the short film festival. We aim to give filmmakers and audiences an experience that emerges from, and supports, short film. To do so, we are creating (1) a unified context for the films with a strong theme, and (2) we are supporting a decentralized, viewer-driven, immersive viewing experience.

The second goal is to provoke public conversation about borders. Dust Wave will solicit thirty second to three minute-long films, from local and international filmmakers, that address themes of borders, enforcement, and crossings. We will select twenty-five films for festival screening.

Borders structure life for billions of people globally. Borders are also relevant to Dust Wave's members. We are a majority Latinx group, comprised of immigrants and non-immigrants who live near the U.S.-Mexico border. As such, we see around us the rising tide of nationalism and xenophobia. In shooting a recent project, a documentary on the International Dark Sky Reserve along the border, we were moved by the capaciousness of the natural world -- the boundless sky and desert. This ecosystem presents one vantage point that reveals national borders as recent, artificial, and intrusive artifacts.


Fronteras features a series of interactive installations that speak to the border's artificiality and dire consequences upon human life and the natural world. Some installations invoke unwanted stops in a migrant's journey, including border walls, detention centers and trailer transport. Others conjure state surveillance apparatuses of cameras and guard posts. Still others engage the beauty and awe of the remaining untouched natural landscapes of the Mexico-U.S. border.

In 2023, Dust Wave selected films for festival screening based upon eligibility, creativity, and thematic engagement, with special consideration for non-English films. Selected films were projected onto or screened within relevant installations.

Our festival serves two audiences: (1) emergent short filmmakers not supported on the festival circuit, and (2) the diverse public our festival will attract, through its attention to migrant and non-English speaking filmmakers, and through planned outreach to communities not traditionally served by the Albuquerque arts scene.


June 2-4, 2023 -- Fusion, Albuquerque, New Mexico

June 16-18, 2023 -- Currents New Media, Santa Fe, New Mexico

TBD 2024 -- MOOD, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Behind the Scenes

the space between home the hands that hold us untitled undocumented by boat
a ghost truck tower of cower volumen de voz


Red Pillow
High Times at the Ranger Bowl-a-Rama