Weekenders Media announced Monday that the documentary about UFO researcher Norio Hayakawa titled “The Conspiratologist” will premiere at the 2022 Santa Fe International Film Festival later this month.
“The film has been accepted to the festival under the New Mexico Documentary Shorts Program and will screen at the CCA Cinema on Sunday, October 23rd at 5:00 p.m., local time,” Weekender Media filmmaker Justin Jones wrote in an email.
The film dives into the life and work of Hayakawa, a Japanese American conspiracy researcher living in Albuquerque. “For decades Norio has studied UFOs, Area 51, and the impact conspiracy theories have on American culture. The film also explores Norio’s passion for country western and his signature ‘Cosmic Wave’ music,” Jones says.
Portions of the documentary were filmed at the North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center and Hayakawa’s home in the Northeast Heights. During an August interview, Hayakawa said the documentary “is like a confession how in the 1990s we planted the seeds for today’s conspiracy culture” and that UFO researchers are partially responsible for the creation of QAnon and other far-fetched conspiracies. “It’s like a cancer. It’s dividing our nation,” Hayakawa said.
According to the Santa Fe Film Festival website, the winner of the Best New Mexico Short films will receive a $500 cash prize and a special artisan made SFiFF Statue Award. Other New Mexico Documentary Short films premiering at the festival include “Our Quiyo: Maria Martinez” directed by Charine Gonzales, “Cara Romero: Following the Light” directed by Kaela Waldstein and “In Search of Nampeyo” directed by Tom Radford.
Awards will also be given for Best Documentary Short, Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Feature and Best Narrative Feature. An all-access pass to the 14th annual festival cost $325 and includes admission to all films, performances, panels, receptions and after parties, excluding the filmmakers brunch. The festival runs Oct. 19-23.
To purchase tickets, view a full schedule of events and to see what other films will be featured at the festival, visit santafe.film. To watch “The Conspiratologist” trailer, visit vimeo.com/741995950.