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Western cultures featured in local woman’s second film project

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Some of the leads of the “Cowgirls and Indians” movie by local screenwriter Kate Davis take a break from Friday’s shooting in Roswell to get a photo with Native American ceremonial dancer James Lay of Roswell, who appears in one of the scenes. From left are Avu Dahl of Albuquerque (playing Danette), Charlene Upton of Monument (Callie), Bonifacio Gurule of Corrales (The Elder) and Victoria Moya of Los Lunas (Sista). (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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A movie is being shot largely in Roswell, a project of local screenwriter Kate Davis.

“Cowgirls and Indians,” expected to be released sometime this year, tells the story of Callie, a woman in her 50s who re-examines her life after attending the funeral of a Native American man with whom she used to be involved.

As it turns out, Callie didn’t know everything there was to know about the man, but her visit to the reservation where he lived and her connection with his family and friends launches some new adventures for her.

Davis calls her screenplay a “highly fictionalized” version of her own experiences attending a funeral among Native American peoples.

Shooting on the project began in early December and is occurring in Ruidoso and Roswell.

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This week, some actors from across New Mexico gathered at the Salvation Army office on West College Boulevard to shoot part of the funeral scene, which included a ceremonial dance performed by James Lay, a Roswell resident and a member of the Cherokee Nation.

Davis, who heads up Two Dogs and a Pickup Productions, also wrote “Ride ‘Til You Die,” which can be seen on YouTube. She has worked with Relicwood Media of Roswell on the projects.

“Ride ‘Til You Die,” about a man who inherits a Harley Davidson that gets stolen, featured actress Charlene Upton, who also plays the lead character of Callie in “Cowgirls and Indians.”

Upton works in Hobbs and lives in Monument and said she has worked on several New Mexico-produced film and TV projects.

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