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Las Cruces film director, teacher thrilled with best actor Oscar winner


Brendan Fraser’s win for best actor at the 95th Academy Awards last Sunday night was especially sweet for Las Cruces film teacher, director, actor and screenwriter Ross Marks.

Marks, a film professor at New Mexico State University’s Creative Media Institute, directed Fraser, then 28, in “Twilight of the Golds,” which premiered on Showtime in March 1997.  Marks also welcomed Fraser to the 2017 Las Cruces International Film Festival. On March 12, Fraser won the best actor Oscar for his performance in “The Whale.”

“I am thrilled for Brendan,” Marks said the morning after the Oscars. “He has worked so hard to get to this point. He has always taken the road less traveled, turning down more high profile, lucrative roles for parts that were more interesting and challenging. Like the role he took in my film ‘The Twilight Of The Golds,’ an extremely controversial film at the time. He helped get that picture made.

“In 2017, when he was in Las Cruces to receive the LCIFF Outstanding Achievement in Entertainment award, he remarked how proud he was of our work together on ‘The Twilight Of the Golds,’” Marks said.” He called me a week after the festival to tell me how meaningful his time was in Las Cruces and at the festival, that it was a much-needed reminder for him that his work was tremendously valued.

“Of course, every time I watch the Oscars and it comes to the best adapted screenplay category, or any writing category, I am reminded of Mark (Medoff) and how fortunate we all were to have him in our lives,” Marks said. “He made us better people, better artists. Las Cruces was extremely blessed to have an Academy Award nominee (and Tony Award winner) call it home for 52 years. I was even more blessed to have him as a mentor, partner and father-in-law for over 30 years.

“I am also so fortunate to now say I have worked with two Academy Award winners and three Academy Award nominees,” Marks said.