Returning for a fourth exciting year, Other Worlds Austin, one of the premier SciFi Film Festivals in the US, features some of the best and unheralded genre films. Beginning on Thursday December 7 at Flix Brewhouse, the four day event includes 16 full length films, a slew of shorts, and a screenwriting workshop. Not terribly surprising to anyone who regularly follows my writings, I’ll be at the event.
Here’s what to expect at Other Worlds Austin 2017
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9
10 AM – 11:30 AM FILM TALKS: PHILIP EISNER TALKS EVENT HORIZON
BLACK HOLE TO HELL: THE USE, REUSE AND ABUSE OF ARCHETYPES IN SCIFI AND HORROR (AND SCIFI HORROR)
Location: Austin School of Film at Motion Media Arts Center
Address: 2200 Tillery Street – Austin, Texas 78723
(Open to the public, but please RSVP as a courtesy)
Can the familiar still frighten you? How do movies marvel us with visions of a future inspired more often than not, by other movies we’ve seen? Join acclaimed screenwriter Philip Eisner (EVENT HORIZON) as he breaks down some well-travelled cinematic set pieces (haunted houses, mystical swords, blood-thirsty monsters) across the genres to show how writers build off memory to construct their own mythology. Featuring clips from a variety of films, this workshop is perfect for genre filmmakers and fans alike. Remember, where we’re going, we won’t need eyes to see.
12:10PM UNDER WORLD SHORTS
Adrian Selkowitz | USA | 13min
Writer: Lauren Kincheloe
Claire, a beautiful and calculating trophy wife, has convinced her husband to invite an influential Hollywood power couple to dinner, believing that preparing an elaborate meal for them might result in her starring in her own cooking show. Things begin to go awry when the arriving guests step over a woman’s naked body in the driveway.
Phil Bucci | USA | 2min
After blacking out, Paul wakes to find his world changed forever. (Alumi: Special Forces‘16)
Greg Emetaz | USA | 8min
Claire purchases an antique educational toy that reignites fond memories from childhood and lays bare the sorry state her life is now in.
Kris Theorin | USA | 3min
Sinister secrets await as Mary helps her girlfriend Marsha escape from her parent’s gothic mansion one dark and eldritch night, a Lovecraftian escapade through the Manor of Madness.
Mikhael Bassilli | USA | 7min
A man mysteriously finds himself in a room with a couple dead guys, a gun, some money, and a dubious gentleman observing from the shadows.
Jean-Claude Leblanc | Canada | 9min
When J.-F. is inexplicably drawn to the chair in which a man committed suicide, style isn’t the only thing the leather antique brings to his home.
The Summers Brothers | USA | 4min
A couples night goes off the rails when one couple reveals they’re blood sacrificing devil worshippers. And then things get weird…(Alumni: The Bench ’16)
Andrew Hamer | USA | 10min
In this adaptation of the George G. Toudouze classic short story, an American lighthouse crew become unnerved when a ship ignores their light, running aground on the reefs. They soon discover that something is on board the ship, and it’s not human.
Rosita Lama Muvdi | USA | 24min
In this psychosexual fairy tale set in a small fishing village, after Hector threatens to end his affair with Mia, she discovers a mysterious woman, Mara, washed up on shore, naked and with a hook lodged into her ribcage.
Nicholas Santos | USA | 4min
In the final act of a slasher film, Bruce attempts to reclaim his manliness and impress the final girl by finishing off the killer.
12:25PM CLOSER THAN WE THINK (WORLD PREMIERE)
Brett Ryan Bonowicz | USA | 85min
Cast: Syd Mead, Aubrey de Grey, and Matt Novak
From 1958 to 1963, a Sunday comic strip predicted the future. Arthur Radebaugh’s Closer Than We Think represents mid-century futurism at its most daring and optimistic. From Robot Driving to Space Monkey Colonies, Radebaugh’s visions of the future heavily influenced The Jetsons and many of his predictions have come true in the decades since the strip first ran in newspapers. Featuring interviews with designers Syd Mead (Tron, Blade Runner), and Rick Guidice (NASA), futurists like Kirk Citron (Editor of The Long News), scientists like Aubrey de Grey (SENS Research Foundation) and historians of mid-century futurism, this documentary tells the story of Arthur’s life and explores what it means to predict the future. A love letter to the mysterious illustrator from those of us living in his future. (Alumni: The Perfect 46 ’14)
2:45PM SCIFI SHORTS – ALL THAT CAN BE KNOWN
Elan Dassani & Rajeev Dassani | USA | 21min
When Yusef discovers his beloved wife Ayana is a Sleeper, a living android bomb left over from a past war, he has only one choice: flee with her to the border of the Machine homeland in the desert, and pray they can make it before time runs out.
Natalie Jenison | TEXAS | 15min
Alan’s new job as a member of a security scan team is to do nothing but attend the mysteriously non-functioning scanner under the watchful eye of a paranoid boss until he fixes the machine and unwittingly opens a portal into the unknown.
Gleb Osantinski | USA | 16min
Writers: Gleb Osatinski, Danielle Ellen
When well-meaning parents turn the self-tracking into a family religion, the consequences fall outside the quantifiable. (Alumni: House at the Edge of the Galaxy ’14)
Olga Osorio | Spain | 9min
Summer of 1982. Teo claims he has found a wormhole. His brother Óscar does not believe him… at least not for now.
Dan Horrigan | UK | 6min
After the evacuation it’s possible to go months without seeing another human being. So we turned to Pleasure Core ltd to keep us human – and being human has some dark surprises. (Alumni: Populace ’16)
Miguel Ortega | USA | 27min
Writers: Miguel Ortega, Tran Ma, Gregory Collins
Professor Marlowe finds a piece of a map pointing to the place where the Ningyo, a mythical Japanese creature, could be found. He decides to risk everything and go after the Ningyo on his own in hopes to bring to light what could be one of the greatest contributions to science. What he could not anticipate is that, in his search, he is confronted with a choice that puts the very foundations of his morality to the test.
3:00PM PAINLESS (TEXAS PREMIERE)
Jordan Horowitz | USA | 91min
Writer: Jordan Horowitz
Cast: Joey Klein, Evelina Marie, Kip Gilman, Pascal Yen-Pfister
Born with a rare condition that leaves him alienated and unable to feel physical pain, Henry Long becomes obsessed with finding a cure. A need for normalcy leads him down a dark path where he must decide if finding a cure is worth paying the ultimate price.
Painless screens with:
Tracy Mathewson | UK | 11min
A scientist’s secret research is threatened when a neighbour reports his suspicious behaviour to the ruthless investigator tasked with finding and eliminating extremists like himself.
5:30PM DEFECTIVE (US PREMIERE)
Reese Eveneshen | Canada | 102min
Writer: Reese Eveneshen
Cast: Ashley Armstrong, Colin Paradine, Dennis Andres, Jamie Elizabeth Sampson, Raven Cousens
In the near future, Rhett Murphy and his estranged sister Jean are forced to flee from a militant police state after witnessing the dark secrets of a nefarious corporation. With a robotic police force and their killer drones commissioned to capture or terminate them, the siblings search for shelter and a way to take down the repressive regime that rules their lives.
5:40PM TUFTLAND(KYRSYÄ) (NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE)
Roope Olenius | Finland | 89min
Writers: Roope Olenius
Cast: Veera W. Vilo, Saara Elina, Neea Viitamäki, Miikka J. Anttila.
A headstrong textile student tries to overcome her problems by accepting a summer job offer from an isolated and offbeat village of Kyrsyä. Once there, she finds her host family’s bucolic existence hides a dark undercurrent of female repression and cult-like conformity.
(In Finnish with English subtitles)
8:20PM GNAW (TEXAS PREMIERE)
Haylar Garcia | USA | 98min
Writers: Jim Brennan, Haylar Garcia, and Kathryn Gould.
Cast: Penelope Mitchell, Kyle Gass, Chris Johnson Sally Kirkland.
Jennifer Conrad is a small-town girl starting over in the big city. Fleeing an abusive relationship, all she wants is a chance to begin again. But it is hard to start over when something is eating you while you sleep … one painful bite at a time.
8:25PM MINDHACK (NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE)
Royce Gorsuch | USA |101min
Writer: Royce Gorsuch
Cast: Chris Mason, Spencer Locke, and Faran Tahir.
Mason, a young mad genius attempts to ‘hack the human mind’ in order to fix humanity. Mason believes that if we can reset the brain then we will move away from wars and hate, and can instead exist in harmony. During the course of his experiments Mason accidentally gives physical form to his inner voice, Finn, and the pair must work together to stop the opposing forces attempting to coopt the same technology for evil.
11:00PM PURPLE FURY (WORLD PREMIERE)
Classified | USA | 120min
Writer: George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nico Lathouris, Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord, Ian Paice, Prince, Robert DeLeo, Dean DeLeo, and Scott Weiland
Cast: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult
This road warrior gets captured, but it’s not really about him, it’s about this bad ass woman, who liberates all these other women and drives them across the desert in cinema’s longest car chase. One of the most talked about SciFi films of the decade is stripped of sound, given a purple tint, and synced up to Deep Purple’s Machine Head album, Prince’s Purple Rain and Stone Temple Pilot’s Purpe album. Roger Waters claimed Dark Side of the Moon was recorded without once thinking of Wizard of Oz, and were pretty sure no one ever intended this pairing either. Badges only, no individual tickets will be sold.