Thursday, December 1st
7:42 pm retro gala: battle beyond the stars
Defender of the universe awardee: sybil danning
Jimmy T. Murakami | USA | 105 min
Writers: John Sayles
Cast: Richard Thomas, Robert Vaughn, John Saxon, George Peppard & Sybil Danning
A young farmer (Richard Thomas) sets out to recruit mercenaries to defend his peaceful planet, which is under threat of invasion by the evil tyrant Sador (John Saxon) and his armada of aggressors. Among the mercenaries are a Space Cowboy (George Peppard), a spacegoing truck driver from Earth (Morgan Woodward); Gelt, a wealthy but experienced assassin looking for a place to hide (Robert Vaughn); and Saint-Exmin, a Valkyrie warrior looking to prove herself in battle (Sybil Danning). The film was legendarily pitched as ‘Magnificent Seven in Space.' Produced by Roger Corman in the wake of the Star Wars cash-grab phenomena, the film also features one of the first scores from James Horner, and the below the line talents of Gale Ann Hurd and James Cameron.
Defender of the Universe, Sybil Danning -- In addition to BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS, Austrian-born actress and model Sybil Danning starred in a number of classic ‘B movies’ such as HERCULES, HOWLING II, JUNGLE WARRIORS, MALIBU EXPRESS, CHAINED HEAT, REFORM GIRLS SCHOOL, and AMAZON WOMEN ON THE MOON. She appeared on television in SIMON & SIMON, THE FALL GUY and V (The TV Series). More recently she appeared in Tarantino’s GRINDHOUSE, as one of the werewolf women of the SS, and Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN.
Friday, December 2nd
7:00 PM Opening film: OMG, I'm a robot?!
Technology with Unacknowledged Consequences
Tal Goldberg, Gal Zelezniak | Israel | 75 min
Writers: Tal Goldberg, Gal Zelezniak
Cast: Yotam Ishay, Hili Yalon, Tzahi Grad & Rob Schneider
Danny’s girlfriend Noa leaves him because he is “not manly enough.” Sad and lonely, he slits his wrists only to discover he is not a man at all, he is a robot - an indestructible war machine. Moreover, his girlfriend did not leave him - she was kidnapped by a mysterious organization searching for war machine like Danny. With the help of Goldschmidt, his overly macho boss, and Robo-Joseph, a small Jewish R2D2-like robot with a lot of "hutzpah," he goes out on a journey to save his girl and also figure out why exactly is he a robot?! Living in a country full of conflict, the directors of the film play at pure escapism, but end up making a film that is stealthily deep. With war and death a daily commodity, how does one live as a pacifist? And can one remain true to themselves when they find out they don’t even know they are? OMG, I’M A ROBOT?! is a film about remaking yourself, or rather reprogramming yourself, to face the expectations of another person.
Tal Goldberg has enjoyed a long career as a scriptwriter for international TV stations, YouTube channels and videogames. Gal Zelezniak created the Offscreen web series. OMG, I'M A ROBOT?! is the feature debut for both of them.
OMG I’m A Robot?! screens with:
Jody Wilson | Canada | 22 min
Writer: Jody Wilson
After years of waiting, Takumi and his toy robot companion receive a message that they will be returning to their home planet. Suddenly he's faced with a choice: follow his cosmic destiny or pursue his dream girl here on earth.
9:40 PM The Axe Murders of Villisca (Texas Premiere)
Tony E. Valenzuela | USA | 78 min
Writer: Owen Egerton
Cast: Robert Adamson, Jarrett Sleeper, Alex Frnka, & Jon Gries
Three outcasts break into the house where a husband and wife, their four children, and two guests were executed. Exploring the museum-like site after hours, they find the evil that came to visit the Moores in Villisca, IA 104 years ago may still cling to the walls inside. Based on a real unsolved murder.
The Axe Murders of Villisca screens with:
Catch (US Premiere)
Paul Cooke, Dom Rees-Roberts | UK | 16 min
Writers: Paul Cooke, Dom Rees-Roberts
A father tries to protect his daughter when she falls sick with an illness that has no cure.
10:10 pm SciFI SHORTS 1 - how to recognize a monster
The Call of Charlie (Texas Premiere)
Nick Spooner | USA | 14 min
Writers: Guy Benoit, John Simpson, & Nick Spooner
A trendy Los Angeles couple sets up a blind date for a friend … with an Ancient Evil Deity From Beneath The Sea.
Circles (US Premiere)
Dean Puckett | UK | 15 min
Writer: Dean Puckett
A pair of paranormal investigators may hold the key to the truth behind a string of crop circles outside their small town of Totnes, Devon.
Bears Discover Fire (Texas Premiere)
Ben Leonburg | USA | 14 min
Writer: Ben Leonburg, Alex Cannon & Scott Riehs
An uncle-nephew camping trip becomes a journey of wonder when they come upon a family of bears that have discovered how to use fire.
Monsters (Texas Premiere)
Steve Desmond | USA | 12 min
Writers: Steve Desmond, Michael Sherman
Jenn lives in an underground bunker, protected from the monsters that daily ravage the world. Today she goes outside.
Saturday, December 3rd
11:30 AM under worlds shorts
Blight (US Premiere)
Briane Deane | Ireland | 15 min
Writer: Matthew Roche
A young priest travels to an isolated island community to face a dark supernatural force that has consumed a young woman.
Girl #2 (Texas Premiere)
David Jeffery | USA | 9 min
Writer: Kari Wahlgren
Even with a deranged killer running rampant inside the house, the girls still vie for leadership in the sorority.
Quenottes [Pearlies] (Texas Premiere)
Pascal Thiebaux, Gil Pinheiro | France/Luxembourg | 13 min
Writer: Pascal Thiebaux
In many cultures, the tooth fairy that brings you a coin in exchange for the tooth under your pillow is a benevolent little mouse. But what if the teeth he collects are dental trophies, to be guarded at all costs?
Whit Spurgeon | USA | 4 min
Writer: Stephen Newman
In the middle of the night, things should be quiet. Sometimes things go thump.
Prano Bailey-Bond | UK | 15 min
Writer: Anthony Fletcher
Exploring the mysterious disappearance of his father, twelve-year old Doug is drawn into the lurid world of VHS horror ‘nasties,’ in Margaret Thatcher era UK.
Yo No He Sido (It Wasn’t Me) (Texas Premiere)
Ángel Ripalda | Spain | 12 min
Writer: Santiago Manuel Taboada
Troubled at school, ten-year-old David complains he is not the one to be blamed for his mischief. His father hires a specialist to discover the truth.
John the Carpenter
Matt Braunsdorf | USA | 19 min
Writer: Matt Braunsdorf
After a car accident throws his sister Anna into conflict with a terrifying monster, John constructs a trap to revenge his sister’s sacrifice.
Allhallowtide (Texas Premiere)
Tia Salisbury | UK | 9 min
Writers: Tia Salisbury
Dan has no time for housemate Molly today, which is just one more annoyance added to her being mute and dead for 180 years.
11:45 AM Battledream Chronicle (Texas Premiere)
Alain Bidard | Martinique | 108 min
Writer: Alain Bidard
Cast: Jacques Olivier Ensfelder, Yna Boulangé, & Steffy Glissant
After the empire of Mortemonde reduces the populations of almost all the nations of the Earth to slavery, they force each slave to collect 1000XP every month in Battledream, a video game where they can die for real. Only the successful are granted the right to live until the next month. But Syanna, a young slave from Martinique, the last free nation on the planet, refuses to keep living under these condition.
Battledream Chronicle screens with:
Making Friends (Texas Premiere)
Kyle C. Mumford | USA | 7 min
Writer: Kyle C. Mumford
A lonely old man needing a challenger in a game of chess, builds himself a robotic friend.
2:15 PM blood hunters (Texas Premiere)
Technology with Unexpected Consequences
Tricia Lee | Canada | 90 min
Writer: Corey Brown
Cast: Lara Gilchrist, Benjamin Arthur, Torri Higginson, & Julian Richings
A single mother wakes up in a medical facility, mysteriously nine months pregnant, and finding everyone dead. As she struggles to escape she discovers the facility's secret, the government has tampered with boundaries no mortal should cross. When they return, they are not alone.
2:45 PM ghost rockets (Texas premiere)
Michael Cavanagh & Kerstin Übelacker | Sweden | 70 min
For years UFO-Sweden has attempted to solve a mystery that has baffled even the government, the Ghost Rockets. In 1946, over 2000 sightings were reported of missile shaped unidentified flying objects over Sweden and neighboring countries. Searching for proof, these life-long hobbyists commiserate and grow old together, bravely facing their continual failure by doubling down their efforts.
4:50 PM dark star (1974)
John Carpenter | USA | 83 min
Writers: John Carpenter
& Dan O’Bannon
Cast: Dan O’Bannon, Dre Pahich,
& Brian Narelle
On a 20-year mission destroying planets to clear a path for navigation routes, the crew of the Dark Star struggles to persuade a self-aware bomb it is time to detonate. Even the dead captain, stored in deep freeze, has little to offer in the way of advice. Possibly the first ever stoner space comedy, DARK STAR is presented in restored HD with the original space surfer (and inventor of the San Diego Chicken), Brian Narelle, the late O’Bannon’s wife Diane O’Bannon and Matt Lohr, co-author of Dan O’Bannon’s Guide to Screenplay Structure.
Dark Star screens with:
Special Forces (Texas Premiere)
Phil Bucci | USA | 10 min
Writers: Phil Bucci & Marcus Perry
A detective finds himself saddled with two not so super-powered superhero cops to save the city from a villain's sinister plot.
5:10 pm The Tribe (Texas Premiere)
Roxy Shih | USA | 92 min
Writer: Ian Paxton
Cast: Anne Winters, Jessica Rothe, & Michael Nardelli
An isolated family of three young sisters live out their days in a well-stocked ranch after a pandemic has consumed most of the known world. With the youngest suffering from the first stage of illness, a passing stranger offers more than just the outside world, he offers a new outlook on life.
The Tribe screens with:
The Bench (Texas Premiere)
Summers Brothers | USA | 6 min
Writers: Summers Brothers
A random encounter on a park bench reminds that there is more than meets the eye to every eye to meet.
7:40 PM uWA Centerpiece: we go on (Texas Premiere)
Jesse Holland & Andy Mitton
| USA | 90 min
Writers: Jesse Holland & Andy Mitton
Cast: Clark Freeman, Annette O’Toole, John Glover & Jay Dunn
Miles Grisson lives in fear. His trepidation prevents him from even driving a car. But armed with a large sum of money, he decides to overcome his terror, not by facing it, but by offering a reward to anyone who can prove that after we die … we go on. When Grissom narrows down his leads to the three least crazy sounding -- a scientist, a medium, and a world traveler with a ‘magic box’ -- he teams up with the unlikeliest of partners for his search, his mom. When Miles finally makes contact with a dead airline mechanic desperate to reconnect with the love of his life (who is still alive), the film treats us one of the most complete portraits of a ghost since Demi Moore spun her potter’s wheel. In WE GO ON, nothing is as simple as dead and alive, haunted and exorcised, and good and bad, which makes for one of the most thought-provoking films about the afterlife in recent years.
Jesse Holland and Andy Mitton’s thriller YELLOWBRICKROAD premiered at the Slamdance International Film Festival in 2010. In 2013, they contributed a segment to the horror anthology film CHILLING VISIONS: 5 SENSES OF FEAR, which premiered on Chiller TV. Mitton is a sound designer, musician, and composer, most recently writing music and lyrics for THE GIFT OF NOTHING, commissioned and produced by the Kennedy Center. Holland is a motion graphics and visual effects artist. He created all the graphics for the Jim Henson-produced show GOOD MORNING TODAY and designed international branding for such films as ARBITRAGE, and ROBOT & FRANK.
7:50 PM OWA Centerpiece: Virtual RevolutioN
Guy-Roger Duvert | France | 92 min
Writer: Guy-Roger Duvert
Cast: Mike Dopud, Jane Badler, & Jochen Hägele
Paris 2047: Half of the population is now permanently online, living their lives in a variety of game worlds, and leaving the reality behind. Private Investigator/Assassin-for-hire Nash finds himself employed by one of the corporations that build these virtual worlds to track down a group of terrorists who are killing the players (for real) from inside the game. When he infiltrates the terror cell, he finds that the lines between innocent and guilty are far blurrier and maybe the entire ‘game’ is rigged against the human population. Cut from the same DNA as BLADE RUNNER, Duvert’s film explodes with ideas, mostly about how we lose ourselves in our devices. The terrorists in VIRTUAL REVOLUTION are like most radicals, convinced of their own nobility and willing to do whatever they find necessary to achieve their ends. The corporations should also be recognizable as the pursuit of profit has always curbed the law somewhat, if only the moral one. Revolution is never simple.
Guy-Roger Duvert has been working as a successful film composer in Hollywood for several years, scoring several feature films and blockbusters trailers (TRANSFORMERS 3, GREEN LANTERN, PROMETHEUS). His fantasy short CASSANDRA played 82 festivals and garnered 47 awards.
10:15 PM Somnio (Texas Premiere)
Travis Milloy | USA | 103 min
Writer: Travis Milloy
Cast: Christopher Soren Kelly, Cassandra Clark & Jesse D. Arrow
A man trapped in an automated prison must outsmart his captors to find a way back to a world that may already be gone. Kept alive by a computerized jailer, his only means of psychological escape is to an imaginary coffee shop where he falls for a barista who may be imprisoned in the same loop or may not be real at all.
10:30 PM Bed of the dead (Texas Premiere)
Jeff Maher | Canada | 85 min
Writer: Jeff Maher &
Cast: Colin Price, Alyssa King, Gwen Cumyn, & Dennis Andres
Four twentysomethings find themselves stuck on a haunted antique bed where leaving means suffering a gruesome demise. Plagued with frightening hallucinations, they must figure out the bed’s secrets before they are ultimately picked off one by one. The next day, a detective tries to unravel their deaths, but a phone call from one of the victims from the night before makes him think he can prevent it all.
Bed of the Dead screens with:
Girl Ghost Getters
Sarah Adams, Maggie Rieth Austin | USA | 6 min
Writers: Sarah Adams, Maggie Rieth Austin
Maggie and Sarah host a supernatural encounters vlog, but their need to film the perfect show blurs their perception between the paranormal and… well, normal.
Sunday, December 4th
12:20 PM Scifi SHORTS 2 - Tomorrow's Hearts
Stripes (Texas Premiere)
Tibo Pinsard | France | 4 min
Writer: Tibo Pinsard
Another first date gets hijacked by two people unable to get past their own masks.
Memoir (Texas Premiere)
Alexander Jeffery | USA | 17 min
Writer: Paul Petersen
Dr. Theodore Maine is on the cusp of losing his job at Janus Labs where he is developing research for Alzheimer's treatment, until a mysterious child arrives to change his future forever.
RAE (Texas Premiere)
Aaron Rovner | USA | 13 min
Writer: Aaron Rovner
When an office robot gives a co-worker a friendly gift, the fragile balance between the employees in the office is pushed to a tipping point.
Una Mujer Sin Precio 1961 [A Priceless Woman]
Juan F. Moctezuma II | Mexico | 15 min
Writer: Juan F. Moctezuma II
When a perfectionist scientist loses his wife to a car accident, he builds a robotic version to replace her, in this newly restored classic from the missing genre trailblazer, presented by documentarian Alaric Rocha.