The future lies just outside our front door at the inaugural Other Worlds Austin, Austin’s first festival dedicated to science fiction filmmaking. Less than six months after its founding, Other Worlds Austin proudly announces its line-up for the December 4-6th festival, including the World Premiere of thriller APT 3D, and the US Premiere of The Reconstruction of William Zero starring Amy Seimetz. In total, the festival will include seven features, three programs of shorts, and a world premiere mini-feature, The Sun Devil and The Princess, a samurai story set in an alternate reality of myth and magic by Student-Academy-Award Winner Steven Ayromlooi.
“Our programming team was overwhelmed with the quality of the submissions we received, especially for a first-year festival,” says Founder and Director of Programming Bears Fonté. The Reconstruction of William Zero, which premiered at Montreal’s Fantasia Fest in July, follows a genetic engineer who, after the tragic loss of his son, decides to clone himself to create a better version of himself, one without the guilt and pain. The film, directed by Dan Bush, was written by Bush and Conal Byrne, who stars in the film with Amy Seimetz and Melissa McBride from The Walking Dead. This beautiful and sometimes heart-wrenching SciFi drama will be OWA’s Closing Night Film.
Making its World Premiere at Other Worlds Austin, APT 3D tracks the paranoia of a young couple that move into an apartment only to be assaulted by an array of strange noises and suspicious activity. Written and Directed by Zack Imbrogno, the film features Imbrogno, Maxxe Sternbaum, and Jordan Lewis, who produced SXSW triumph THE HEART MACHINE. Actress/producer Sternbaum is from Harris County, TX. Also making its US Premiere at the festival is Aura, a teen thriller from Hungary about a group of misfits who wake up in a car in an empty field, surrounded by a mysterious bubble that reacts to their touch. Director Zsolt Bernáth follows up his teen mystery In the Name of Sherlock Holmes with another head-scratcher that finds our hope rests in the hearts of the young.
For something a little different, Other Worlds Austin will also deliver the world premiere of a new cut of BACKYARD BLOCKBUSTERS, a documentary about fan films like Batman: Dead End, Ryan Vs. Dorkman, The Hunt for Gollum, and the ‘Cops’-style Stormtrooper film, Troops. One of the films discussed, Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation, is a shot for shot remake of the 1981 film done a group of 12 year olds over seven summers. The film was rediscovered by when Eli Roth gave a copy to Harry Knowles (interviewed in the film) to play at Butt-Numb-a-Thon. Finally, Fantasia-fest hit BLOODY KNUCKLES offers OWA audiences a splatter-com, the Texas Premiere of an irreverent tale of a zombie hand, the comic book artist it was cut from, and an avenging S&M homosexual superhero. “We’ve tried to put together a line-up that touches on everything SciFi can be,” says Fonté, “our films are thought provoking, tension-filled, rebel rousing, and stupidly hilarious, sometimes all at the same time.”
The shorts programs will feature 25+ films covering all varieties of SciFi: thrillers, action, horror, and animation. Included in the shorts are two films by Austin filmmakers, Blackout by Andrew Olson, and One Last Question by Sean Corbin. “A few of these shorts I had to turn down last year at AFF so I was excited to give them another chance,” says Fonté. These films join the previously announced Opening Night Film, The Well, and Centerpiece Film, Time Lapse. Screenings will take place December 4-6th at the Galaxy Highland. Wristbands are only $45 and give the wristband holder a guaranteed seat to all 11 screenings, as well as access to 2014: A Bruch Odyssey at the Goodnight, presented by Cox Smith, an exclusive festival party Saturday morning. “This is everything I thought our festival could be,” says Fonté. “I’m excited to share these films with Austin, the so-called geek capital of the world.”
2014 Other Worlds Austin Program:
Opening Night Film:
THE WELL (Texas Premiere)
Director: Tom Hammock
Writers: Jacob Forman and Tom Hammock
Cast: Haley Lu Richardson, Booboo Stewart, Max Charles, Nicole Fox, Michael Welch, and Jon Gries
Synopsis: It’s been a decade since the last rainfall, and society at large has dried up and blown away. When a greedy water baron lays claim to what little of the precious resource remains underground, seventeen-year-old Kendal must decide whether to run and hide or bravely fight for the few cherished people and things she has left.
TIME LAPSE (Texas Premiere)
Director: Bradley King
Writers: BP Cooper and Bradley King
Cast: Danielle Panabaker, Matt O'Leary, George Finn, Amin Joseph, Jason Spisak
Synopsis: A modern thriller with a SciFi element about three friends who discover a machine that takes pictures 24hrs into the future. They conspire to use it for personal gain, until disturbing and dangerous images begin to develop.
Closing Night Film:
The Reconstruction of William Zero (US Premiere)
Director: Dan Bush
Writers: Dan Bush and Conal Byrne
Cast: Conal Byrne, Amy Seimetz, Tim Habeger, Adam Fristoe, Scott Poythress, Lake Roberts, Melissa McBride, and Jeff Rose
Synopsis: William Blakely, a cutting-edge geneticist, wakes up from a mysterious accident with fragmented memories and he must re-learn his identity from his twin brother. But when William digs deeper, he realizes the shocking truth: This is not his life at all.
APT 3D (World Premiere)
Directors: Zack Imbrogno and Horst Dieter Baum
Writer: Zack Imbrogno
Cast: Maxxe Sternbaum, Zack Imbrogno , and Jordan Lewis
Synopsis: A young couple moves to New York City in the dead of winter to find themselves emotionally and physically imprisoned in their apartment by their enigmatic neighbors.
AURA (US Premiere)
Director: Zsolt Bernáth
Writer: Mark Kis-Szabo
Cast: Szénási Bálint, Szénási Kristóf, Kapócs Panka, Dubai Péter, and Ungvár Ádám
Synopsis: Four kids wake up in the morning in an abandoned field only to find that the Sun did not rise. As darkness covers them the whole day, with no hope of light, they must face mysteries rooted deep in mankind's very beginning.
BACKYARD BLOCKBUSTERS (Austin Premiere, World Premiere of new cut)
Director: John E. Hudgens
Writer: John E. Hudgens
Featuring: Bill Corbet, Chris Gore, Walter Koenig, Harry Knowles, and many more
Synopsis: For years, people have been making home movies called "fanfilms", using pop culture properties that they may not own, but love. Backyard Blockbusters looks at the history and influence of the fanfilm genre, as well as the copyright and fair use problems these films create.
BLOODY KNUCKLES (Texas Premiere)
Director: Matt O'Mahoney
Writer: Matt O’Mahoney
Cast: Adam Boys, Kasey Ryne Mazak, Ken Tsui, Gabrielle Giraud, and Dwayne Bryshun
Synopsis: Travis is an underground comic book artist with a penchant for the obscene. When one of his comics insults a Chinatown crime boss, the gangster punishes Travis by removing his drawing hand. A daunted Travis retreats into a life of alcoholic misery. That is, until his hand returns from the grave…
The Sun Devil and The Princess (World Premiere)
Director: Steven Ayromlooi
Writer: Steven Ayromlooi
Cast: Mandy Amano, Dragon Dronet, Yoshio Iizuka, Stephen Meyer, Pancho Moler, Evan Parke
Synopsis: The realm is embroiled in war between the Sun Goddess and the Witch Queen, Goddess of the moon. Hirohawa The Sun Devil returns to save the princess as a way of paying of a long-standing debt of honor.
7300 Days Later, Luca Bertoluzzi (dir)
Blackout, Andrew Olson (dir)
Crash Course, Simon Heath (dir)
Dear Lucas, Winnie Cheung (dir)
The Developer, Robert Odegnal (dir)
Emit, J S Mayank (dir)
Gasmask, Pablo Bonelli (dir)
Gear, Joe Ksander, Kevin Adams (dirs)
The House at the Edge of the Galaxy, Gleb Osatinski (dir)
Jupiter's Glare, Rebecca Gower (dir)
The Last Wildflower, Jonathan Hal Reynolds (dir)
LiFi, Preston Peterson, Jason Boesch (dirs)
Little Man of Steel, Larry Ziegelman (dir)
Malaise, Daniel Beaulieu (dir)
Martian American, Lee Citron (dir)
Moon-Lite, David Dibble (dir)
New, John Harden (dir)
Odessa, Cidney Hue (dir)
One Last Question, Sean Corbin (dir)
One-Minute Time Machine, Devon Avery (dir)
Roommates, Justin McLachlan (dir)
Sleepworking, Gavin Williams (dir)
Slumptown, Bryan Costanich (dir)
Strangers, Justin Nickels (dir)
The Trail's End, David Rosenbaum (dir)
Vimana, Faroukh Virani (dir)