Austin, TX -- Other Worlds Austin makes its first programming announcements for the Fifth Annual SciFi Film Festival (Dec 6-9, 2018) at Flix Brewhouse. Distinguished director/producer Alan J. Levi will receive Other Worlds’ “Defender of the Universe” award and will host an exclusive 40th anniversary screening of the original theatrical pilot for BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. In addition, The NASA-inspired docuseries ARTIST DEPICTION will make its World premiere, and the SciFi Drama PRECOGNITION makes its North American premiere.
Badges for the Fifth Annual Other Worlds Austin SciFi Film Festival are now on sale for the general public at otherworldsaustin.com.
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (1978)
Richard A. Colla, Alan J. Levi (uncredited) | USA
Writer: Glen A. Larson
Cast: Richard Hatch, Dirk Benedict, Lorne Green
After the destruction of the Twelve Colonies of Mankind, the last major fighter carrier leads a makeshift fugitive fleet on a desperate search for the legendary planet Earth.
Not seen in theaters for four decades, Other Worlds Austin is thrilled to screen the original theatrical pilot on its 40th anniversary.
"Saga of a Star World" is the pilot for the television series of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, produced in 1978 by Glen A. Larson. To help recoup its high production costs, a re-edit of the episode, shot in widescreen, was released theatrically as BATTLESTAR GALACTICA in Canada, Australia and some countries in Europe and Latin America before the television series aired in the United States. Later, in May 1979, the feature-film edit was also released in the US.
Alan Levi took over "Saga of a Star World" after Richard Colla was dropped several weeks into shooting. Levi later directed the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA two-part episode "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero.”
“BATTLESTAR GALACTICA grabbed the SciFi zeitgeist of the late seventies and bottled it for the small screen,” says Bears Rebecca Fonté, OWA Founder and Artistic Director, “but it was always more than a television show, as the original theatrical cut of the pilot proves. I’ve never seen this full cut on the big screen — in fact, as far as I can tell, few (if any) in America has. We are excited to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of this influential show.”
Note: Supermassive Black Hole or Supernova level badges are required to attend this screening.
Alan J. Levi, Defender of The Universe
Other Worlds Austin is honored to present Alan J. Levi with the third Defender of the Universe Award for his decades of groundbreaking, cult, and classic SciFi television. The Defender of the Universe award honors a mentor or star whose heroic actions molded us into the future humans we aspire to be. Previous honorees are Sybil Danning (2016) and Gary Nelson (2017).
Levi has directed over 350 hours of prime-time network television, including such SciFi staples as BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (1978), THE INCREDIBLE HULK (1978), THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN (1974), THE BIONIC WOMAN (1976), QUANTUM LEAP (1989), MISFITS OF SCIENCE (1985), THE INVISIBLE MAN (1975), PROBE (1988), VOYAGERS! (1982), LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN (1994), and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (1996). Alan helmed other notable series, such as MAGNUM, P.I. (1980), DR. QUINN MEDICINE WOMAN (1993), NCIS (2003), ER (2002), JAG (1997), COLUMBO (1971), and countless others.
He also produced the pilots and/or series of COLUMBO (1971), AIRWOLF (1984), VOYAGERS (1982), MISFITS OF SCIENCE (1985), THE INVISIBLE WOMAN (1983), and PROBE (1988).
“There are so many reasons to honor Alan J. Levi,” says Fonté, “but I’m going to point to the most personal one. In 1982-83, Levi directed for a show called VOYAGERS! – the first show ever cancelled on me. Ugh! Prior to that, I thought shows just went on indefinitely. In 1985-86, he served as the Supervising Producer of a little show called MISFITS OF SCIENCE (also cancelled on me). Sure, he did episode after episode of JAG and DR. QUINN MEDICINE WOMAN, and the KNIGHT RIDER TV movie, but who else can talk about young Courtney Cox as a telekinetic jewelry store destroyer? Seriously though, the two long form episodes of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA directed by Levi, the pilot "Saga of a Star World" and "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero” are some of the best SciFi television ever made, and I am excited to talk with him about his career.”
In addition to a storied career behind the camera, Levi was also the inventor of a camera system called Vidifilm in which a single camera lens was able to expose the camera's motion picture film and simultaneously deliver a faithful television image to a TV monitor. The Vidifilm technology soon became known industry-wide as Video Assist, which has been incorporated into nearly every motion picture camera ever since.
Not one to rest on his illustrious laurels, Levi continues to study the latest technologies — in camera, editing, music — always looking at new methods of looking through his lens, telling his stories. He loves the thrill of working with actors and continually whets his appetite as a member of the Director's Wing of the legendary Actors Studio. Alan has taught film direction and production and participated in production seminars at USC, UCLA, the American Film Institute and the Brooks Institute of Photography. He has been married to his longtime love, actress Sondra Currie, for nearly 25 years.
ARTIST DEPICTION (World Premiere)
Brett Ryan Bonowicz | USA
ARTIST DEPICTION is a documentary series about artists who have helped bring NASA projects to life. Their incredible concept artwork, which helped define the aesthetics of futurism and space travel, is ubiquitous; and yet these artists have always been hidden behind the scenes. Now these pioneers (Don Davis, Charles Lindsay, and Rick Guidice) and their influential visions get their due in Bonowicz’s loving, accomplished hands.
To fully capture their impact, Bonowicz and his team had the archivists at the NASA Ames Research Center locate many of these works and rescan them at high resolution. Many of them are only on the internet in very low resolution and sometimes credited incorrectly.
“I’m always proud when an alumnus wants to bring us another film, and this is Brett’s third film for Other Worlds,” says Fonté. “He is doing important work, making a record of the intersection of science and art and talking to people who we wouldn’t necessarily hear from. He took a dive down a rabbit hole with his last film CLOSER THAN WE THINK, and I’m glad he wanted to dig deeper.”
PRECOGTITION (North American Premiere)
Luke Tedder | UK
Writer: Luke Tedder
Cast: Adam J. Bernard, Vanessa Russell, and Jessica Andrews
In the near future, a married woman secretly works for an organization that manipulates memories, while her husband is experiencing visions from a past he can't remember which is tearing them apart.
PRECOGNITION made its World premiere at Sci-Fi-London 2018 Film Festival. In the film, Ripe technologies is a pseudo-governmental organization which appears to be trying to create a safer and fairer world with new implant technology. Negative thought and memories have been removed, people are given careers and relationships they ‘deserve’ based on an in-app Karma rating system.
This world in which every citizen lives connected to Ripe’s system seems almost perfect, at least on the surface. But the digital utopia is not without its ghosts. Soon the reality with which the characters surround themselves starts to unravel, as the true nature of the world surfaces.
“PRECOGNITION is the sort of sweeping SciFi world-building that gets me excited,” says Fonté. “Technology changes the way we live, but it’s hard to predict just how much. In Luke Tedder’s film, we find a future created by ‘advances’ toward a utopia, which should always be suspect. I saw the world premiere at SciFi London and locked it down for us that night.”
Interview and screeners available on request.
About Other Worlds Austin
Other Worlds Austin is one of the premiere SciFi film festivals in the US, championing filmmakers and writers and bringing the best films to the ‘Geek Capital of the World.’
With a diverse and approachable team of programmers, we are building a network of SciFi fans and filmmakers, leading a loyal community, and launching SciFi films into the wider world.
The fifth installment of Other Worlds Austin SciFi Film Festival will take place at Flix Brewhouse December 6-9, 2018.
About Flix Brewhouse
In addition to its flagship location in Round Rock, TX, Flix Brewhouse operates in Des Moines, Iowa and Carmel, Indiana, with more locations coming. The Flix Mix lobby bar and cafe is open seven days a week to the public, no ticket required, so you can come in and grab a bite to eat or have a locally brewed beer anytime!