Still from Earthlickers, Tony Mirza dir
founder and artistic Director
Bears Fonté founded Other Worlds Austin after two years as the Director of Programming for AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL, overseeing some 200 films selected to screen at eight venues over eight days. The 2013 AFF saw 28 world premiere features and 7 films picked up at the festival or the week after. His current short film, ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE, has been selected for 50+ festivals since October of 2015 including SciFi London and the upcoming Dances With Films. Bears also was one of the producers on the Sundance Jury-Award Winning short THE PROCEDURE. His short film, THE SECRET KEEPER, played 35 US Film Festivals 2012-14. His feature thriller iCRIME, which he wrote and directed, was released on DVD, VOD and streaming by Vicious Circle Films in 2011. Bears also self-produced two web-series which have been seen by a combined ten million viewers. Prior to arriving in Austin, Bears wrote coverage for independent producers and coverage services in LA and placed in nearly every single screenwriting contest out there including Screenwriter’s Expo, Final Draft Big Break, Page International, Story Pros and Austin Film Festival. Bears received his BA from Carleton College in British Studies and Theatre Studies and a MFA in Directing from Indiana University and has directed over forty plays, including the Austin Critics Table nominee Corpus Christi, and the Austin Shakespeare Festival's Complete Works of Shakspeare Abridged. He studied writing with noted playwrights Jeff Hatcher and Denis Reardon, and directed the first-ever professional productions by Princess Grace Award-winning and Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Don Zolidis and up-and-coming playwright Itamar Moses. He just shot a new SciFi short with his favorite actress for festival submissions in 2017.
Director of Marketing and Development
Don has more than twenty years experience in marketing from both the corporate and agency side of the business. He has also published, edited, and written for numerous trade magazines and has extensive experience managing writers and creative teams. Don enjoys writing marketing and business plans just as much as screenplays and teleplays.
associate artistic director
For better or for worse, much of Jordan's social conditioning has come through constant movie-watching. Whether this makes her a total couch potato or a cinema patron sensitive to the lives of others (maybe both?), she's made it her mission to share the love through carefully selected films. Currently this means helping steer Other Worlds Austin toward its rightful throne of premier SciFi film festival in the nation (it's gonna happen, ya'll.) She also acts as Assistant Director for Duluth-Superior Film Festival, a boutique fest in her northern MN hometown that she's particularly proud of. Since graduating from the University of Minnesota with a degree in film and literature, Jordan has worked with various arts and film offices including Women In Film Los Angeles. As for film festivals, she's fortunate to count Sundance, Tribeca, and Telluride among her experiences, as well as a stint with the programming department of the Austin Film Festival here in town.
PROGRAMMER AND Hospitality DIRECTOR
While studying journalism at Texas A & M University, Debbie's favorite course was the "History of Film," where she learned an appreciation for Sergei Eisenstein, Fritz Lang, and other master filmmakers. As an active member of the now defunct Austin Cinemaker Co-op, she participated in the "Make a Film in a Weekend (MAFIA") and "Splice of Life" filmmaking events and collects Super 8 cameras and film. Her favorite genre has always been science fiction, having grown up watching "Them" and "Forbidden Planet" every time it was on TV. Debbie is the senior contributor for Slackerwood and has served for the last three years as the lead curator and project manager for Austin Film Society's annual SXSW ShortCase film series. She is also a proud member of the Austin Film Critics Association, Austin Film Society and a supporter of UT's Women in Cinema organization.
Programmer & Screenwriting Director
When other little kids wanted to be firemen or football players or doctors, Eric wanted to be the guy in the Godzilla suit smashing up a model of Tokyo. Evenings spent with USA’s UP ALL NIGHT further fostered his love for the weirder parts of cinema, and as a result he is rarely able to sleep before 2am. Eric is a writer and contributor for Blood Over Texas, a local horror group and friend of Other Worlds, and appears on their monthly podcast. He has an English Literature degree from the Ohio State University, and occasionally contributes to a few other odd online publications. Eric has worked for the Alamo Drafthouse in various capacities, including transportation and talent liaison for Fantastic Fest. He likes showing people existentialist Sci-Fi and then following it up with something like SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL-O-RAMA.
Programmer and Director of Operations
Let's start with the important stuff: Courtney loves movies. In her spare time, you can find her either at the Drafthouse or with her DVR getting caught up on and/or revisiting her favorite television shows (did we mention she loves TV too?). While she enjoys most genres, what really touches her is a film/tv show/story with a heart. Courtney graduated from UT with a degree in Music (piano, to be exact) and a minor in Radio-Television-Film.
Programmer and Registration Director
Following a brief interlude being born in Oklahoma, Reid quickly moved to and was raised in the Central Texas area. As a proud member of the VCR generation, repeat viewings of the Star Wars VHS box set (which he still proudly display on his shelf) and a love of The Twilight Zone helped make Reid a sci-fi fan from his very early days. Film school was the natural course heading, and he graduated with an RTVF degree from the University of North Texas in 2009. Along with seemingly the rest of the country, he moved to Austin in 2010. Before traveling to Other Worlds, Reid previously worked for the Austin Film Society and Austin Studios, as well as the Austin Film Festival.
Programmer and SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR
Mark came to Other Worlds Austin from that slightly peculiar, darkly clad cousin of the SciFi genre . . . Horror. He also works for Garth Manor Cinema, covers the horror genre for various media outlets, and is in charge of horror programming for FanboyTV. Still, SciFi has always Mark’s first love. Not just the “classics”, but also the “Did I just step in that?” stuff his older siblings exposed him to. So, if you see Mark around, feel free to strike up a conversation about Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn. He might even show you his old, paper 3D glasses he got at the theater when he saw it!!!!
Well-rounded nerd, writer, and artist, Tessa grew up in the misty mountains of West Virginia where she was constantly ridiculed for being a "weirdo." She graduated from Marshall University with a Bachelor's in Visual Arts. Then she moved to Austin where people continued to call her a "weirdo," but in an endearing tone. Tessa works a civilian day job, but creates puppets and fiber art in the cover of night. In her free time she also enjoys comics, horror and SciFi films, video games, and cosplaying. Her favorite memory was the day she met Sid Krofft and toured his home and not 30 minutes after Rick Lazzarini invited her to the Character Shop where she operated an animatronic tentacle. Best day ever.
Senior Programmer and Event director
Dan grew up in St. Louis where he found his two passions early in life, Cardinals baseball and film. He learned to love all genres of film while studying at the University of North Texas, but there has always been a soft spot in his heart for horror and sci-fi. He has been a regular at all the major Austin film festivals and helped screen the Dark Matters films for AFF in 2013.
PROGRAMMER AND Tour Director
Michael Thielvoldt is a local film professor with a diversified history of media education that covers theory through production and spans all age groups and educational levels. He has written on film history and criticism for the American Film Institute and local film blogs and currently teaches media studies courses at Austin Community College. When he is not in the classroom, you can find him plopped in front of one of the many screens--big or small--devouring an eclectic array of genre films, classical pictures, foreign and independent cinema, and pretty much anything that can fit neatly into a rectangular frame.
David grew up in Dallas, attended the North East School of the Arts in San Antonio for high school, then the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design for college for his BFA, and moved to Austin with his wife, Tina Poe, to continue his career as an artist. He worked as a freelance illustrator and storyboard artist for eight years before transitioning into tattoos fulltime.
David apprenticed at The Inkery tattoo studio, worked at Golden Age Tattoo, and helped open Moon Tattoo with Tina where you can find him now.
THE LABEL COLLECTIVE
The Label Collective is owned by Erin Pitts and Kristin Waddington, twin sisters who melded minds to create a full-service virtual studio that offers tailored, intelligent, strategic creative solutions for every brand. They work together with a number of talented, top-notch, local solopreneurs and small businesses who believe the best quality of work comes when design and strategy is viewed as a partnership, not just another service. In the end, their goal is to make every brand even more successful, question everything, and prove the tangible value a well-thought, creative approach can bring to any business. Some of The Label Collective's current clients include Bazaarvoice, ePatientFinder, SXSW Gaming, and The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas.
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