Sci-Fi Film Festival Plots Hybrid Future For Return In Person: Other Worlds Are Coming To Galaxy Highland And Beyond


Hybrids have always been the future. Whether it was Dr. Moreau’s human-animal hybrids, the Terminator with flesh on metal, or Data growing a metaphorical human heart under its synthetic skin, the ability to combine the new and the old has been at the heart of science fiction. As the pandemic continues, it’s no surprise that Other Worlds – Austin’s film festival with an electronic eye on the possible future – keeps the streaming component it launched last year, even if he returns to Galaxy Highland for theatrical screenings.

“We knew we wanted to be in person, no matter what,” said founder and artistic director Rebecca Bears Fonté, “but we also know that it wouldn’t be fair to some people who are immunosuppressed or just don’t feel good. not yet comfortable with must miss the festival. ” The rule for 2021 was therefore simple: each film accepted had to be ready to be screened both in person (December 2 to 5) and as part of the virtual event (December 6 to 12).

“[These films] deal with that tech problem of “Here’s something new, I want to try it” and get over your head. “– Rebecca Bears Fonté

That meant fewer distributor titles and more independent filmmakers, but it didn’t impact the quality, and Fonté noted that Other Worlds lead programmer Dan Repp called it the best programming in the game. festival in eight years of history. Thematically, many titles deal with two or three themes: claustrophobia (“being stuck in a place, either in a house, or on a planet or in a spaceship”) or facing the consequences of a new ubiquitous technology, “and that’s a testament to our current willingness to move on,” Fonté said. However, this was not directly inspired by the pandemic. In fact, only one feature, the selection of horror strands Underworlds Wicked games, was filmed during the pandemic. Instead, the rest were filmed before COVID, and the filmmakers just took the time to hone and refine them. “The visuals are better than we expected,” Fonté said, “and there’s more to it.”

After his horror of hairdressing the stylist starred as part of the Return to the Galaxy festival last May, UT alumnus Brea Grant returns in a double roll – as the co-writer of the opening night sci-fi identity comedy Madeleines, and deliver the virtual opening speech of the festival. At the end of the event in person will be Arcadian residents, which Fonté described as “a film about immigration, made in Canada by an Italian, so it’s not immigration you normally think of, but it’s also about immigrating to a virtual world” . In between, this recurring theme of the dangers of being an early adopter is highlighted in the two flagship selections, the augmented reality thriller. Extended view and smart home cooler Dark cloud. Fonté noted that both films are from first-time directors and both “deal with that technological problem of” Here’s something new, I want to try it “and get past you.”

All of these titles and more (including the winner of the Defender of the Universe retrospective, the classic kids’ 80s space adventure Navigator flight) will be available to badge holders, whether they’re watching everything at home or just wanting to catch up on what they missed at the movies. After all, Fonté said: “You can’t be in three theaters at the same time.” Or maybe someone just needs to work on cloning and time travel …

Other Worlds Film Festival 2021, Galaxy Highland, 6700 Middle Fiskville, December 2-5; streaming via Eventive, from December 6 to 12.

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