Other Worlds Austin Gets Bigger, Stranger

Four films, three shorts, and an extra screen added

Other Worlds Austin Gets Bigger, Stranger

When Bears Fonté announced that he would be holding the first Other Worlds Austin festival this Dec. 4-6, it was going to be a small affair, with one screen at the Galaxy Highland showing nothing but sci-fi films for three days. Now ticket demand has been so big, he's decided to add another screen and four new feature titles.

Talking to Fonté yesterday, he was extremely excited to host the first screening outside of its native Netherlands for Capsule, a new drama by director Djie Han Thung about a desperate scrabble for survival. Earth is becoming an irradiated mess, and so the search is on to find people to live in an underground refuge until the surface is livable again. The $20,000 film was the graduation project for acting students at the Media College in Amsterdam, and is the first film out of the program in a decade to get a theatrical release. The strengths of the performances in this heavily improvised tale have been turning heads in its home country, and Fonté hopes to repeat that in the U.S.

Three other new films are getting their Texas premieres. Space Milkshake is a comedy about four astronauts (Billy Boyd from Lord of the Rings), Robin Dunne (Sanctuary, Defiance), Kristin Kreuk (Smallville and Amanda Tapping (Stargate SG-1) on the worst job in space: Cleaning all the crap and crud off all other satellites. When a global catastrophe wipes out all life below them on Earth, they face an uncertain future, complicated by the fact they are being menaced by the most evil creature in the cosmos: a rubber duck, voiced by George Takei.

It's joined by The Phoenix Project, another sealed-bottle drama, but with a very different tone. Four scientists seal themselves in a house to work on a new serum that will reanimate dead tissue. Everyone's motivations are under scrutiny, from the researchers to the grantors paying their bills.

And finally, The Perfect 46 posits a future in which genetic testing and dating have merged. Prospective couples can go through DNA compatibility testing, to see what their kids would be like. However, the company's CEO finds himself kidnapped by unhappy clients, and the truth of this service is revealed through a series of news reports and documentaries, in a blend of mockumentary and traditional narrative drama.

The festival has also added three new shorts, "Recoil", "Earthlickers," and "Nostalgia," which will play before each film.

Adding the extra screen may seem like a scheduling headache. However, Fonté promises that opening film The Well, centerpiece flick Time Lapse, and closing title The Resurrection of William Zero, will all play on both screens simultaneously. After that, he's working to make sure that each screen has different programming, so a horror-themed title will be playing against a comedy.

Fonté has also made another announcement: In honor of Corey Mitchell, the late founder of the Housecore Horror Film Festival and someone who inspired him to launch OWA in the first place, 5% of all wristbands and merch sold from now until the end of the festival will go to the fundraiser campaign for Mitchell's daughters. The screening of new horror-comedy Bloody Knuckles will also be a special memorial screening for Mitchell.

Other Worlds Austin film festival runs Dec. 4-6 at the Galaxy Highland. Visit www.otherworldsaustin.com, or read our June 3 story, "Austin to Visit Other Worlds."

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Other Worlds Austin, Bear Fonté, Capsule, Space Milkshake, The Phoenix Project, The Perfect 46

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