Other Worlds Austin Unleashes First Wave

Sci-fi icon Sybil Danning to be honored

Seven to save the galaxy: Roger Corman's sci-fi exploitation classic Battle Beyond the Stars gets a gala screening at Other Worlds Austin.

Sci-fi film festival Other Worlds Austin has established itself as a place to celebrate new and cutting edge future visions. This year, it will celebrate a classic with a gala screening of Roger Corman's beloved Battle Beyond the Stars, and a special award for star and guest of honor Sybil Danning.

If there was a queen of straight-to-video movies, it was Danning, but it was her Battle performance as space Valkyrie Saint-Exmin that secured her a place in the genre pantheon. That's why the OWA team has picked her as the recipient of the first ever Defender of the Universe award and, as founder Bears Fonte explained, it's not because of that famous costume. He said, "Sybil Danning is so good in Battle Beyond the Stars because she is just there to fight, and to be taken as an equal with all the men."

For Fonte, it's also an opportunity to reappraise a film that for years was just seen as a Star Wars cash-in. There's a score by modern soundtrack leviathan James Horner (including some themes he re-used later for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan), a script by John Sayles, an early production credit for Gale Ann Hurd (The Walking Dead), effects and cinematography by James Cameron, "and at the head of it all, is Roger Corman, the foundation that our modern understanding of genre film is built on. I’ve always wanted to see this film on the big screen, and now that I have my own festival, I can.”

That's not the only title in this first wave of announcements. First up is post-apocalyptic survival thriller The Tribe, for which director Roxy Shih has been announced as the first nominee for the Mary Shelley Award for female filmmakers working in SF. Pushing visual boundaries is Battledream Chronicle, the extraordinary animated feature from Martinique, while adding horror to the equation under the new Under Worlds Austin banner is Bed of the Dead, a supernatural shocker with possibly the year's craziest conceit. Here's what we've got so far:

Battle Beyond the Stars
D: Jimmy T. Murakami, USA
Shad, a young farmer, assembles a band of diverse mercenaries in outer space to defend his peaceful planet from the evil tyrant Sador and his armada of aggressors. Among the mercenaries are a Space Cowboy, a space-going truck driver from Earth; Gelt, a wealthy and experienced assassin looking for a place to hide; and Saint-Exmin, a Valkyrie warrior looking to prove herself in battle.

Battledream Chronicle
D: Alain Bidard, Martinique, 2016
In 2100, the empire of Mortemonde colonized almost all the nations of the Earth and reduced their populations to slavery. Every slave is forced to collect 1000XP every month in Battledream, a video game where they can die for real. Only those who succeed are granted the right to live until the following month. Syanna, a young slave from Martinique, refuses to keep living in this condition and decides to fight for her freedom...

Bed of the Dead D: Jeff Maher, Canada, 2016
Four twentysomethings find themselves stuck on a haunted antique bed where leaving means suffering a gruesome death. Plagued with frightening hallucinations, they must figure out the bed’s secrets before they are ultimately picked off one by one.

The Tribe
D: Roxy Shih, USA, 2016
A pandemic has taken place in the near future that has forced mankind into a desperate survival mode. A family of three young sisters struggle to get by as each day food and resources become more scarce and their patience with each other wears thin. One day, a stranger finds their stronghold and the girls soon discover that everything they thought they knew was not what it seemed.


Other Worlds Austin SciFi Film Festival runs Dec. 1-4. Visit www.otherworldsaustin.com for more info.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Other Worlds Austin
Heading Down to <i>Rock Steady Row</i>
Heading Down to Rock Steady Row
Director Trevor Stevens on his post-Apocalyptic college comedy

Richard Whittaker, July 25, 2018

Getting Caught on <i>7 Splinters in Time</i>
Getting Caught on 7 Splinters in Time
Director explains mindwarping time travel flick before screening

Richard Whittaker, June 27, 2018

More sci-fi
Other Worlds Goes Into <i>The Black Hole</i>
Other Worlds Goes Into The Black Hole
Disney cult fave for SF fest, plus final lineup

Richard Whittaker, Oct. 30, 2017

Forward to the Past With <i>Future '38</i>
Forward to the Past With Future '38
Director Jamie Greenberg on his fake period piece

Richard Whittaker, May 16, 2017

More by Richard Whittaker
<i>Donnybrook</i>, <i>In Fabric</i> Top Fantastic Fest Awards
Fantastic Fest Awards Announced
Plus Danish thriller Holiday sweeps Next Wave category

Sept. 25, 2018

Austin Film Festival Snags <i>Widows</i>
AFF Announces Full Film List
High profile and local features fill out the schedule

Sept. 25, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Other Worlds Austin, Sci-Fi, Flix Brewhouse, Battle Beyond the Stars, Sybill Danning, The Tribe, Bed of the Dead, Battledream Chronicles

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle