The Long and the Short of It

The expansive Cinematexas short film festival

Guy Maddin's Map of the World, showing in the International Competition
Guy Maddin's "Map of the World," showing in the International Competition

It began as a festival to showcase University of Texas filmmakers, but the Cinematexas International Short Film + Video Festival, now in its sixth year, has exploded into what Filmmaker magazine calls one of the "most pioneering short film festivals in the country."

"The great thing about Cinematexas is the way it manages to do and be so many things at once: film screenings, panel discussions, concerts, installations, dance parties, and culture-jamming workshops," says festival Artistic Director David Barker. A Cinematexas juror in 1999, Barker moved to Austin from Los Angeles in June to succeed former Cinematexas organizer Rachel Tsangari, who recently returned to her native Greece.

Besides screenings of jury-selected films, special events abound: New shorts by filmmakers Hal Hartley, Errol Morris, and Guy Maddin will screen, as will a showcase of Czech animator Jan Svankmajer's work. Austrian filmmaker Peter Tscherkassky presents a retrospective of his work, along with a program of avant-garde shorts from Austrian distrubutor Sixpack Films. In what Barker describes as a "world summit of women's avant-garde work," the "All the Girls With Cameras in Their Heads" program features the work of Trinh T. Minh-ha, Ximena Cuevas, Miranda July, and others.

See the schedule below for ticket and location information.

The sixth annual Cinematexas Short Film + Video festival -- featuring hundreds of short films in and out of competition, special screening events (such as several programs of the work of Czech animator Jan Svankmajer, right), and an extravaganza of performance, workshops, and multimedia events -- starts this Friday.

Due to travel considerations, all events are subject to change.

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