Location, Location, Location

Previewing the Marfa Film Festival

<i>The Athlete</i>
The Athlete

Film festivals tend to be pretty hectic affairs – long waits in line and a lot of number-crunching, trying to figure out exactly how many minutes it'll take to vacate a theatre and sprint to the next movie (or next line). But the Marfa Film Festival is a different beast altogether. Now in its third year, the Far West Texas festival dials down the frenzy by not scheduling competing screenings. That means a smaller selection of films, but a more leisurely pace and arguably, a more communal atmosphere.

This year, the Marfa Film Festival will screen more than 50 features, shorts, and experimental works over the course of five days. Highlights include the short "Red Shirley," in which Lou Reed – who'll be in attendance – sits down with his cousin Shirley on the occasion of her 100th birthday; an outdoor screening of The Athlete, about Ethiopian marathoner Abebe Bikila; the world premiere of Nathan Christ's Echotone, a documentary about Austin musicians, featuring Black Joe Lewis; a restored print of 1972 cult fave The Harder They Come, starring Jimmy Cliff; and the world premiere of a new short from Medicine for Melancholy director Barry Jenkins.

The Marfa Film Festival runs May 5-9. Tickets and passes are still available; visit www.marfafilmfestival.org for details.

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Marfa Film Festival, Lou Reed, Red Shirley, The Athlete, Abebe Bikila, Nathan Christ, Echotone, Black Joe Lewis, The Harder They Come, Jimmy Cliff, Barry Jenkins

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