Films Go Better With Bluebonnets

The Hill Country Film Fest features cinema amid the wildflowers

"The OceanMaker"

The Hill Country Film Fest

As sure as the return of Texas wildflowers each spring, the Hill Country Film Festival in Fredericksburg is back for its sixth annual event, April 30-May 3.

Begun in 2010, the HCFF was created to celebrate and showcase independent filmmakers from Texas and around the world. The Hill Country Film Society hosts the festival and now offers year-round film programming and educational events. The 2015 edition of the festival will showcase 90 short films and eight features. Films from 15 countries are represented and, by the festival's count, 38% of the lineup was filmed or produced in Texas.

A number of Austin filmmakers will be represented among the shorts, including Lauren Pruitt's "Highsmith," a drama set in the Fifties; Scott Cobb's "The There," in which a couple of former American expats reflect on the paths their lives have taken; and Lucas Martell's animated "The Ocean­Maker," which also screened at South by Southwest, and tells a story about a female pilot who fights pirates for control of the clouds after all the seas have disappeared.

Two of the feature films are world premieres. Courtney Ware's Texas-made Sunny in the Dark is a drama about a therapist who finds he's not alone when he moves into a new loft apartment. In The Origins of Wit & Humor, by Christian Gridelli, a comedy writer faces his need for approval. Showing as a Special Screening is SEC Ready, directed by Lindsay Crouch and Andrew Cagle. This initial feature produced by TexAgs Films recounts the politics and negotiations that led Texas A&M football to join the Southeastern Conference and prove the team's worth once there.

Other features include Chandler Wild's documentary Mount Lawrence, which follows his 6,500-mile bicycle journey to Alaska in order to name a mountain after his deceased father. Another film set in Alaska is Frank Hall Green's Wildlike, in which a troubled Seattle girl is sent to live with her uncle in Juneau, but eventually runs away and gets lost in the wilderness. Somebody Marry Me by John Asher is a romantic comedy that's filmed all in one shot. Nick Matthews' One Eyed Girl, a drama about a psychiatrist who gets lured into a doomsday cult, made its world premiere in the fall at the Austin Film Festival. Night Owls, by Charles Hood, premiered at last month's South by Southwest, and stars Adam Pally (The Mindy Project), Rosa Sala­zar (Parenthood), and Tony Hale (Veep) in a story about a one-night stand that quickly goes south.

Over the weekend, the HCFF will also present several panels and discussions, and for the kids there will be on an outdoor screening of several family-friendly short films on opening night, Thursday, April 30.

The Hill Country Film Festival runs April 30-May 3 in Fredericksburg, Texas. See the complete lineup, schedule, and ticket info on the festival website at

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Hill Country Film Festival, Off-Centered Film Festival, Sunny in the Dark, The Origins of Wit & Humor, SEC Ready, Mount Lawrence, Somebody Marry Me, Wildlike, Night Owls, The OceanMaker, The There, Highsmith, Master Pancake, Dogfish Head Brewery, Yacht Rock, Cabin Boy, Chris Elliott, Alamo Drafthouse

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