Tyler Film Festival celebrates short films, young directors

Published on Thursday, 17 September 2015 22:39 - Written by DANNY MOGLE, dmogle@inmagtexas.com

Twenty-four short films by filmmakers in eight countries will be shown at the Downtown Tyler Film Festival, said Justin Reese, the festival’s director.

The festival begins on Wednesday and runs through Sept. 26, with screenings at 7p.m. each night at Liberty Hall, 103 E. Erwin St.

The films cover a wide range of subject matter and genres. Some films are from filmmakers based in East Texas.

“It is a really, really good year both in terms of quantity and quality,” Reese said. “We ended up with about 90 submissions, which is about 50 percent more than last year.”

Reese is excited about the number of entries submitted by young filmmakers.

“The young filmmakers’ category, that is probably the most exciting category. ... We have a heart for emerging filmmakers. Oftentimes their perspectives and messages are youthful and need some developing. We were not just looking at their production skills but also their voice as a filmmaker that can develop into something interesting.”

The festival opens on Wednesday, with screenings of films in the “international” category. Thursday is devoted to films by young filmmakers. On Friday will be the screening of films submitted by Texas-based filmmakers.

None of the films have a rating based on content. Reese said that on Wednesday and Friday nights, some films deal with subject matter that children may need help putting into perspective.

On Saturday, the festival ends with its “best of the best” selections of previous screened films and awards presentations.

Reese said several of the filmmakers have indicated they will be in attendance and will discuss their work.

Tickets cost $5 for each night. A $10 ticket for Saturday night includes admission to a post party. The $20 Producer’s Pass, includes admission to all four nights of screenings and the post-festival party on Saturday night.

Tickets are on sale at Main Street Gallery, 110 W. Erwin St., on the Outhouse Tickets website and will be sold at the Liberty Hall box office beginning at 6:30 p.m. each night of the festival.




Wednesday: The Internationals

“Dawn,” by Mario Rico, of Spain. A walking dead invasion sweeps the nation.

“The Hook,” by Nick Flugge, of the United Kingdom. A washed up fighter gives a boxing lesson that changes two lives forever.

“The Chinese Princess,” by Tomas Base, of Spain. The story of reincarnation using the metaphor of a game of wooden bricks.

“Nirvana,” by Maor Winetrob, Israel. A surreal film that asks philosophical questions about life and death, dreams and reality. 

“A Passion of Gold and Fire,” by Sebstien Pins, of Belgium. A beekeeper shares his worries about the future of his apiary school.

“The Girl We Lost Along the Way,” Brand Walls, United States. When her mother takes 9­-year-­old Emily on an unexpected trip to California, Emily suspects something is wrong.

“Lady With Flower Hair,” (animated) by Sarah Tabibzadeh of Iran. A 40-year-old woman who lives alone has become preoccupied by the carnations that grow out of her head.

“The Painter of Shadows,” by Miguel Garc■a Calera, of the Dominican Republic. A painter is haunted by visions of the future.


Thursday: Young Filmmakers

“The Emotional Dimension of the James River,” by Michelle Marquez, of Virginia. The experimental film uses sounds and images designed to trigger emotional states.

“Russian Roulette,” by Chloe Calk, of Texas. A young woman confronts society’s notions of rape.

“Invisible People,” by Demar Gunter, of Texas. A documentary about helping homeless people in San Antonio.

“Lady of Paint Creek,” by Alexia Salingaros, of Texas. A woman, trapped in a society of mindless ritual and minimal emotion, must find it in herself to escape and face the consequences.

“Heat_Sink,” by Daniel Coomer-Neel, of Texas. ATI, a small-time computer hardware producer in the Silicon Valley looking to go big, acquires a little bit of “help” from Texas Instruments.

“Flowers,” by Sabina Sattar, the United Kingdom. A boy falls in love with a deaf and mute girl and has to find a way to communicate his feelings for her.

“This Side Up,” Gabrielle Giacomo, of New York. In a dystopian world, all ideas of free thinking have been confined to a room known as “The Box.” A young artist, is determined to find a new perspective, even if this means going against the forces of administration.

“Getting There,” by Gabrielle Giacomo, of New York. A coming-of-age story about a high school senior who feels stifled by a society that uses awards to gauge one’s talents. 

“Don’t Run Away,” by Grayson Lackey, of Lindale. A boy who runs from his father has to make difficult choices.

“We All Go the Same,” Morgana McKenzie, Canada. In the timeless world of fairy tales, villains and victims are visited by a vengeful fairy who offers to shift the balance of power. 

“Kurayami No Wa,” by Morgana McKenzie, Canada. When Halloween is hijacked by a Japanese doomsday cult, a girl and her siblings are forced to flee into the harsh conditions of winter.


Friday: The Texans

“Invisible People,” by Demar Gunter, of Texas. A documentary about helping homeless in San Antonio.

“Don’t Run Away,” by Grayson Lackey, of Lindale. A boy who runs from his father has to make difficult choices.

“Relentless,” by Chris Rollins, of Tyler. A man, left for dead, who awakens in the trunk of his own car faces the challenges of trying to save himself.

“Static,” by Brent Burden, of Dallas. A woman discovers she can communicate with her dead son through static if she lets him feed off the living.

“Pennies,” by Andrew Thomas, of Lindale. A dinner conversation.

“Auburn,” by Stephen Sanchez, of Tyler. A man confesses to his girlfriend after being caught cheating.

“Take My Body,” by Brett Bentman, of Dallas. A distant couple spend an afternoon in purgatory after a fleeting affair.


Saturday: Best of the Best

Top selections from previous screenings.


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