George R.R. Martin headlines the 2015 Nacogdoches Film Festival
Nacogdoches, TX. The fourth annual Nacogdoches Film Festival takes place Feb. 26-28, 2015 in venues across the First Town in Texas.
Festival committee chair Ron Johnson is excited about the line-up and the buzz about the upcoming three-day event.
"We're feeling the momentum building rapidly this year," he said. "Some of that is the quality of the films and filmmakers we're bringing to Nacogdoches. Some of it is because of our celebrity guests," he grinned.
Perhaps the most-acclaimed special guest is George R.R. Martin, writer and producer of the popular "Game of Thrones" books and television series.
Martin will take part in two panel sessions and special events. Committee member Brad Maule shared some background on Martin's participation.
"We're fortunate that local author Joe Lansdale is committed to our festival and introducing us to so many talented writers and filmmakers," Maule said. "Joe and George are good friends - and George is looking forward to being in Nacogdoches."
The festival highlights independent film, including graduates of Stephen F. Austin State University's film school and others with Nacogdoches ties. "We've already received more than 50 independent films entries in the Short Film competition," Maule noted. Entries were still being accepted through January 1 via filmfreeway.com .
Former Nacogdoches film and video producers Andy Cope, Eric Hueber and Remy Carter are working now with festival organizers on plans to premier their dramatic film, "Flutter." at the festival. A question and answer session with Cope would follow the film.
Cope will be also be joined by science fiction writer Howard Waldrop, cinematographer Levie Isaacks, director Gary Fortin, Lansdale and entertainment attorney Lawrence Waks for a panel covering entertainment law and filmmaking.
Music takes cinematic center stage with "Road to Austin," a 75-minute feature chronicling the birth and growth of Austin as the Live Music Capital of the World. Concert footage of Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, Joe Ely and others is included. Director Gary Fortin will be on hand to introduce the film and conduct a Q&A afterward.
"Tomato Republic" takes a wry look at Jacksonville, Texas, politics as a flamboyant restaurateur, a good ol boy and a political ingénue compete for the mayor's post. Director/producer Whitney Graham Carter will be here for Q&A.
Lansdale's chilling "Cold in July" explores an entangled downward spiral of lies and violence. Director Jim Mickle and Lansdale will offer their insights following the film screening.
Lansdale and Director Mike T. Lyddon will reveal "By the Hair of the Head," another filmic tale of sinister secrets.
Young filmmakers will have a chance to learn film technique. "We'll invite a couple dozen youngsters to participate in a hands-on Kids Filmmaking Workshop," said committee member Bruce Partain. "They'll create and edit short movies using their smartphones and tablets." SFA Mass Communication Dept. faculty Drs. Casey Hart and Linda Thorsen Bond will work with Partain on that event.
A VIP party will be held at the Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau on Friday, Feb. 27, followed by a red carpet event at the Carmike Theater screenings.
The Texas Film Commission will also hold their first regional workshop in three years for communities interested in becoming a Film Friendly Texas Community. "It will be an affordable workshop from mid-morning through mid-afternoon on Friday, Feb. 27," Partain said. The film commission expects thirty to fifty attendees representing cities, chambers of commerce and convention and visitors bureaus. Nacogdoches has been a Film Friendly Community since 2008.
"It helps communities create film guidelines and learn how to be receptive to filmmakers and their projects," he said. "It means filmmakers and location scouts have a fast-track to locate shooting sites, acquire permits, find accommodations, contact service providers and get answers to many questions. We have had several scouting location inquiries just in the past few weeks based on our relationship with the film commission. Our goal is to have a significant number of small and large productions here. It is just another form of economic development. " More details will be announced soon on the workshop.
Nacogdoches Film Festival sponsors to date include Austin Bank, 103 the Bull, Commercial Bank of Texas, The Daily Sentinel, Dolphin Printing, East Texas Full Moon Film Society, First Bank & Trust East Texas, G. Patterson Studio Gallery, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hastings, Jackson Walker LLP, Pinecrest Early Learning Center, R&K Distributors, Story Wright Office Supply, SFA College of Fine Arts, SFA Dept. of Mass Communication, Texas Film Commission, Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau, Nacogdoches Bar Association, Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, NEDCO and the City of Nacogdoches Main Street Program.
Prospective sponsors and patrons are encouraged to support the festival.
"Tickets will range from $100 for the VIP ticket, to $45 for an all-films ticket to $15 for individual screenings," Johnson said. "There will be free screenings of short independent film contest winners at the SFA Cole Art Center. We'll announce other special events and prices as commitments are finalized," he said. "My advice to Nacogdoches is to purchase a VIP ticket now, because the word is out on this festival. Tickets are limited and I'm anticipating an early sell-out. We're encouraging our out-of-town guests to book their accommodations early as well."