The 8th Annual Flatland Film Festival was held October 18-20 at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts (LHUCA). The event opened with a gallery reception and a showing of the 2012 Oscar-nominated live shorts, including the winner of the award, “The Shore” (starring Ciaran Hinds).
The festival started up on Friday with the Flatland Festival Kids’ Fest, a portion of the programming geared toward the 3rd graders of the Lubbock Independent School District. The evening screenings consisted of two films produced by Texas filmmakers.
“America’s Parking Lot” is a documentary that follows two fans of the Dallas Cowboys football team as they struggle with the 2010 move from the historic Texas Stadium in Irving to the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. These fans, Cy and Tiger, are also leaders of the famous ‘Gate 6’ tailgate party (at the Texas Stadium), and the move for them wasn’t just physical; it was a test of the friendships and traditions they had helped build over the span of two decades.
“Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines” (premiered at SXSW 2012) not only focused on Wonder Woman herself, but on the history of comic superheroines to illustrate how American women are struggling against a patriarchal, male superhero-dominated society. Wonder Woman is the tool used to illustrate the history of female empowerment.
Both films concluded with a Q&A with the filmmakers.
The final day of the festival began Saturday morning. This was competition day and short films were shown in an 11 a.m. session, a 1 p.m. session, and a 3 p.m. session. 27 films were shown Saturday and of these films, five received awards.
“Do Over,” a comical short about a young boy requesting countless “do overs” to be able to say the right thing to his first date, won the Chris Caddel Filmmaker Award. “Pablo on Wheels,” a short that puts us in the shoes of a young Mexican-American who saw his parents arrested and deported at a young age, won The American Experience Award. “Delivery,” a smuggler story of a man charged with sneaking a stranger to New York without an address, won the Special Jury Award. “Future Learning” won the Preston E. Smith Award. The Audience Choice Award went to “A House, a Home,” a music video done for the Alialujah Choir (and featuring the Portland Cello Project). As the song plays, we are taken to a world of underground rooms, in which a young man explores the rooms outside of his and finds a lost love who appears as if she has been waiting to see him again, and together, they remake the past.
Grand Prize went to “Reflex,” a Romanian short about a photographer assigned to spy on a soap opera actress for the tabloids. In a series of camera angles, zooms and adjustments, we see as the photographer sees and we witness a personal moment in the actress’s life, one that brings up the question of morality to us at the same time the photographer realizes it.
The evening and the event concluded with a showing of the Spanish horror-comedy, “Lobos de Arga” (English title: “Game of Werewolves). On the same vein as “Shawn of the Dead,” but with werewolves, this movie details the wolfish curse cast on the son of the deviant Marchioness of a small Spanish village – Arga. 100 years later, when Tomás Mariño, a descendant of the cursed Marchioness, returns to the village, his childhood home, under false invitation by the village leaders. He is captured as a sacrifice to the werewolf that has been terrorizing the village, but escapes thanks to an old friend. However, the curse, still not broken, worsens, and Tomás and his friends have to survive the night through an entire village of werewolves! This movie is a comedic homage to the horror movies of old.
Hub Staff FFF 2012 Favorites:
Tuba Atlantic (Oscar- nominated short)
LHUCA will continue showing films with the Flatland Film Series. On Saturday, December 8, there will be a 7pm showing of “Bernie,” a Jack Black comedy. Student tickets will be $5 and the full ticket price is $10. On March 22 and 23, the 2013 season will open with the 1924 silent film, “Metropolis,” which will be paired with live music from Scott and Amy Faris to create “Metropolis Elektro.”