Get Ready for Fall Film Fests, Old and New


Mignola Bride of Frankenstein posterAustin's getting fest-y (and the rising summer temps aren't to blame) with recent news about two new fall film festivals, plus some updates from a longtime local favorite fest.

The fest-o-meter will get turned up a few notches as the weather (hopefully) starts to cool beginning in September with the inaugural MondoCon. Sponsored by the Austin-based art-and-media company/gallery Mondo, MondoCon is scheduled to take place smack dab in the middle of Fantastic Fest, the city's annual genre festival, from Sept. 20-21 at the Marchesa.

MondoCon will be more than a poster show -- with panels, screenings, special guests from various disciplines and good food options. Single and full-weekend tickets are on sale while supplies last. All VIP badges for Fantastic Fest get full-weekend admission.

Fan favorite artists and legends like Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and award-winning comic book artist Bernie Wrightson, among others, are expected to be in attendance at MondoCon. In celebration of the festival, Mignola created a sold-out movie poster for The Bride of Frankenstein (pictured at right).

MondoCon will be accepting volunteer applications in conjunction with Fantastic Fest. Volunteer information will be available next month.

The holidays can, indeed, be out of this world. And a group of local filmmakers and science-fiction enthusiasts are pushing those boundaries with the launch of Austin's first dedicated science-fiction film festival, Other Worlds Austin, from Dec. 4-6 at Galaxy Highland 10 (6700 Middle Fiskville Rd.).

Bears Fonte, former director of programming for Austin Film Festival, founded Other Worlds Austin as a shorts program after discovering the number of excellent sf movies that other fests just didn't seem to have room for. Now that he's no longer with AFF, he expanded his idea into a full weekend festival for science-fiction shorts and features alike.

Other Worlds Austin logoLike Fonte, programmers with Other Worlds Austin love sci-fi and most write or create movies in the genre. The team includes former Austin Studios stage manager and Austin Film Society intern/apprentice Reid Lansford, among others. [Editor's note: It's great to see the fest has a number of female programmers on its team, which is not often the case with genre-centric film fests.]

Badges for the inaugural Other Worlds Austin festival go on sale next month (at a very reasonable $35) with the schedule to be announced by Nov. 4. Movie submissions for Other Worlds Austin run until the Oct. 1 late deadline (early-bird deadline's Aug. 1) for both shorts and features. The festival is also accepting volunteer applications.

Science-fiction shorts and features can also be submitted to Austin Film Festival, which runs from Oct. 23-30 this year. In addition, the fest's screenplay and teleplay competition includes the Darkwoods Productions Sci-Fi Award.

The fest and conference turns 21 this year -- a cause for celebration (an Old Fashioned, perhaps?) and an announcement that's pure madness: Matthew Weiner, creator/executive producer/writer/director of AMC's Mad Men, was recently announced as this year's recipient of AFF's Outstanding Television Writer Award. Weiner is scheduled to speak at this year's festival, where he will accept the award.

Other confirmed attendees at AFF this year include the fest's 2014 Distinguished Screenwriter honoree Jim Sheridan, Neil LaBute (The Shape of Things), Terry George (Hotel Rwanda), Whit Stillman (Damsels in Distress, Metropolitan), Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko), and Cary Fukunaga (True Detective, Sin Nombre) ... among many others.

And don't forget: AFF's late deadline for film submissions is July 15.