Above image designed by David Poe

Download a High Resolution Version of the 2017 Poster - Out of Town Food Truck designed by tattoo and graphics artist David Poe


Thursday, December 7

7:42pm event horizon (20th anniversary screening) Launch Film 


Technology with Unexpected Consequences

Paul W.S. Anderson | USA | 96min | 1997

Writer: Philip Eisner

Cast: Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan, Jason Isaacs

A rescue crew investigates a spaceship that disappeared into a black hole and has now returned...with someone or something new onboard. Twenty years ago, Paramount took us to the darkest edges of space, terrifying audiences with what has become a cult classic.  Screenwriter Philip Eisner joins us to celebrate one of the most unforgiving examples of mankind tampering with what they should not.  If 1997 was a sort of watershed year for the 2nd wave of SciFi -- with THE FIFTH ELEMENT as a new take on the galaxy-building of STAR WARS, CONTACT clearly a new CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND -- nothing captures the horrifyingly cold neutrality and danger of space first glanced at in ALIEN like EVENT HORIZON.

Philip Eisner wrote EVENT HORIZON for Paramount, FIRESTARTER: REKINDLED for the Sci-Fi Channel, and MUTANT CHRONICLES for independent producer Edward R. Pressman. As a contract screenwriter, his clients include Robert DeNiro’s TRIBECA, Kevin Spacey’s TRIGGER STREET, Gale Anne Hurd’s VALHALLA, The Jim Henson Company, as well as producers Sean Daniels and Larry Gordon. He worked as a story consultant for TELLTALE GAMES, and published his first graphic novel BAD GUYS in 2010. 


Like EVENT HORIZON? Be sure to check out our Screenwriting Workshop with Philip Eisner on Saturday morning! More info below:


Black Hole to Hell: The Use, Reuse and Abuse of Archetypes in SciFi and Horror (and SciFi Horror)


Location: Austin School of Film at Motion Media Arts Center
Address:  2200 Tillery Street - Austin, Texas 78723

(Open to the public, but please RSVP as a courtesy)

Can the familiar still frighten you? How do movies marvel us with visions of a future inspired more often than not, by other movies we’ve seen? Join acclaimed screenwriter Philip Eisner (EVENT HORIZON) as he breaks down some well-travelled cinematic set pieces (haunted houses, mystical swords, blood-thirsty monsters) across the genres to show how writers build off memory to construct their own mythology. Featuring clips from a variety of films, this workshop is perfect for genre filmmakers and fans alike. Remember, where we’re going, we won’t need eyes to see.

RSVP at http://austinfilmschool.org/events/film-talks/film-talks-005-philip-eisner-talks-event-horizon/

Friday, December 8th

4:10pm FLOra (Texas Premiere)


Alternate History

Sasha Louis Vukovic | Canada | 104min

Writer: Sasha Louis Vukovic

Cast: Teresa Marie Doran, Sarie Mercer, Dan Lin, Caleb Noel, Miles G. Jackson, William Aaron

In the summer of 1929 -at the end of the golden age of exploration - an expedition of Ivy League University Botanists enter an uncharted forest on the North American frontier. Tasked to study the native flora, the students unearth a deadly organism and are soon in a fight with nature itself.

4:25pm everything beautiful is far away (Texas Premiere)

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Post-Apocolyptic Life

Pete Ohs & Andrea Sisson | USA | 91min

Writer: Pete Ohs

Cast: Julia Garner, Joseph Cross, C.S. Lee, Jillian Mayer

A guy, a girl and a robothead hike across a desert planet in search of a mythical lake. A whimsical adventure with a big heart and intimate premise, this arthouse SciFi features breathtaking cinematography and a simplicity of story seldom seen in SciFi.

7:00/7:30pm Beyond skyline (Texas Premiere)
OPENING night film


First Contact

Liam O'Donnell | USA | 105min

Writer: Liam O'Donnell

Cast: Frank Grillo, Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, and Antonio Fargas 

Set simultaneously during the worldwide alien invasion of the previous Skyline film, Mark, a tough-as-nails detective, embarks on a relentless pursuit to free his son, Trent, from a nightmarish warship. After they battle their way out, they end up in Indonesia, teaming up with the local resistance who have their own unique way of fighting the intruders.  After writing the initial Skyline film, O’Donnell helms the 2nd installment of an action-packed us vs. them fightfest that actually doesn’t require even having seen the first film to be completely enraptured.

Liam O’Donnell wrote and produced SKYLINE (directed by The Brothers Strause) as well as doing visual effects on IRON MAN 2, and ALIENS VS. PREDATORS: REQUIEM. For a little PolySciFi, he is the nephew of MSNBC political commentator and WEST WING writer/producer Lawrence O’Donnell.

Saturday, December 9th

12:10pm under world shorts - 
evil this side of the door (84min):



Adrian Selkowitz | USA | 13min

Writer: Lauren Kincheloe

Claire, a beautiful and calculating trophy wife, has convinced her husband to invite an influential Hollywood power couple to dinner, believing that preparing an elaborate meal for them might result in her starring in her own cooking show. Things begin to go awry when the arriving guests step over a woman's naked body in the driveway. 


Paul's Bad Day

Phil Bucci | USA | 2min

After blacking out, Paul wakes to find his world changed forever. (Alumi: Special Forces‘16)



Spell Claire

Greg Emetaz | USA | 8min

Claire purchases an antique educational toy that reignites fond memories from childhood and lays bare the sorry state her life is now in.



Mary & Marsha in the Manor of Madness

Kris Theorin | USA | 3min

Sinister secrets await as Mary helps her girlfriend Marsha escape from her parent's gothic mansion one dark and eldritch night, a Lovecraftian escapade through the Manor of Madness.



Mikhael Bassilli | USA | 7min

A man mysteriously finds himself in a room with a couple dead guys, a gun, some money, and a dubious gentleman observing from the shadows. 


Studded Nightmare

Jean-Claude Leblanc | Canada | 9min

When J.-F. is inexplicably drawn to the chair in which a man committed suicide, style isn’t the only thing the leather antique brings to his home. 


Couples Night

The Summers Brothers | USA | 4min

A couples night goes off the rails when one couple reveals they're blood sacrificing devil worshippers. And then things get weird...(Alumni: The Bench ’16)


Three Skeleton Key

Andrew Hamer | USA | 10min

In this adaptation of the George G. Toudouze classic short story, an American lighthouse crew become unnerved when a ship ignores their light, running aground on the reefs. They soon discover that something is on board the ship, and it's not human.


La Sirena

Rosita Lama Muvdi | USA | 24min

In this psychosexual fairy tale set in a small fishing village, after Hector threatens to end his affair with Mia, she discovers a mysterious woman, Mara, washed up on shore, naked and with a hook lodged into her ribcage.


Holiday Fear

Nicholas Santos | USA | 4min

In the final act of a slasher film, Bruce attempts to reclaim his manliness and impress the final girl by finishing off the killer.

12:25pm closer than we think (world premiere)



Brett Ryan Bonowicz | USA | 85min

Cast: Syd Mead, Aubrey de Grey, and Matt Novak

From 1958 to 1963, a Sunday comic strip predicted the future. Arthur Radebaugh's Closer Than We Think represents mid-century futurism at its most daring and optimistic. From Robot Driving to Space Monkey Colonies, Radebaugh's visions of the future heavily influenced The Jetsons and many of his predictions have come true in the decades since the strip first ran in newspapers. Featuring interviews with designers Syd Mead (Tron, Blade Runner), and Rick Guidice (NASA), futurists like Kirk Citron (Editor of The Long News), scientists like Aubrey de Grey (SENS Research Foundation) and historians of mid-century futurism, this documentary tells the story of Arthur’s life and explores what it means to predict the future. A love letter to the mysterious illustrator from those of us living in his future. (Alumni: The Perfect 46 ’14)

2:45pm Scifi shorts - All that can be known (94min):

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Elan Dassani & Rajeev Dassani | USA | 21min

When Yusef discovers his beloved wife Ayana is a Sleeper, a living android bomb left over from a past war, he has only one choice: flee with her to the border of the Machine homeland in the desert, and pray they can make it before time runs out.



Natalie Jenison | TEXAS | 15min

Alan's new job as a member of a security scan team is to do nothing but attend the mysteriously non-functioning scanner under the watchful eye of a paranoid boss until he fixes the machine and unwittingly opens a portal into the unknown.


The Quantified Self

Gleb Osantinski | USA | 16min

Writers: Gleb Osatinski, Danielle Ellen

When well-meaning parents turn the self-tracking into a family religion, the consequences fall outside the quantifiable. (Alumni: House at the Edge of the Galaxy ’14)



Olga Osorio | Spain | 9min

Summer of 1982. Teo claims he has found a wormhole. His brother Óscar does not believe him... at least not for now.



Dan Horrigan | UK | 6min

After the evacuation it's possible to go months without seeing another human being. So we turned to Pleasure Core ltd to keep us human - and being human has some dark surprises. (Alumni: Populace ’16)


The Ningyo

Miguel Ortega | USA | 27min

Writers: Miguel Ortega, Tran Ma, Gregory Collins

Professor Marlowe finds a piece of a map pointing to the place where the Ningyo, a mythical Japanese creature, could be found. He decides to risk everything and go after the Ningyo on his own in hopes to bring to light what could be one of the greatest contributions to science. What he could not anticipate is that, in his search, he is confronted with a choice that puts the very foundations of his morality to the test.

3:00pm painless (Texas Premiere)

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Paranormal Abilities

Jordan Horowitz | USA | 91min

Writer: Jordan Horowitz

Cast: Joey Klein, Evelina Marie, Kip Gilman, Pascal Yen-Pfister

Born with a rare condition that leaves him alienated and unable to feel physical pain, Henry Long becomes obsessed with finding a cure. A need for normalcy leads him down a dark path where he must decide if finding a cure is worth paying the ultimate price.


Painless screens with:

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Tracy Mathewson | UK | 11min

A scientist's secret research is threatened when a neighbour reports his suspicious behaviour to the ruthless investigator tasked with finding and eliminating extremists like himself.

5:30pm defective (US premiere)


Dystopian Societies

Reese Eveneshen | Canada | 102min

Writer: Reese Eveneshen

Cast: Ashley Armstrong, Colin Paradine, Dennis Andres, Jamie Elizabeth Sampson, Raven Cousens

In the near future, Rhett Murphy and his estranged sister Jean are forced to flee from a militant police state after witnessing the dark secrets of a nefarious corporation. With a robotic police force and their killer drones commissioned to capture or terminate them, the siblings search for shelter and a way to take down the repressive regime that rules their lives.

5:40pm tuftland(KYRSYÄ) (North American Premiere)


Gothic Horror

Roope Olenius | Finland | 89min

Writers: Roope Olenius

Cast: Veera W. Vilo, Saara Elina, Neea Viitamäki, Miikka J. Anttila.

A headstrong textile student tries to overcome her problems by accepting a summer job offer from an isolated and offbeat village of Kyrsyä. Once there, she finds her host family’s bucolic existence hides a dark undercurrent of female repression and cult-like conformity.

(In Finnish with English subtitles)

8:20pm Gnaw (texas premiere)


Supernatural Horror

Haylar Garcia | USA | 98min

Writers: Jim Brennan, Haylar Garcia, and Kathryn Gould.

Cast: Penelope Mitchell, Kyle Gass, Chris Johnson Sally Kirkland.

Jennifer Conrad is a small-town girl starting over in the big city. Fleeing an abusive relationship, all she wants is a chance to begin again. But it is hard to start over when something is eating you while you sleep … one painful bite at a time. 

8:25pm mindhack (north american premiere)


Cyberpunk Noir

Royce Gorsuch | USA |101min

Writer: Royce Gorsuch

Cast: Chris Mason, Spencer Locke, and Faran Tahir.

Mason, a young mad genius attempts to ‘hack the human mind’ in order to fix humanity.  Mason believes that if we can reset the brain then we will move away from wars and hate, and can instead exist in harmony. During the course of his experiments Mason accidentally gives physical form to his inner voice, Finn, and the pair must work together to stop the opposing forces attempting to coopt the same technology for evil.

11:00pm Purple fury (world premiere)

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Dystopian Society/Post-Apocalyptic Life/Music Mash Up

Classified | USA | 120min

Writer: George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nico Lathouris, Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord, Ian Paice, Prince, Robert DeLeo, Dean DeLeo, and Scott Weiland

Cast: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult

This road warrior gets captured, but it’s not really about him, it’s about this bad ass woman, who liberates all these other women and drives them across the desert in cinema’s longest car chase. One of the most talked about SciFi films of the decade is stripped of sound, given a purple tint, and synced up to Deep Purple’s Machine Head album, Prince’s Purple Rain and Stone Temple Pilot’s Purpe album.  Roger Waters claimed Dark Side of the Moon was recorded without once thinking of Wizard of Oz, and were pretty sure no one ever intended this pairing either.  Badges only, no individual tickets will be sold. 

Sunday, December 10

12:00pm cocolors (texas premiere)


Post-Apocolyptic Life

Toshihisa Yokoshima | Japan | 45min

Writer: Toshihisa Yokoshima

Cast: Yuuki Takada, Sawako Hata, Mutsuki Iwanaka, Masaki Terasoma,Yoshiko Kamei,Yayoi Nakazawa

There is a world in which an endless rain of dark ash fills the sky, and covers the earth. Bundled up in their protective suits and hidden away behind their masks, humanity has fled deep within the underground. This is the story of the children growing up in this fearful world, and two boys who join a recovery team that ventures out to the outside world.

 (Animated, Japanese with English subtitles)


Cocolors screens with:


Super Science Friends - Episode 1: The Phantom Premise

Brett Jubinville | Canada | 16min | Writers: Brett Jubinville, Laurel Dalgleish, Kevin Williams

A team of time-travelling super scientists led by Winston Churchill who travel through time fighting nazis, zombies and all manner of sciency villains!


Meeting Macguffin

Catya Plate | USA | 10min

In a post-apocalyptic future where humanity has fallen apart, a group of scientists and an animated sign complete the construction of a new human race and meet a groundhog climatologist who prepares them for their mission to restore balance to the decimated Earth.

12:10pm scifi shorts - The paradox of choice (93min):


A Crimson Man

Mike Pappa | USA | 22 min

Set in a war-torn land of man vs. machine, a young runaway slave in search of his father must ally with a troubled war-robot or be hunted down by his brutal overseers.



Nicole's Cage

Josef Brandl | Germany | 15min

When an apartment on a revolving ferris wheel becomes free, Jakob and Nicole do not hesitate to move in together. Unfortunately neither has taken the time to get to know their partner before.



They Charge For the Sun

Terence Nance | USA | 17min

Writer: Eugene Ramos

In a dystopian future where people live nocturnally to avoid the harmful rays of the sun, a young girl unravels the lie that has kept her and her sister in the dark.



Ricardo Fernández Jiménez | Colombia | 14min

Hilbert's consciousness can be in two worlds at the same time. An amazing skill which allows him to help a gangster win fifty-fifty bets. But he wants out, and a meeting with Ana may provide the perfect opportunity.



Eric McEver | Japan | 16min

A scientist studying the first human time traveller falls in love with her subject. If her research succeeds they will become separated by eons of history.


Cold Storage

Thomas Freundlich | Finland | 9min

Writers: Thomas Freundlich, Valtteri Raekallio

On a desolate arctic shore, a lonely fisherman discovers his prehistoric counterpart frozen in the ice, and thaws him out as his newfound soul brother.

2:25pm hostile (Texas Premiere)


Post-Apocolyptic/Zombie Horror

Mathieu Turi | France | 83min

Writer: Mathieu Turi

Cast: Brittany Ashworth, Grégory Fitoussi, Javier Botet

Juliette, a lone survivor of an apocalyptic era, fights to survive against hunger, thirst, a broken leg and strange disturbing creatures that only comes out at nighttime. Memories from before the apocalypse are Juliette’s only company as she holds up under a car and attempts to fight off whatever it is that roams the dark.  French director’s English language feature debut.


Hostile screens with: 

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Followed Back

Scott Baker | USA | 9min

An astronaut struggles with PTSD from his last mission into orbit, where he's convinced he had an alien encounter.

3:00pm Restoration (North American Premiere)


Technology with Unexpected Consequences

Stuart Willis | Australia | 51min

Writer: Matthew Clayfield & Stuart Willis

Cast:  Craig McLachlan, Grant Cartwright, Stephen Carracher

In the near future, a company offers individuals the service of having their memories downloaded "for backup." So, in the event of death, those memories can be uploaded into a new body.After a routine backup, Oliver Klein wakes to find his memories restored into a body that is not his own and comes face-to-face with the truth that he is no longer the only Oliver Klein.


Restoration screens with:


The Tinwife

Travis Neufeld | Canada |27min

Set in a futuristic 1950’s, a woman is imprisoned in an internment facility for unwanted android housewives.

5:10pm fractured (Texas Premiere)


Arthouse Slasher

Jamie Patterson | UK | 80min

Writer: Christian J Hearn

Cast: April Pearson, Karl Davies, Louisa Lytton

When a tyre blows on the way to a romantic countryside getaway, Rebecca and Michael sense someone is watching. The only people they encountered along the way were friendly strangers Freyr and Alva who gave them a lift. But their holiday home becomes a terrifying prison as they are tortured by something or someone outside.


Fractured screens with:



Michael Bartolomeo | USA | 8min

A lonely young man dreams of one day becoming a Rubik's Cube master, but his obsession soon turns deadly. This film is made of 11,000 still photographs.

5:35pm The Black Hole
(defender of the universe screening):


Space Travel

Gary Nelson | USA | 98 min | 1979

Writer: Jeb Rosebrook, Gerry Day

Cast: Maximilian Schell, Anthony Perkins, Robert Forster, Joseph Bottoms, Yvette Mimieux, Ernest Borgnine  

In the future, the USS Palomino is on its way back to Earth when it discovers another ship that had been assumed missing, the USS Cygnus. Kate McCrae (Yvette Mimieux), a scientist aboard the Palomino, learns that it's the same ship upon which her father had served as a crew member. When the Palomino's crew boards the Cygnus, they are met by Dr. Reindhardt (Maximilian Schell) and a bizarre, faceless army who plan to be the first people ever to explore a black hole.  Notable for being the first Disney film to be rated "PG" and to feature CGI, THE BLACK HOLE was at the time the most expensive picture ever produced by Disney.

Defender of the Universe, Gary Nelson

The Defender of the Universe Award honors a cinematic star or mentor whose heroic actions help mold us intothe future humans we aspire to be. In stories that examine what it means to be human, often in the face of rapidly developing technology, alternate histories or multi-galaxial space sagas where we are just one of the many players in a political landscape, SciFi heroes teach us who we are and what we value.

Best remembered for THE BLACK HOLE, basically ‘20,000 Leagues In Space’ with spectacular production design and a mesmerizing score from John Barry, Gary Nelson’s other directing credits include FREAKY FRIDAY and ALLAN QUARTERMAIN AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD.  With a career spanning decades of work from directing for TV Westerns like HAVE GUN – WILL TRAVEL and GUNSMOKE, to comedies like GILLIGAN’S ISLAND and GET SMART, to a long relationship with Disney, Nelson helped define the role of a director in what the FCC chairman had just deemed ‘a vast wasteland.’ Later, as he moved into film, his finely-tuned skills turned what could have been genre-knock-offs into classic adventure stories in their own right.

8:30pm curvature (Texas Premiere)
Closing night film:


Time Travel

Diego Hallivis | USA | 91min

Writer: Brian Deleeuw

Cast: Lyndsy Fonseca, Glenn Morshower, Linda Hamilton

Putting her life back together after the death of her husband, an engineer remains suspicious of her husband’s business partner who want to continue his research into time travel.  When she receives an enigmatic phone call of warning, she realizes she may have traveled back in time to stop herself from committing a murder. A mind-bending mystery that harkens back to TIME CRIMES and LOOPER.

Diego Hallivis and producer Julio Hallivis are Mexican-American brothers whose first film GAME TIME was released by Lionsgate in 2011.  Their recent short THE LAUGHING MAN explored a violent and gory take on the early years of the comic book character, The Joker, and helped finance CURVATURE, their second feature. 

8:00PM prodigy (texas premiere)
CLOsing night film:

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Alex Haughey & Brian Vidal | USA | 80 min

Writers: Alex Haughey & Brian Vidal

Cast: Richard Neil, Savannah Liles, Emilio Palame

A secret branch of the military calls upon psychologist James Fonda to take the case of a dangerous patient, nine-year-old Ellie. As their session begins, the young girl dissects Dr. Fonda's unconventional methods, revealing her genius-level intellect. Only by challenging her to a battle of wits does Fonda begin to unravel the supernatural mystery surrounding Ellie -- a deadly secret that threatens to destroy them both.


Curvature and Prodigy both screen with:



Bears Fonte | TEXAS | 10min

Mysteriously eight months pregnant overnight, Katie believes the Angels responsible, but her sister thinks differently. (alumni: Roadside Assistance ’15)