2015 was a fantastic year for independent filmmaking! Technical / conceptual creativity and production values were the most consistently solid we’ve seen yet, we’re very excited about the state of filmmaking and the fantastic cinema MFF 2015 attendees enjoyed last October. We were very honored and grateful for all the filmmakers and artists who entered their work for consideration in our 2015 program. It was very challenging to select from such a great body of work, keep making incredible films!
• Opening Party: after the opening screening on wednesday (Gust Van Den Berghe’s highly unique and beautifully allegorical Lucifer, filmed entirely in circular “Tondoscope” format) we headed a few blocks from the Crowley Theater and uncorked the festivities with complimentary Patron tequila, local Big Bend Brewery beer, and delicious CocoLibre organic Coconut Water.
• Eyes of the Moon Party: The Eyes of the Moon crew filmed much of their wildly psychedelic movie starring and featuring new original music by CocoRosie in beautiful West Texas, friday night they threw a party a the Lost Horse Saloon.
• MFF 2015 Screenplay Competition winner reading at the Crowley Theater: Legendary Oscar award-winning writing duo and MFF 2015 screenplay competition finalist judges Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana chose LUFKIN’S REACH by Johnny Walters, a noirish crime thriller revolving around a circle of ex-police detectives. On Sunday afternoon we hosted a live reading of the script in the Crowley Theater.
• Screenplay runner-up finalists readings: We ended up with 4 really fantastic finalist screenplays we felt were so good justice wouldn’t be done unless we shared them with the MFF audience. So we hosted informal live readings of MIDDLEMAN (a suspenseful tale in the seedy underworld of ticket scalpers), EMPIRE OF DIRT (a multi-faceted border story story involving aging bullfighter, an intrepid journalist, an Ibogaine clinic, and some street kids), and 1977 (a comically surreal coming of age story involving an epic battle of the bands on the day Elvis Presley died)
• Experimental Gaming Arcade: Once again the Juegos Rancheros gaming collective out of ATX will brought a selection of arcade cabinet mounted indie video games to MFF!
• Patron Lounge: Late afternoons throughout the fest festival attendees were invited to visit the Rock Hudson suite in the Hotel Paisano, which has a broad veranda overlooking Marfa. We served complimentary Patron and CocoLibre, a great place to unwind and mix with other attendees and filmmakers.
• Small Star Seminar: Filmmaker extraordinaire Cory McAbee (director of the cult classic “The American Astronaut”) hosted an interactive TED talk style musical presentation. The performance was recorded and will be produced through the Sundance lab to become McAbee’s latest feature film.
• Crysta Bell: Chanteuse and David Lynch muse Chrysta Bell performed a selection of songs co-written by Lynch before the friday night outdoor screening of Hud, set against the dramatic backdrop of the west Texas sunset out at the Marfa Municipal Golf Course.
• Alpine screenings: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we screened films from the 2015 program at Alpine’s Rangra Theater.
• Surprise Musical Documentary: Sunday afternoon we screened a surprise musical documentary Syl Johnson: Any Way the Wind Blows.
• Closing Party: After all the films and special events and good times we cut loose sunday evening like we always do with an off-the-hook dance party.
Since 2007 the Marfa Film Festival has attracted talented filmmakers, international press, industry professionals, and attendees from around the world to a remote corner of far west Texas. Over 5 days we screen a diverse mix of features, shorts, music videos, and experimental works, including a full afternoon schedule followed each evening by outdoor classics screenings in a starlit desert, with special happenings and spaces.
Our program celebrates innovation and excellence in filmmaking through meticulous curation and fostering a relaxed social space where up-and-coming filmmakers and adventurous cinephiles mix with film veterans and living legends in a captivatingly scenic, culturally rich environment. We show films one-at-a-time, so attendees can enjoy the entire program with spare hours to relax and socialize in that unhurried “sun-drenched desert town at the end of the world” Marfa kind of way.
Filmmakers, flims, and musical talents featured at MFF have gone on to win Oscars, Emmys and Grammys. Our program features works of promising newcomers, exceptional talents, and celebrated masters, including world premieres and overlooked classics.
The remote landscape surrounding Marfa has witnessed a fascinating history of art and film which continues to unfold in. Festival attendees enjoy an intimate get-away immersed in the unique culture, spectacular scenery, and clear air of the Marfa plateau.
Passes get you into all screenings, plus a commemorative badge, festival tote and program guidebook.
• EarlyBird passes purchased before Dec 31, 2015 will include a special goodie bag, free festival tee shirt, and invite to a filmmakers VIP pool party at the 2016 festival.
MFF is extending $100 off 5 day passes till Feb 14th! All pass holders will be invited to our film lover early bird filmmaker pool party!
• Discounted Passes and Tickets available for Tri-County residents (available on-site during the fest with a local photo ID or utility bill)
Developments in 2015:
• The next Marfa Film Festival will happen October 14-18, 2015.
We’d like attendees to experience Marfa at its very best, and everyone seemed to agree the milder climates and earlier sunsets of autumn make it the ideal season. Shorter daylight hours will also allow us to expand our popular program of outdoor screenings beneath the stars.
• MFF is going 501c(3) non-profit.
Through the years we’ve been blessed with fantastic volunteers who contributed extraordinary time and effort to make each Marfa Film Festival a success. Together we’ve made huge strides, but as the festival continues to grow it’s clear we’ll need the support of cinephiles and arts patrons who share MFF’s vision of building a truly world class international film festival in beautiful West Texas. We intend to build and maintain an organizational infrastructure capable of realizing and further developing that dream. To read our mission statement click here
• We’ve added an un-produced screenplay category.
Starting in 2015 we’ll celebrate the work of talented screenwriters by accepting screenplay entries and selecting the best for inclusion in our official program. Selected screenplays will receive live readings featuring local and visiting actors during the festival. Oscar award winning author and MFF 2009 alumni Larry McMurtry (The Last Picture Show, Terms of Endearment, Brokeback Mountain) and his writing partner Diana Ossana will participate as members of our screenplay selection team, and we expect to have further exciting announcements in the future.
• We’ve added a trailer / teaser category to our program.
Regardless whether any intention to actually produce a film beyond the trailer exists, we appreciate how the brevity and lack of production constraints in trailers / teasers presents an excellent opportunity to realize striking and innovative film concepts worth sharing.
We accept Narratives, Documentaries, Animated Films, Music Videos, Trailers / Teasers, Experimental Works, and Screenplays of any genre, addressing any topic. Films must screen within defined runtimes, detailed in our entry guidelines.
Selecting a film for the Marfa Film Festival program is the only formal award we bestow. MFF doesn’t choose ‘best-of’ or organize selected films into competitive hierarchies. We’ve noticed eschewing competitiveness seems to foster a refreshingly unguarded social atmosphere where creative people with a diversity of experiences and reputations can meet to discover new friendships and collaborations naturally. We treat visiting filmmakers with friendly hospitality including a luxuriant filmmakers only dinner and other special happenings.
Traveling to the Marfa Film Festival is an adventure in itself. Located in one of the most remote corners of the United States, you can arrive here by automobile, train, and private airplane. For specific information about how to make your way to Marfa click here.
A duplicate portion of our program will also screen in the neighboring town of Alpine, so we highly recommend booking there if accommodations in Marfa become scarce.
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