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There's Something Strange About Austin's Newest Film Festival: It's All About Sci-Fi

Austin has a brand-new film festival and it’s all about science fiction. The first-ever Other Worlds Austin Sci-Fi Film Festival is happening this weekend.

I know what you’re thinking – just what Austin needs – another film festival. But that’s exactly what Other Worlds Austin Director of Programming Bears Fonté thought.

“I had a science fiction film a couple years ago that wound up playing about 40 film festivals. So as I was going around the country with the film, I just saw so many great science fiction films and I was like, this isn’t playing Austin and I want to do that, I want to bring those films to Austin and give those filmmakers a chance to play in front of an audience that’s going to be really receptive," Fonté says.

Other Worlds Austin Director of Programming Bears Fonté.

So Fonté left his job at the Austin Film Festival and has spent the last few months making this one happen.

So why science fiction, specifically?

“Austin is the geek capitol of the world, I think. And science fiction is the film of choice for fans," Fonté says. "You take the visitor on a journey and it’s something new and fresh that they haven’t experienced.”

None of the films in the first-ever “Other Worlds Austin” line-up have ever played in Texas before… and there’s even a handful of U.S. and World premieres – including APT 3D.

It’s about a couple that moves into a new place – and notices some strange happenings.

“My character works from home so I tend to be alone a lot, at least in the beginning, and I start going through some things, hearing some things and possibly seeing some things and it’s a little hard to tell at first if it’s in my head or if it’s actually happening," APT 3D actress Maxxe Sternbaum says.

Credit Photo courtesy of Endocrine Entertainment.
Maxxe Sternbaum in APT 3D, an Endocrine Entertainment production.

APT 3D Writer/Director/Actor Zack Imbrogno says they’re thrilled to premiere the film in Austin.

“It’s amazing the way that Austin over the years has sort of taken independent film under its wing and championed in it a way that I don’t think I can think of any other place in the country that’s doing that right now," Imbrogno says. "Just to be able to have a world premiere here in Austin. I can’t think of any better place and a new sci-fi film festival. We’re super fortunate and humbled to be here.”

And While the film festival is small in its first year – at least compared to big dogs like South by Southwest and the Austin Film Festival – Director of Programming Fonté says that offers some advantages.

Credit Photo courtesy of Endocrine Entertainment.
Zack Imbrogno in APT 3D, an Endocrine Entertainment production.

“At a larger festival, you’re just dealing with so many submissions that are coming in, you don’t really have time to personally reach out to every filmmaker that you’re interested in and talk to them about coming in and playing," Fonté says. "Also just contact with the fans and people coming to the festival. So if you have a wristband, you have a guaranteed seat for every screening block. So, no matter what, you will be able to see a film.”

The first-ever Other Worlds Austin Sci-Fi Film Festival is happening this weekend at the Galaxy Highland Theatre. Wristbands and general admission tickets are available.

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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