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November 27, 2021

Austin Film Society and Sundance announce in-person screening schedule and online events

In-person screenings to be held at the drive-In at Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms

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The Austin Film Society announced today that it will hold its satellite screenings of the Sundance Film Festival at the Drive-in at Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms, east of I-35 near East Braker Lane.

Tickets go on sale at 1 p.m. today, Jan. 7, for members of the Austin Film Society.
Remaining tickets will go on sale Jan. 11 for the general public.

The Sundance Institute announced last month that it would hold in-person screenings like the ones at Pioneer Farms. The festival is also holding in-person screenings at various sites around the nation as part of its effort to carry on with festival events during the coronavirus pandemic.

In addition to the drive-in screenings, the AFS will hold a series of online panel discussions as part of the Sundance Film Festival’s Beyond Film programming. All panels are free and open to the public, but attendees must register in advance of the event to receive long-in instructions.

The screenings and online panels are available at austinfilm.org/sundance and are also listed below:

  • “Son of Monarchs,” 7 p.m. Jan. 28. Directed by Alexi Gambis, this narrative feature will be one of the highlights of the festival. It stars Tenoch Huerta as Mendel, a man who has been enchanted by the monarch butterflies of Mexico since he was child. His career as a scientist in New York is, in fact, focused on the genetics of the monarchs. At the same time, Mendel is haunted by flashbacks of being orphaned alongside his older brother, Simon, when their parents died in a flood. All of this comes to a dramatic climax when Mendel returns to Mexico for the funeral of his grandmother. The feature is the Alfred P. Sloan Film Prize winner.
  • “The Pink Cloud,” 7 p.m. Jan. 29. Directed by Iuli Gerbase, this feature focuses on Giovano and Yago, who meet at a party. And when a deadly cloud takes over their city, they are forced to seek shelter with each other. Months pass as the world settles into an extended quarantine, and the two struggle to come to terms with their isolation.
  • “At the Ready,” 6 p.m. Jan. 31.  This documentary from director Maisie Crow focuses on students at Horizon High School in El Paso who are enrolling in law enforcement classes and joining an unusual after-school activity: the criminal justice club. These clubs hold mock drug raids and active-shooter takedowns. The story deals with the inherent conflicts that some of the Mexican-American students face as they inch closer to their desired careers in border patrol, policing and customs enforcement.
  • “The Blazing World,” 8:30 p.m. Jan. 31. This feature is directed by Carlson Young, who also stars as Margaret, who is haunted by the memory of watching her sister drown during a fight between her parents. As a young woman, she begins to take an epic journey of imagination as she tries to exorcise her demons, which brings her to the brink of suicide.
  • “USERS,” 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1. This documentary from Natalia Almada looks at the ruthless locomotion of technology. Her camera follows trains, trucks and underwater cables that carry data at the speed of light. But as her lens documents the power of invention, it also dives into technology’s greatest existential competitor: rising oceans, crackling fires, forced mountain tops — a planet at war with so-called societal progress. Amid all of this, Almada’s son stares into his computer screen and is rocked to sleep by a seamlessly paced electronic crib.


Here are the Beyond Film Only Panels:

  • A Conversation with Richard Linklater and “Miss Juneteenth” director Channing Godfrey Peoples. 4 p.m. Jan. 28. The acclaimed Austin director talks with the director of the breakout debut feature “Miss Juneteenth,” which premiered at Sundance in 2020. “Miss Juneteenth” was supported by the AFS’s artist development programs. The session is presented in partnership with Houston Cinema Arts Society.
  • Texas Women Producers, 11 a.m. Jan. 30. Three female producers, each with a film premiering at Sundance 2021, discuss how they built and are sustaining the careers outside of New York and Los Angeles. They are Elizabeth Avellan, who is premiering her new independent film “The Blazing World” in Sundance NEXT; Liz Lodge Stepp, producer of the documentary “USERS”; and Hillary Pierce, producer of the documentary “At the Ready.” Avellan is a veteran producer of such films as “Spy Kids,” “Predators” and “Sin City.” Stepp previously produced the Sundance award winner “Monsters and Men.” And Pierce previously produced the SXSW award winner “The River and the Wall.” The session is presented in partnership with Austin’s Women in Film and Television.
  • “Shifting Perspectives About the Border,” 1 p.m. Feb. 1. A conversation with regional filmmakers who are creating stores about the Texas/Mexico border communities that bring complexity and nuance that’s missing from the national dialogue. The session includes director Maisie Crow (“At the Ready”), and Angie Reza Tures, executive director of Femme Frontera, which supports female filmmakers in the West Texas/Mexico border area. Presented in partnership with Femme Frontera.
  • “JOCKEY” Filmmakers Talk Texas Film, 6 p.m. Feb. 2. Director Clint Bentley and writer/producer Greg Kwedar sit down with Sailor Bear’s Toby Halbrooks to talk about making independent films in North Texas. Bentley and Kwedar previously won the SXSW Grand Jury prize for “Transpecos.” Halbrooks is known for his work on “A Ghost Story” and “Pete’s Dragon.” “JOCKEY” was the 2020 recipient of the AFS Grant Pioneer Film Fund Award, in partnership with Sailor Bear Entertainment and the Oak Cliff Film Festival. The session is presented in partnership with the Oak Cliff Film Festival.
  • Black Media Story Summit — Texas. Details to be arranged. The Black Media Story Summit — Texas follows the inaugural summit held during the 2019 Houston Cinema Arts Festival at the DeLuxe Theater in Houston’s 5th Ward. The free virtual conference will bring together 100 guests, eluding filmmakers and other creators of content of color, as well as foundations, tech, distributors and social justice leaders. Presented in partnership with Black Public Media and Houston Cinema Arts Society.

Charles Ealy
Charles Ealy is a former movies editor for The Dallas Morning News and Austin American-Statesman.

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