Austin’s only science fiction film festival is back for its fifth year, showing films that promise a brighter future or warn against darkness. In the spirit of its dedication to bringing fresh views and voices to genre cinema, here are five films that emphasize diversity in the cast, the crew, and the stories told.
Battlestar Galactica 40th Anniversary Screening
Before Edward James Olmos commanded a ragtag fleet containing the last of humanity, it was Lorne Greene who played Commander Adama in the original Battlestar Galactica. Join uncredited director and third recipient of OWA’s Defender of the Universe award, Alan J. Levi, for a rare screening of the little-seen cinematic version of the first three episodes. Fri., Dec. 7, 7pm.
Elijah and the Rock Creature
True kids’ films are a rarity, especially in the genre field. That’s why Elijah and the Rock Creature is so special, as a young boy (Ben Naugler) and a crystalline alien (Thompson Duff) find friendship when they get lost in the Canadian woods. Not only is it gentle adventure fun, but there are age-appropriate lessons to be learned about relativity (not kidding) and how children grieve. Don’t have a badge? This screening is open to the public and free to anyone under 15. Sat., Dec. 8, 11:20am.
Born in Flames 35th Anniversary Screening
Lizzie Borden’s brilliant, transgressive, and prescient work of queer dystopian fiction is an oft-overlooked landmark of semi-improvised punk cinema, but is undergoing a well-deserved reappraisal. Sat., Dec. 8, noon.
Soul to Keep
Think that A Quiet Place is the only film to find terror in silence? Screening as part of the Under Worlds Austin horror strand, Soul to Keep features deaf actress Sandra Mae Frank as part of a group of friends who accidentally summon Beelzebub. OWA has also organized a Sunday morning repeat screening for people with hearing loss, with open captions and a filmmaker Q&A with ASL translation (tickets for that screening are $10). Sat., Dec. 8, 10:15pm. Open caption screening Sun., Dec. 9, 10am.
Everyone knows that NASA depends on the technical ingenuity of its engineers, but this documentary celebrates the creativity of three visionary conceptual artists who helped explain to generations what space exploration can really mean. Come see their work projected in truly cosmic proportions. Sun., Dec. 9, 12:25pm.
Other Worlds Austin @ Flix Brewhouse, 2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, Thu.-Sun., Dec. 6-9. Tickets and info at www.otherworldsaustin.com.