Hays County film festival heading to Caldwell County
By Wesley Gardner
The Fourth Annual Lost River Film Fest is expanding to Lockhart and Martindale this year after three years of being held solely in Hays County.
The film festival will consist of four days and nights of movie screenings and more, featuring films that have been made throughout the past year. Screenings will be held in San Marcos, Lockhart, Martindale and Buda.
According to Festival Director Jordan Buckley, the films featured at the event aren’t just from the United States. They come from all across the globe.
“This year, we have films from Iran, Iraq, Africa, France, Spain, Canada,” said Buckley. “We show a lot of documentaries and cover a lot about social issues, but [the festival] pretty much consists of new, independent cinema.”
Buckley noted that this year marks the first time the festival has expanded to Caldwell County. While the event officially starts at 10 a.m. Thursday at The Price Center in San Marcos, opening night will kick off at 6:30 p.m. in downtown Martindale with a free outdoor screening of A Perfect World on the lawn of the Martindale River Café.
Portions of the 1993 film, which features Kevin Costner and Clint Eastwood squaring off in manhunt, were filmed in Martindale, Buckley said.
“The most climactic scene with the cop cars crashing and the fugitive getaway takes place in downtown Martindale,” said Buckley. “We’re going to show the film on the site where it happened, so when we’re watching all the chaos, we can look around and see where it all happened.”
Following the screening, Buckley said a burlesque performance – a mainstay of the festival – will be screened at the Martindale School House. The performance, which will cost $10 to attend, will feature live western swing music by Rollfast Ramblers.
The festival is set to come to Lockhart on Saturday evening with a $5 screening of I’m Gonna Make You Love Me at 5 p.m. at the Gaslight Baker Theatre.
According to Buckley, the film helps shed light on many of the struggles transexual individuals encounter as they come to terms with their identity.
“[I’m Gonna Make You Love Me is] a full-length documentary about Brian Belovitch, who in the 1980s was one of the best known trans women in the country,” said Buckley. “He went by she back then, but she was the one of the best known downtown divas in New York City who was a part of that gritty, hipster Manhattan culture.
“It’s a really fascinating look at gender and Brian’s evolution as a person and learning how to feel safe in his own skin.”
Following the screening, the Lone Star Showcase, which will also cost $5 to attend, will be held at the theatre at 8 p.m. The showcase will feature several short films that were made in cities throughout Texas, including Wichita Falls, Houston, El Paso, San Antonio and Austin.
Buckley noted that several of the films’ directors will be in attendance and will be available for a question-and-answer session at the end of the screenings.
Seating at the theatre will be limited to 50 percent capacity, Buckley said. Those interested in attending can purchase tickets on the event’s webpage.
At 9 p.m., the festival will transition to Main Street Gallery on San Antonio Street for a one-night art exhibit that will be open to the public for two hours.
The exhibit will be free to attend, though donations will be accepted for Where We Thrive, a grassroots Lockhart organization aimed at developing community resources to help improve the life of Caldwell County residents, with an emphasis on at-risk youth and elderly individuals.
Buckley stressed that social distancing measures will be in place throughout the festival, noting attendees will be required to wear masks and social distance when possible. Screenings in Buda will be held at Doc’s Drive-in Theatre to help maintain safe distances.
Though Buckley said event organizers originally considered canning this year’s event, they eventually decided it was something they felt the public needed.
“I think people have some real mental health concerns from being isolated for so long, so we thought about it for a while about whether we should cancel it,” Buckley said. “We thought maybe the best thing we could do was still gather as safely as we can muster to try to address some of the mental health concerns that are springing up from the isolation that so many of us are experiencing right now.”
To view a full schedule of the four-day event or purchase tickets, visit www.thelostriverfilmfest.org.