Lights! Cameras! Glen Rose! The Neo-Relix Film Festival is returning and the sequel looks bigger and better.
The three-day event comes back to Glen Rose on Labor Day Weekend. More than 80 films from 16 countries were submitted to the festival organizers. From those, they chose 52 to screen, twice as many as the 26 films shown last year when the festival made its debut.
The lineup includes a variety of short films and features in five genres: traditional faith-based, contemporary faith-based, conservation-environment, sci-fi and horror.
"We've heard from several filmmakers that they are coming to the film festival, including directors from Australia, California, Georgia, Oklahoma and all of Texas," said Darrell Best, the festival's co-founder.
Ben Wilbanks, the other co-founder, is the festival's creative director and made the 2009 comic vampire thriller Night Crawlers filmed in Glen Rose and is director, co-producer and co-writer of the syndicated TV series Ghostbreakers, which is slated to run this fall on ABC affiliate stations.
Following is a rundown of the schedule provided by Best. Please check next week's Glen Rose Reporter for a full schedule and descriptions of the films and festivities during the three-day event.
FRIDAY, SEPT. 2: The festival will kick off at Hollywood & Vine with an "Americana" series and "Fright Night" at the Campbell Building at the corner of Walnut and Barnard streets. Films will start at each location at 7 p.m., finishing at 8:30 p.m..
One of the films, "Fanning the Fire," features Lucas White, a young man who lost his mother at age of 15 and has filled the void with bluegrass music. Lucas and his band, along with friends, family and grandparents, plan to attend the festival. His group, Lucas White and the Fanning the Fire band will be the opening act at Hollywood & Vine on Friday night.
Following Lucas onstage will be comedian/actor Bryan Massey, who will talk about his life in acting from growing up in Dallas to living on the streets in Los Angeles in search of paying acting roles. Admission is free for party goers that have a "Film Makers" Festival Pass. Cover charge for everyone who wants to attend the party, but do not have the pass, is $10.
SATURDAY, SEPT. 3: Film screenings begin Saturday at 10 a.m. in four locations.
First United Methodist Church will screen traditional faith-based films in the sanctuary. The FUMC Family Center will screen contemporary faith-based films.
The Campbell Building location and the back room at Hollywood &Vine will show sci-fi, horror and conservation films.
You can find all of the films and their description on-line at www.grnrff.com/films.
Filmmakers will attend a script writing seminar conducted by award-winning director Tom Huckabee at the conference room at the Inn on the River. Space is limited to 12 people, so if you are interested in the basics of script writing, you can register for the seminar at the Neo-Relix headquarters at 111 Elm Street on the downtown square.
Saturday night film makers will be on their own to find entertainment at Storiebook Cafe', The Green Pickle, Captain Jax, Hollywood & Vine, and other locations around town.
In addition, the festival plans a first this year, a "sneak peak" film that has won awards in Seattle and Maui and has been selected for distribution. A "Shh!!! and Sushi" party will be held in conjunction with the sneak peak. The film does not compete in film festivals anymore, but can be shown on an exclusive basis.
If you want to attend the party, tickets are available at $15 per person or $25 per couple. Seating is limited to 40 people and 10 tickets have already been sold, so don't wait until the festival to purchase tickets.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 4: Screenings will continue from noon to 5 p.m. when the festival concludes. The awards night party will be at Barnard's Mill and Art Museum and will feature Coy Moore and his country Western band. Ten "Rellies," as the awards are called, will be presented for best picture in each genre category along with audience choice awards. The party begins at 8 p.m. and will conclude at 11 p.m.
The Glen Rose Neo-Relix Film Festival is a non-profit company, funded solely from private sources. Each year the festival will award a scholarship to a graduating senior to attend a Texas public university. "Contributions are always welcomed, but what we need more than anything else is volunteers to work a couple hours each day at the festival," Best said. "We are also hiring high school and college students to help out at the festival."
This Thursday, Aug. 25, the festival organization will hold a volunteers and workers meeting at 7 p.m. at the Neo-Relix headquarters. Anyone interested in helping at the festival is invited to attend the meeting.
Tickets go on sale Monday for film festival tickets, the opening night party, script-writing seminar, "Shh!!! and Sushi" party and awards night gala.