Glen Rose will host its first international film festival in August.
Called the Glen Rose Neo-Relix Film Festival, the “best little film fest in Texas” has a theme of the new and the past. Even the event’s logo is a hybrid of a dinosaur skeleton inside a nuclear symbol.
“This all came about after a discussion we had at the Green Pickle,” said Darrell Best, chairman of the Glen Rose/Somervell County Chamber of Commerce and one of the festival’s organizers.
Best was talking with Ben Wilbanks, the writer and director of Night Crawlers a dark comedy about friendship in a small Texas town overrun with vampires. Wilbanks, who had long roots in Glen Rose, filmed part of the movie downtown. The idea for the festival was hatched between bites of hamburgers.
“The objective is to showcase both shorts and features from around the world,” Best said. “The name ‘Neo-Relix’ means new and relics, artifacts from the past. It’s about where we have been and where we are going.”
Separately, Best also announced plans to launch the “Up Against the Wall Theater,” an outdoor venue on the south-facing white wall of the Chamber of Commerce building downtown.
Free movies will be projected against the wall and anyone who wants to can bring lawn chairs, spread out blankets on the grass and enjoy a movie on Friday nights starting in May. People can bring their own drinks or buy popcorn, soda and water there.
The film festival is scheduled for Aug. 26-29. Festival directors plan on about 1,000 people attending.
The festival includes an opening night ceremony, awards ceremony, sponsors’ party and panels with experts discussing topics such as post-production, distribution and new camera technology.
A Web site, grnff.org, already is running to solicit film entries and sponsors. So far entries have come from Texas, Oklahoma, Australia, Canada, India and Spain.
The festival’s Facebook page already has attracted about 200 fans, some of which are filmmakers from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Genres submitted will be long and short films and long and short documentaries. It costs $15 to enter a film. Winners in various categories will receive a “Rellie” award etched into a Glen Rose stone.
The festival will be held in several venues, including some outdoor ones where blow-up screens could be set up.
“We will be looking to program unique films in unique venues around town,” Wilbanks said. “I promise this festival will deliver an experience like no other, with certain elements that will make this the best little film fest in Texas.”
“We want to keep as much of it near downtown as possible and keep the small-town feel,” Best added. “This year we want to keep it small and quirky.”
Although the chamber is introducing the event, the festival organization will be structured as a nonprofit, he added. It wants to raise money for scholarships. The chamber will function as an umbrella organization to organize a “festival around the festival” to attract a larger weekend of events.
A side advantage will be that filmmakers coming to Glen Rose will see places that could be used for location shooting, including Heritage Park, Big Rocks Park and Oakdale Park.
“This really creates an opportunity to introduce this beautiful Texas destination to visual storytellers who just might shoot their next production here,” Wilbanks said.
Festival asses will be available for purchase online in May. A day pass costs $15, while a screening pass – which provides access to all the screenings during the four-day festival – is $25. Passes to all the screenings and opening and closing night ceremonies costs $40. A filmmaker pass is $55.