desert magic

Anything could happen: Marfa Film Festival resurrected to present a ballet of films in 2013

Anything could happen: Marfa Film Festival resurrected to present a ballet of films in 2013

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A Marfa Film Festival screening in conjunction with the Alamo Drafthouse. Courtesy of Marfa Film Festival
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El Cosmico in Marfa, Texas Photo by Andrew Collins
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West Texas landscape. Photo by Andrew Collins
Austin Photo Set: News_caitlin_marfa film festival_dec 2012_screening
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Austin Photo Set: News_Ramona_El Cosmico_Marfa_feb 2012_space
Prada Marfa

After a two-year hiatus and three-year legal dispute, the Marfa Film Festival is to be resurrected in June of 2013. 

As is the support of any artistic venture born within it, the affection for Marfa is contagious. Festival creator and director Robin Lambaria plans to make the fourth iteration of the festival more experiential, attracting a wide swath of people to the remote West Texas town with a roster of over 50 features, shorts, music videos and experimental works programmed by herself and "a trusted group of filmmakers and programmers from around the world."

 "I think of it like a long set of songs — a ballet of films — with emotional highs and lows." - Mercer Black Declercq

While there's no prescribed theme for films submitted to the Marfa Film Festival, Mercer Black Declercq, festival press relations, tells CultureMap, "I think of it like a long set of songs — a ballet of films — with emotional highs and lows."

The team behind the Marfa Film Festival eschews the distinctly digital-age notion of "nowness" and describes a refreshingly noncompetitive outlook. 

"We will share anything regardless of its date of creation," Lambaria says. "What we're interested in are stories and perspectives that speak to our audience now. I personally believe that art of timeless and good films never to lose their potency."

And what better place to watch a film, new or old, than under the stars of Texas' vast skies, against Marfa's alluring desert backdrop? 

"In our ad hoc 'drive-in' environment, people gather sitting on blankets or chairs under a blanket of stars. We choose classic films like Night of the Hunter, the Last Picture Show and The Red Shoes, and new modern classics like True Stories, The Harder They Come and American Astronaut," says Lambaria. "It's so lovely to watch people's heads go back at times when they take a break from watching the screen and take in the stars."
 
 "It's so lovely to watch people's heads go back at times when they take a break from watching the screen and take in the stars." - Robin Lambaria
Lambaria says she's thrilled to have another go-round at facilitating a truly unique union of magic onscreen and off. She explains that the time spent in litigation (the case was ultimately settled, resulting in sole ownership for Lambaria) provided her with the time needed to refocus on the purpose of the five-day festival. 
 
"In my travels over these last few years, I was encouraged on more than one occasion to start a festival in another town or special destination, and over and over again, I realized that there is truly no place like Marfa. I'm excited to be back and I'm excited about how excited everybody is," she says.
 
"The festival is designed to encourage connection... and part of what makes Marfa beautiful is the possibility of just about anything happening."
 
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Purchase tickets for the festival, June 26 - 30, online.