Let The Good Times Roll
Lake Travis indie film festival rolls credits for 2022 lineup
Movies and a weekend at the lake aren’t always on the itinerary together, so this festival is a special opportunity. The Lake Travis Film Festival returns for its third annual run from September 15 to 18. It will be hosted at several venues in Bee Caves and Lakeway, making it easy to drive from Austin, but fun to stay in one of the partner hotels, anyway.
The festival opens with a documentary about controversy at an Arkansas tourist destination by Michael Stephen Schwarz, Forever Majestic, and a dramedy by Laura Lehmus on opening night, Sweet Disaster. The latter, a chaotic and cheerfully surrealist German film follows a pregnant 40-year-old who has been abandoned by her partner. The festival will close with two selections: Jordan O’Neal’s Fabletown, about a comic book-based fairytale underground in New York City, and Sophie Miller's Ranch Water, a story about Texas and sisterhood that premiered at Austin Film Festival in 2021.
The lineup spreads 92 films over four days, focusing on input from the independent film community, both in the United States and internationally. Two thirds of the titles are short films, including student films, and there are eight narrative features. Keeping everything in “walking distance” and mixing in masterclasses, awards, and mixers, the schedule is packed at each venue. An attendee could easily choose to stay in one place all day, if they have the stamina. Every day, there will be announcements connecting guests with filmmakers.
“The third year brings an opportunity to hone into what we [do] best … curating an overall cinematic experience,” says festival founder and executive director Kat Albert says in a press release. “We do not sell individual tickets. The suburbs don’t have a traditional downtown, so we’ve worked to make our pop-up style festival work with three walkable hubs. … The festival is young but garnering a reputation as a unique experience for filmmakers, screenwriters, and the local community.”
Although the festival does not ticket individual movies, it does divide itself by day, which it vaguely themes. Thursday is when things kick off, with a light day of programming, a “Family Values” short films block, and an opening party. An all-day masterclass that first day with screenwriter Owen Egerton has its own tickets. Friday includes themes “Outdoor Sports” and tenser phrases that hint at suspense and grit. Events include script readings and an industry mixer.
Saturday is for “young, experimental, and musical filmmakers,” divided into those categories at three different venues: Bee Cave City Hall, Contracommon, and Goga Yoga, respectively. Wherever visitors spend the day, they can all come together at Contracommon for karaoke at night. Sunday includes brunch at Star Hill Ranch, the customary last location for the festival, with mostly narrative features in one building and more of a variety of features and shorts in the other.
Wristbands for the Lake Travis Film Festival are available by day ($60 for Thursday, $100 for Friday, Saturday, or Sunday), and can be purchased at laketravisfilmfestival.com. Four-day badges ($225) are also available on the website.