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Toprak directed by Sevgi Hirschhäuser
Toprak directed by Sevgi Hirschhäuser

The Lake Travis Film Festival’s 2nd edition will run (June 10-13) in beautiful Hill Country, just west of Austin, TX. The festival will kick off with an ambitious “Space Out” Opening Night Showcase with Sevgi Hirschhäuser’s Toprak and Matt Richmond’s Brauhaus: A German-American Fairytale.

Lake Travis Film Festival Founder and Executive Director, Kat Albert, said, “Like the rest of the country, our community has been isolated for a year, and we want our event to give people a safe space to leave their homes and experience a little bit of normalcy. Filmmakers have been isolated too and they have missed the joy and satisfaction of seeing their films screened in front of live audiences. We were fortunate to have seemingly dodged the pandemic’s course to a great extent from our debut last year to this year’s second edition, but that also makes us want to return in the best way we can both for our filmmakers and our film fans.”

Opening Night will kick things off with an eclectic group of features and shorts led by off a “Space Out Showcase” slate of short films loosely revolving around NASA and outer space. The trio of films include; Zachary Scott’s Space Case, which features a compelling story about a social outcast who must choose between conformity or space travel; Verre De Wilde’s Spaceboy, which tells the story of two brothers who share their passion for space while the time is ticking on their time together; and Ann Michell’s Tracy’s Vision, a touching story of an extraordinary scientist with congenital eye disease who excels in his NASA position, reinforcing the value of a diverse workforce.

Following the “Space Out Showcase” intro, will be Sevgi Hirschhäuser’s Toprak. The Turkish drama which focuses on a teenager struggling with with his uncle and grandmother in a remote Turkish village. While the religious uncle is satisfied to live his life in poverty, the teenager wants to break free, leave for the city and attend university. However, when his grandmother falls sick, they will both have to make decisions that will change their lives forever.

Also featured on Opening Night will be Matt Richmond’s documentary Brauhaus: A German-American Fairytale. The film looks at the closing of a beloved family-run restaurant and how a Chicago neighborhood copes with the impending emotional final days.

Adding to the Opening Night highlights, the Lake Travis Film Festival will also host a screenwriting workshop with Hugo and Saturn Award-winning screenwriter J. V. Hart at La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Lakeway (1943 Medical Drive). Drawing on his career stretching over four decades with writing and producing credits including Hook, Contact, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Muppet Treasure Island, and August Rush, Hart will discuss The Hart Chart, a story mapping tool he has created for writers. Attendance to the special event will be open to Badge Holders and Non-Badge Holders via a separate ticket available through Eventbrite. Tickets will be limited, and are on a first come basis. Breakfast, lunch, and source materials from Hart are included in the ticket price.

Closing Night wraps up with Scott Wiper’s The Big Ugly. Starring Malcolm McDowell, Vinnie Jones, Leven Rambin, and Ron Perlman in a knock down, drag out B-movie fueled drama about a business deal between London mob bosses and a West Virginia oilman laundering dirty money going from bad to worse.

Two narrative features highlight the international thread running through LTFF this year. Ilir Pristine’s moody Canadian drama Florrie is about a woman who, while juggling 3 men in her life, is confronted by her complicated past and now feels the pressure to commit to just one man. Alex Gavin’s The Turn of the Screw is a mind-bending New Zealand drama adapted from the classic Henry James novel. Set in an empty theatre over the course of one evening, an actress finds that she is a last minute replacement for another actress at the dress rehearsal of a stage production of “The Turn of the Screw,” set in 1890.

In its second year, the Lake Travis Film Festival has already begun making a name for itself with its documentary programming. Highlights include; Alice Elliott’s Emmy Award-winning film, Miracle on 42nd Street, which looks at the Manhattan Plaza apartment complex which was legendary for housing such famous actors and singers like Alicia Keys, Terrance Howard, Donald Faison, Larry David, Samuel L Jackson, Giancarlo Esposito and Angela Lansbury; Kaye Cleave and James Daggett’s Australian production Catherine’s Kindergarten follows a mother’s momentous journey to a Nepalese mountain village to open a school in memory of her deceased daughter; Richard Wicksteed’s SanDance! A Journey to the Heart of San Culture is a South African film exploring the dance culture of Africa’s San First Peoples, as San dancers prepare to perform at Botswana’s Kuru Dance Festival; Nils R Cowan’s Spawning Grounds follows the effort by scientists, landowners, elected officials and Tribal leaders, to save a rare native salmon in one of America’s only Urban Wildlife Refuges; and Nico Perrino, Aaron Reese, and Chris Maltby’s Mighty Ira focuses on American Civil Liberties Union leader, Ira Glasser as he reflects on his life at the forefront of defending the rights of all Americans, from civil rights leaders to neo-Nazis.

Another highlight of this year’s Lake Travis Film Festival will be a special animation presentation of curated shorts by Brooklyn-based animator, Emmett Goodman. Viewing will be free and open to the public on the Great Lawn at the Hill Country Galleria (12700 Hill Country Blvd, Bee Cave, TX). Guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs and to grab libations from Vista Brewery.

With an eye toward discovering new talent, LTFF has selected 35 feature-length scripts and 21 short film scripts for this year’s competition. The screenplays cover a wide array of genres from drama and comedy to horror and sci-fi. Screenplays will all be highlighted at the festival starting on Thursday, June 10 with the winners announced, along with the film categories at Star Hill Ranch (15000 Hamilton Pool Road, Bee Cave, TX) on Sunday, June 13.

2021 Lake Travis Film Festival Official Selections

OPENING NIGHT FEATURE SELECTIONS

Brauhaus: A German-American Fairytale
Director: Matt Richmond
Country: United States; 74 min
Harry Kempf, his family and his Chicago neighborhood cope with the untimely end of a beloved family-run restaurant.

Toprak
Director: Sevgi Hirschhäuser
Country: Turkey; 106 min
TOPRAK is the dramatic story of a simple family in rural Turkey dealing with poverty, family traditions, and religious heritage. Since the death of his parents, the teenage Burak has lived with his uncle Cemil and grandmother in a remote Turkish village. The small family unit has been trying to make a living by selling fruits. While the religious Cemil is satisfied to live his life in poverty, Burak struggles to leave for the city and attend university. When grandmother falls sick, both Burak and Cemil have to make tough decisions that will change their lives forever.

CLOSING NIGHT SELECTION

The Big Ugly
Director: Scott Wiper
Country: United States; 103 min
Anglo-American relations go bad when London mob bosses invest in a West Virginia oil deal in hopes of laundering dirty money.

NARRATIVE FEATURES

After the Night with Valerie
Director: Alex Garnett
Country: United States; 98 min
A recovering amnesiac’s memories are replaced by fantasies he believes actually occurred.

Florrie
Director: ilir pristine
Country: Canada; 79 min
Florrie, a 30-year-old woman dating 3 men simultaneously, is confronted by her complicated past and pressured by her friend to commit to just one man.

His Stretch of Texas Ground
Director: Ralph Cinque
Country: United States; 100 min
Sheriff Joe Haladin is back, and this time, a vicious ex-con returns to Arlettsville and commits a crime so vile, it consumes the whole town and the whole country. But, evil knows no bounds. The sequel to My Stretch of Texas Ground.

Love is not Love
Director: Stephen Keep Mills
Country: United States; 95 min
In a city where everyone is on the hunt for love, people turn love into a myth and chase the myth instead.

The Good Wolf
Director: Wilfred H Shipley
Country: United States; 75 min
A fugitive and a 12-year-old boy meet in the woods and spend the summer together surviving and learning from one another… and hiding from the police.

The Turn of the Screw
Director: Alex Galvin
Country: New Zealand; 88 min
Adapted from the famous Henry James novel, and set in an empty theatre over the course of one evening, Julia finds herself as a last minute replacement for another actress at the dress rehearsal of a stage play version of The Turn of the Screw, set in 1890.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES

Catherine’s Kindergarten
Director: Kaye Cleave, James Daggett
Country: Australia; 70 min
After the death of her only child, a mother takes a journey to a Nepalese mountain village to open a school in memory of her daughter — all while confronting her grief.

I Have No Wings
Director: Nino Memanishvili
Country: Georgia; 76 min
After his beloved bird is confiscated, Makho struggles to get his life back as he faces major financial and emotional loss.

Mighty Ira
Director: Nico Perrino, Aaron Reese, Chris Maltby
Country: United States; 99 min
American Civil Liberties Union leader, Ira Glasser reflects on his life at the forefront of defending the rights of all Americans, from civil rights leaders to neo-Nazis.

Miracle on 42nd Street
Director: Alice Elliott
Country: United States; 68 min
Explore the Manhattan Plaza apartment complex which housed big names like Alicia Keys, Terrance Howard, Donald Faison, Larry David, Samuel L Jackson, Giancarlo Esposito and Angela Lansbury and led the way in the transformation of the neighborhood and local economy.

Mom & M
Director: Jena Burchick
Country: United States; 61 min
Nikki, a transgender writer and Elise, a social media influencer navigates coming out while caring for a child who is battling leukimia.

SanDance! A Journey to the Heart of San Culture
Director: Richard Wicksteed
Country: South Africa; 60 min
Set in the transcendent dance culture of Africa’s San First Peoples, San dancers prepare to perform at Botswana’s Kuru Dance Festival.

Spawning Grounds
Director: Nils R Cowan
Country: United States; 54 min
In an effort to save a rare native salmon in one of America’s only Urban Wildlife Refuges, a community of scientists, landowners, elected officials and Tribal leaders bands together around science and Indigenous knowledge.

SHORT FILMS

“F News”
Director: Wendy Pennington
Country: United States; 7 min

51: After the Raid
Director: Gregory Pricoli
Country: United States; 43 min

5×7
Director: Michele Citoni
Country: Italy; 37 min

A Good Son
Director: Suzanne Weinert
Country: United States; 12 min

A Revolution Under the Bridge
Director: Lee Anderson
Country: United States; 5 min

A Serious Predicament
Director: Jason Vandygriff
Country: United States; 13 min

Abby and Emily Go to Palm Springs
Director: Hellin Kay
Country: United States; 14 min

Aida
Director: Christopher W. Graham
Country: United States; 10 min

Amphibians
Director: Drake Howard, Devin Finn
Country: United States; 13 min

Anna
Director: Éric PINÉDA
Country: France; 10 min

Ark of the Apocalypse
Director: Jeremy Seifert
Country: United States; 13 min

Blood on the Risers
Director: Caleb Fanning
Country: United States; 20 min

Bloom
Director: Lucy Owens
Country: United States; 15 min

Borne, Bottled
Director: Cassie Kramer, Jessica Ridenour
Country: United States; 8 min

Bumpy Rhodes
Director: Patrick Coleman
Country: United States; 17 min

Caprock
Director: James Fite
Country: United States; 15 min

Cheap Devils
Director: Shrader Thomas
Country: United States; 7 min

Crazy
Director: Holt Boggs
Country: United States; 10 min

Discount Pickles
Director: Felix Nora Morgan, Seth Meeks
Country: United States; 10 min

Estranged
Director: Samantha Siegel, Adam Siegel
Country: United States; 8 min

Face to Face
Director: Robert Hope
Country: United States; 10 min

Frank Parese, a Jersey Shore Veteran Story
Director: Jennifer Suwak, Steve Abruzzese
Country: United States; 20 min

Guest Room
Director: Joshua Tate
Country: United States; 13 min

Heading South
Director: Yuan Yuan
Country: China; 12 min

Hello Sunshine
Director: Luke Albert
Country: United Kingdom; 15 min

Hi.
Director: Olivia Nash
Country: United States; 7 min

House Slaughter
Director: Thomas Peck
Country: United States; 19 min

Hundred Flowers Project
Director: Joel Mendez-Zarate
Country: United States; 13 min

IRA: Cashing In
Director: Catherine Vouvray
Country: United States; 8 min

Javelina Run
Director:Lisa Belcher
Country: United States; 19 min

Keys
Director: Cameron Berkman
Country: United States; 9 min

Killing Time
Director: Cody Lovorn
Country: United States; 8 min

Limbo
Director: Anthony von Seck
Country: Canada; 17 min

Liminal Spaces
Director: Michael Wiggin
Country: United States; 5 min

Lotus
Director: Beibei Xu
Country: United States; 14 min

Macy’s Goes to War
Director: Duncan Putney
Country: United States; 6 min

Magician of the Heart
Director: Sandeep Sharma
Country: United States; 24 min

Mailer Daemon
Director: John Mudge
Country: United States; 20 min

McCrorey Rd.
Director: Shane Coffey
Country: United States; 20 min

Misfit
Director: Steve Segal
Country: United States; 6 min

Mors Bonum
Director: Paulina Manseau
Country: Not Specified; 12 min

My Dinner with Werner
Director: Maverick Moore
Country: United States; 18 min

Nemeku Lights
Director: Travis Patten
Country: United States; 29 min

Ordinary
Director: Jeneffa Soldatic
Country: United States; 15 min

Pack Co.
Director: Ronny Tibbs
Country: United States; 15 min

Play Date
Director: Herb Cremer, Joe Cremer
Country: United States; 8 min

Remnant
Director: Sandra Urquhart
Country: United States; 9 min

Rise Above: WASP
Director: Kara White
Country: United States; 20 min

SaaSy
Director: Joe Stanton Kelly
Country: United States; 13 min

Sac de Merde
Director: Greg Chwerchak
Country: United States; 14 min

San Marcos River Project
Director: Nick Breaux
Country: United States; 21 min

Sidestep
Director: Natasha Straley
Country: United States; 11 min

Softcore
Director: Travis Jones, Austin Tinius
Country: United States; 24 min

Space Case
Director: Zachary T Scott
Country: United States; 19 min

Spaceboy
Director: Verre De Wilde
Country: Belgium; 22 min

Take Me Home
Director: Russell Reed
Country: United States; 27 min

Tell Me Who I Am
Director: Luca Caserta
Country: Italy; 18 min

Thank You for Staying
Director: Ty Clancey
Country: United States; 12 min

The Annunciation
Director: WonChan Sohn
Country: United States; 45 min

The Method of Places
Director: Aman Johnson
Country: United States; 12 min

The Reunion
Director: Laura Galt
Country: United States; 11 min

The Story of Special Woodstock
Director: Erin Rooke
Country: Canada; 43 min

The Substitute
Director: Malibu Taetz
Country: Canada; 14 min

The Time of Your Life
Director: Frank Juarez
Country: United States; 5 min

Tracy’s Vision
Director: Ann Michel
Country: United States; 10 min

Two-Headed Beast
Director: Nate Southard
Country: United States; 10 min

Un Métier Comme Un Autre (A Job Like Any Other)
Director: Annick Roussy
Country: Canada; 21 min

When You Clean a Stranger’s Home
Director: Sharon Arteaga
Country: United States; 7 min

Yellow Ribbons
Director: Caleb Gritsko
Country: United States; 13 min

You are Me & I am You
Director: Melissa Kirkendall
Country: United States; 15 min

MUSIC VIDEOS

Ave Maria
Director: Jeremy Culver
Country: United States; 4 min

Ghost
Director: Manuel Alejandro Vargas
Country: United States; 5 min

I am the ONE!
Director: Theo Eifrig
Country: France; 5 min

I Tell All My Friends About You
Director: April Lee
Country: United States; 5 min

If I Should Die
Director: Niia
Country: United States; 5 min

Kae Astra – Softly Tread
Director: Jackie Pardue Scripps
Country: United States; 5 min

Macaroni Salad
Director: Niia
Country: United States; 5 min

Personal
Director: April Lee & Brian De La O
Country: United States; 4 min

Red Room
Director: Sheila V.A.
Country: United States; 5 min

Skylark Hollow – Light by Night (Official Music Video)
Director: Cody Tilton
Country: United States; 4 min

The Man (Official Music Video)
Director: Benjy Berkowitz, Quinn Dailey
Country: Not Specified; 3 min

The Message
Director: Joe Tacke, Rebekah Elizabeth
Country: Not Specified; 4 min

The Night in Silence Under Many a Star
Director: Joseph Dwyer
Country: United States; 6 min

The Things You Thought by Phonolux
Director: Buddy Calvo
Country: United States; 5 min

YOUNG FILMMAKER SHORT FILMS

01 Escalade
Director: Lincoln Edwards
Country: United States; 20 min

bun·ny /’bənē/ – lost girl
Director: Anna Martin
Country: United States; 11 min

Chupacabra Uncovered
Director: Kate Saltel
Country: United States; 7 min

Ebb and Flo
Director: Grace Soriano
Country: United States; 9 min

Expression
Director: Harper Sharpe
Country: United States; 18 min

Good Night
Director: Adam Van Wagoner
Country: United States; 3 min

Hunting Grounds
Director: Justin Buss
Country: United States; 14 min

My Pandemic Life: Tips for Isolation…
Director: Davis Kauffman
Country: United States; 3 min

No Takebacks
Director: Adam Van Wagoner
Country: United States; 3 min

Tire Kickers
Director: Olivia Carter
Country: United States; 8 min

Wake Up
Director: Anna Knobloch
Country: United States; 3 min

You Can Find Friends Anywhere ;
Director: Caroline Holmes, Benajah T. Baskin
Country: United States; 11 min

SCREENPLAY COMPETITION

FEATURES

Abilene by Michael Raymond Anything at All by Michael Ward
Charlie & Olivett by Brenda Glim and Jo McLachlan
Foxfire and the Coywolves by Ricky Barca and Dakoda
Glow Stick by Michael Raymond
Goldilocks Zone by Harry Tyler Kleinman
Hi. by Olivia Nash
Horse Comes Running by Pat Larkin
Imagery by Harry Tyler Kleinman
Lily of the Valley by Isaiah Mouw and Mark Botts
London Fog by Tasha P. Hardy
Love is Love by Jeffrey Kerr
Motel by Jerry J. Sampson
My Dear Enemy by Tasha Hardy and Nono Tamura
Ophelia by Luke Donnelly
Out of the Ditch by Charley Vance
Power Move by Michael Ellis
Raggedy Ann Heart by Heather McPhaul
Review by Jonathan Zarantonello
Room Zero by Jason Partridge
Seraphim’s Miracle by Jeremy Storey
Sometimes in Dreams by G. Lloyd Helm
south of good by Randall Reneau
Starfunk and Astral Pioneers by Glenn Towery
Supposed To Be by Dr. Beth-Anne Blue
Swing by David Toussaint
The Jolly Greens by Harry Kleinman
The Last Day of Paradise by Kiki Denis
The Last Ones by C.D. Peterso
The Venus Effect by Lynn Vincentnathan
The Way Home by Bryan Hays
Tiny, Texas by David Lykes Keenan
Who I am Now by Laurie Powers Going
Will the Circle Be Unbroken by Aaron Schuelke
Why, Arizona by Isaiah Mouw and Mark Botts

SHORTS

A Thousand Times a Day by Chantelle James
Avoiding Adulthood by Faley Goyette and Jonathon Broughton
Chalk by Christian Sanchez
Crosshanded by Henry Kana
Dark Red by Jarret Leger, Joe Barajas
Fig Jam by Frank J. Avella
First Date,Third Date by Mac McStravick
Gretchen by Jeffrey Kerr and Joe Barajas
Ho-Ho-Kus Pocus by Seanan Palmero
Love Bugs by Heidi James
Máscaras por almos by Wilfred Esteves
New Moon 5280 by Dean Harakas
Package of Dreams by Bradley M. Look
Ruin Falls by Caleb Gonzalez
Shooting Jackrabbits by Suzanne Racz
Show Cat by Ally Beans
The Race by Mac McStravick
Trick or Beat by Fernando Rendón
Trouble at Cheery Meadows by Jaclyn Fleming
Weirdo by Avraham Ben Yehuda
Wonderwall by Brandi Blevins

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