The Lost River Film Fest will begin Nov. 5 with a showing of A Perfect World, the 1993 manhunt drama starring Clint Eastwood and Kevin Costner at Martindale River Cafe. Screenshot courtesy of San Marcos Cinema club
Lost River Festival announces marquee films
San Marcos' popular annual gathering devoted to new independent cinema from across the world — Lost River Film Fest — has announced its marquee film line-up for 2020.
With generous support from the San Marcos Arts Commission, the four-day festival commences Thursday, Nov. 5.
The vast majority of screenings will take place in the Price Center downtown, where ticketing is capped at half the capacity, given the pandemic: 50 seats.
San Marcos Cinema Club, the nonprofit film society hosting the festival, had to get creative in how to accommodate larger evening screenings when traditional partners like the Texas State University and Cuauhtemoc Hall declined, citing safety concerns.
"We found that by incorporating regional neighbors, we could accomplish our screening needs while showcasing to the filmmakers and film-lovers visiting San Marcos the sundry charms of our surrounding area," said Jordan Buckley, fest director.
Among those staying in San Marcos that weekend include filmmakers and film subjects from Alaska, California, Massachusetts, Arizona, New York, Florida, Louisiana, as well as distant cities within Texas.
Clay Destefano, executive director of the Price Center, said they are pleased to host the festival, where films are screened each day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
"Every year it brings lots of new guests to the Center, including many from out of town," Destefano said. "This year, as in past years, out-of-town filmmakers are staying at various hotels and Air BnBs as well as booking private events at the Center as part of the Fest. There’s no doubt the festival helps generate commerce, tourism and future engagement in our community and at the Center."
A beloved Lost River tradition is selecting an Opening Night film shot in the San Marcos region. At dusk on Thursday, Nov. 5, the Martindale River Cafe will host a free outdoor screening of "A Perfect World," the 1993 manhunt drama starring Clint Eastwood and Kevin Costner.
The film will be screened in the cafe's lawn downtown, exact site of where its climactic getaway scene transpires: a fugitive evading police, with car crashes and extensive footage of Martindale's unique charm.
A Western-themed concert and burlesque follow the film –– featuring Dark Matter Productions and the Rollfast Ramblers –– three blocks away, at the historic Martindale Schoolhouse.
Another marquee presentation at Lost River is the Texas premiere of MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY, a powerful documentary about the 3,000+ migrant deaths since 2008 in the stretch of land 225 miles south of San Marcos –– whose sheriff described it as "the largest cemetery in the U.S."
Texas State University's anthropology department is featured prominently in recovering and analyzing human remains. Dr. Kate Spradley will speak to her experience in that work on a Q&A panel following the film alongside Eddie Canales of South Texas Human Rights Center and co-director Lisa Molomot.
The film plays Friday, Nov 6 at 6PM at Doc's Drive-in Theater in east Buda.
Other films playing there include: Texas Trip, a 2020 documentary funded by the French government partly profiling San Marcos musician Attic Ted (Fri, Nov 6 at 10 p.m.); John Wayne Gacy: Defending A Monster, narrated by Jim Belushi, chronicling the serial killer (Fri, Nov 6 — 9 p.m.); I'm Gonna Make You Love Me, a gripping portrait of Brian Belovitch, who in the 1990s lived as Tish, a fun-loving downtown diva in NYC (Sun, Nov 8: 6PM).
The festival's Closing Night film will be Bull, which premiered at the world's most prestigious festival, Cannes, in 2019 and was described by Hollywood Reporter as "one of the best films" there.
Bull is written by Texas State University film studies director Johnny McAllister, alongside his wife Annie Silverstein, who also directed. Both will participate in a Q&A following the film, 6:30 p.m. on Sun, Nov. 8 at the Buda Drive-in.
Other generous donors to Lost River Film Fest include The Center for the Study of the Southwest at Texas State, Mano Amiga, Hochheim Insurance, Texas Film Commission, Texas State Galleries, Seek Institute, Mermaid Society SMTX, The UPS Store and the Price Center.
Crucial hospitality support for the festival is provided by AquaBrew, Industry, Root Cellar Cafe, Gil's Broiler, Topo Chico and Chaparral Cafe.
•Submitted by San Marcos Cinema Club