Indie films return to campus

“Foster the People” was among the acts at last year’s SXSW. Nearly 2,000 acts are expected as part of this year’s festival.
Jason Persse | Wikimedia Commons

By Rachel Ambelang

This spring semester, Baylor’s film and digital media department will continue to host films from the Texas Independent Film Network.

Texas Independent Film Network showcases the work of Texas independent film makers. Many films shown by Texas Independent Film Network have already traveled across the country through the film festival circuit, and like most independent films, would never be seen again afterward because of lack of funding or awareness.

The goal of Texas Independent Film Network is to continue to bring these films to audiences across Texas whether it be through universities, such as Baylor, art theaters, or other venues.

The festival will begin Thursday with the documentary film “Where Soldiers Come From.” This movie follows a group of men who have just graduated high school and have decided to leave their home in Michigan to join the military.

The film shows their journey together as they are deployed to Afghanistan, and goes back and forth between the men’s lives during the war and their families’ struggles back in Michigan.

Most importantly, it displays what happens when the men try to adjust back to their normal routines after they return home from combat.

“Everyone forgets that there is a war going on right now, and that kids our age are risking their lives every day while we go to class. I think this film is especially important for Baylor students to see,” New Braunfels junior Alex Kresta said about the film.

On Feb. 9 comes the film “Slacker 2011.” In 1991, Richard Linklater directed the film “Slacker” that displayed the weirdness that was Austin ­— and still, according to Linklater, is — through a stream of consciousness story involving more than 50 eccentric characters. Twenty years later 24 of Austin’s finest directors banned together to create their updated version of that film.

“Austin is a unique area because it’s a crossroads of so many cultures and subcultures. There’s really nowhere else like it. I’d be interested to see how it’s changed over the years,” said San Antonio junior David Dernier.

The movie shows the different but still quirky vibe that exists in the Austin of 2011 and pays homage to the original film that many believe put Austin on the world map.

March 1 will be the double feature night and will show two short documentaries, “Barbeque: A Texas Love Story” and “Something’s Brewin’ in Shiner.”

“Barbeque” is a documentary not about the love between two native Texans but between Texas residents and their barbeque. Narrated by former Texas Governor Ann Richards, this film shows the different ways the people in Texas both show and use their love of barbeque.

“I’m a Texas native, and I think this documentary could be a funny outlook on Texas culture,” said New Braunfels junior Whitney Williams.

“Something’s Brewin’ in Shiner” is about both the small town of Shiner and the beer that is brewed there.

In 2003 the brewery announced its decision to release a new beer, and this film is the story of how the new beer first had to gain the approval of the whole town.

Finally, on April 12, the film “An Ordinary Family” will be shown.

“An Ordinary Family” tells the story of a family ready to go on their annual vacation, but things get more interesting when one of the brothers surprises the family by bringing his partner along for the trip. The family faces the task of dealing with their different reactions to the news while trying to accept both the brother and their new addition to the family.

All of the Texas Independent Film Network films will begin at 7 p.m. in 101 Castellaw and will be free of charge. After all of the screenings, a Q&A will take place with one or more of the film’s main contributors.