It’s no secret that Many American states, especially the largest ones, exhibit a certain schizophrenia when it comes to the diverse millions that live within their borders. Take Texas, at once a bastion of renegade conservatism and home to liberal, artsy college town Austin.
Fully embracing that juxtaposition is the Austin Film Festival which is now running a contest for amateur filmmakers called “Where I’m From,” inviting them to answer that question in 10 minutes or less. Fifteen semi-finalists have made it to the current round of competition; their films are up on the festival’s website for anyone to watch and vote on through August 15th.
The shorts range from Ryan Light’s two-minute meditation Austin Through the Eyes of a Videographer, in which the filmmaker narrates his connection to the city over sweeping time lapse shots, to Kippy Edge’s unselfconscious and almost bizarre one-man Robstown Is Just Right. (To give you a glimpse, he opens by making fun of those proverbial sweeping shots and saying simply, “Robstown is not beautiful.”)
The competition’s finalists will be screened as part of the short films program at the festival, which will be held October 20-27. They will also be posted online by Texas Monthly, the self-proclaimed ‘National Magazine of Texas.’