Austin | Dallas | Houston
desert magic

Anything could happen at the newly resurrected Marfa Film Festival, set for summer 2013

Enlarge
Slideshow
Austin Photo Set: News_caitlin_marfa film festival_dec 2012_screening
A Marfa Film Festival screening in conjunction with the Alamo Drafthouse. Courtesy of Marfa Film Festival
El Cosmico in Marfa
El Cosmico luxury Airstream in Marfa. Photo courtesy of El Cosmico
Austin Photo Set: News_Ramona_El Cosmico_Marfa_feb 2012_space
West Texas landscape. Photo by Andrew Collins
Prada Marfa
Prada Marfa is a permanently installed sculpture outside of Marfa, created by artists Elmgreen and Dragset. Wikipedia Commons
Austin Photo Set: News_caitlin_marfa film festival_dec 2012_screening
El Cosmico in Marfa
Austin Photo Set: News_Ramona_El Cosmico_Marfa_feb 2012_space
Prada Marfa

After a two-year hiatus and three-year legal dispute, the Marfa Film Festival will be resurrected in June 2013. Festival creator and director Robin Lambaria plans to make the fourth iteration of the festival more experiential, attracting a wide swath of people to the remote West Texas town with a roster of more than 50 features, shorts, music videos and experimental works programmed by herself and "a trusted group of filmmakers and programmers from around the world."

Although there is no prescribed theme for films submitted to the Marfa Film Festival, Mercer Black Declercq, festival press relations, tells CultureMap, "I think of it like a long set of songs — a ballet of films — with emotional highs and lows."

The team behind the Marfa Film Festival eschews the distinctly digital-age notion of "nowness" and describes a refreshingly noncompetitive outlook. 

 "We will share anything regardless of its date of creation," says festival director Robin Lambaria. "Good films never lose their potency."

"We will share anything regardless of its date of creation," Lambaria says. "What we're interested in are stories and perspectives that speak to our audience now. I personally believe that art is timeless, and good films never lose their potency."

And what better place to watch a film, new or old, than under the stars of Texas' vast skies, against Marfa's alluring desert backdrop? 

"In our ad hoc drive-in environment, people gather on blankets or chairs under a blanket of stars. We choose classic films like Night of the Hunter, the Last Picture Show and The Red Shoes and new modern classics like True Stories, The Harder They Come and American Astronaut," says Lambaria. "It's so lovely to watch people's heads go back at times when they take a break from watching the screen and take in the stars."
 
Lambaria says she's thrilled to have another go-round at facilitating a truly unique union of magic onscreen and off. She explains that the time spent in litigation (the case was ultimately settled, resulting in sole ownership for Lambaria) provided her with the time needed to refocus on the purpose of the five-day festival. 
 
"In my travels over these last few years, I was encouraged on more than one occasion to start a festival in another town or special destination, and over and over again, I realized that there is truly no place like Marfa. I'm excited to be back, and I'm excited about how excited everybody is," she says.
 
"The festival is designed to encourage connection, and part of what makes Marfa beautiful is the possibility of just about anything happening."
 
---
 
The Marfa Film Festival runs June 26-30. Purchase tickets online.

Newsletters for exploring your city

Daily Digest

Dallas news, views + events

The Dining Report

News you can eat

Insider Offers

Curated experiences at exclusive prices

Promo Alerts

Special offers + exclusive deals

We will not share or sell your email address