The Southern Screen Film Festival returns this week to give Acadiana film aficionados an opportunity to experience independent feature and short films, music videos, and creative workshops with industry insiders.
Last year’s event had some 2,500 attendees, according to the festival’s executive director Julie Bordelon. She said the key for the Lafayette festival is quality over quantity, and she is looking forward to seeing the event grow.
“We are already creating a buzz throughout the entertainment industry, and folks are coming in on their own accord,” Bordelon said. “Being a destination festival would be ideal, while continuing to always present quality events.”
Even if you missed the opening night premiere Thursday of “Experimenter,” starring Peter Sarsgaard, Jim Gaffigan and Winona Ryder, there are plenty of films to watch this weekend. The Southern Screen Film Festival offers a slate of full-length feature films (some compelling, some campy) for visitors to enjoy.
Visitors can purchase a festival pass for $40 or buy single-day tickets for events ranging from $5 to $10. Tickets and passes can be purchased on the festival’s website at southernscreen.org. Here is a brief look at those seven films:
Friday, 9 p.m. at Jefferson Street Pub, 500 Jefferson St.
The buzz: Jason London of “Dazed and Confused” fame and Cassie Steele from “Degrassi: The Next Generation” star in this made-for-TV movie about how an island getaway for a group of friend turns deadly after an infected shark starts unleashing carnage on the island inhabitants. This will be for all those “Sharknado” fans out there. Karaoke will be on tap afterwards. 1 hr., 25 mins.
“Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine”
Saturday, 11:25 a.m. at Acadiana Center for the Arts, 101 W. Vermilion St.
The buzz: Oscar and Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney tackles one of the most revered and enigmatic corporate figures of the tech age — Steve Jobs, who has already been the subject of two feature length non-documentary films in the past two years. Gibney is well-versed in spinning these yarns as he helmed “Sinatra: All of Nothing at All,” “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room,” and “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.” 2 hrs., 7 mins.
Saturday, 1 p.m. at Cité Des Arts, 109 Vine St.
The buzz: This 2013 film by veteran short-film director F.C. Rabbath tells the tale of a young man named David, played by Joshua Mikel from TV’s “Nashville,” who has a strong obsession with music but has difficulty making connections with people. That all changes when he accidently discovers that everyone has music inside of them. 1 hr., 30 mins.
“Across the Sea”
Saturday, 3:15 p.m. at Acadiana Center for the Arts
The buzz: The winner of the 2015 Audience Award at the Slamdance Film Festival will be making its Louisiana premiere. “Across the Sea” tells the tale of Damla (played by Damla Sonmez), who reluctantly returns to her summer town in Turkey with her American husband. Damla’s past though will be unveiled. The film is directed by Turkish filmmaker Esra Saydam, who is known for such short films as “Caregiver” and “Glue.” 1 hr., 45 mins.
“The Lady in the Van”
Saturday, 7 p.m. at Acadiana Center for the Arts
The buzz: In this dramedy, Oscar-winner Maggie Smith stars as Miss Shepherd, a transient woman that lives in a run down yellow van who develops a friendship with the man, and his family, for which her van is parked in. Directed by Nicholas Hytner of “The Crucible” and written by the revered Alan Bennett of “The Madness of King George.” The festival’s awards ceremony with Dylan Leiner, vice president of Sony Pictures Classic, will take place before hand at 6:30 p.m. 1 hr., 44 mins.
Sunday, 11:10 a.m. at Acadiana Center for the Arts
The buzz: The winner of the 2015 Documentary Feature Competition Grand Jury award at the South by Southwest Film Festival focuses on the rising militarized state of law enforcement in the United States. The film tells the story of ‘Dub” Lawrence, a former sheriff who established and trained his state’s first SWAT team which was the same unit which killed his son-in-law in a controversial gun battle three decades later. Directed by Bran Barber and Scott Christopherson. 1 hr., 49 mins.
Sunday, 4:10 p.m. at Acadiana Center for the Arts
The buzz: This horror film making its U.S. debut at the festival is about a homeless man named Thomas who comes across shelter in an abandoned two-story home. Thomas initially believes that he has found a safe place but he discovers that he is not alone, and the house has no plans of letting him leave. Directed by John Fallon. 1 hr., 26 mins.