With so many films to see during the Austin Film Festival, let Austin Fusion magazine help narrow down the choices.
Written, Produced, Starring: David W. Ross
Directed by: Glen Gaylord
Also stars: Alicia Witt, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Maurice Compte
9:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Austin Convention Center, Screen 1, Meeting Room 18
9:15 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, at Rollins Theatre
There couldn’t be a more relevant movie at Austin Film Festival this year, than “I Do.” On the heels of Austin pledging its support of marriage equality and on the eve of the presidential election, the emotional drama is especially apropos to the struggles many gay couples face in America today.
“I Do” follows Jack (David W. Ross), a British gay man and longtime New Yorker, torn between the obligations to his family, the only life he’s known for years in the U.S. and a possible separation with the love of his life.
After the tragic loss of his brother, the ever loyal, Jack, devotes his time to helping sister-in-law, Mya (Alicia Witt) with everything from buying groceries to walking his niece home from school and checking for monsters under her bed. Although it’s not the life he planned, it’s the life he leads with no complaints. When his work Visa is denied, he is forced to make a decision – leave the country or overstay with possible deportation. Not wanting to leave his family, the only other option is marriage – a straight marriage that would be recognized by the federal government. Ironically, he proposes to his lesbian co-worker and best friend Ali, (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) and she accepts.
The façade of the straight, “green card” marriage solves one problem but only leads to others after Jack falls in love with the charming Spanish architect, Mano (Maurice Compte). Suddenly he’s faced with new challenges and his choices could put everything at risk – his relationship, his Visa status and the only family he has left. Which would you choose?
“I Do” is a layered love story with well written and relatable characters put in extraordinary circumstances. It’s hard to believe that the main challenge to their happiness is not each other, but the laws that prevent their freedoms. It’s thought provoking and a must see. It’s the kind of film that could open minds and lead to change. Straight or gay – if you have a heart, you’ll love “I Do.”
Interview with filmmaker, David W. Ross coming soon…
Written by Jessica Hudson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Written and Directed by Kit Pongetti
3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, The Hideout Theater
4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, The Hideout Theater
The Austin Film Festival pays attention to the short films as much as they do with the features, having 13 programs to showcase them. While Austin Fusion wasn’t able to view all of them, one did catch our eyes.
It’s not easy to convey an entire story arc in 16 minutes, but “Stakeout” did this brilliantly. This short film focuses on two friends as they stakeout their crushes and the popular kids, keeping themselves hidden to the confines of their car. When one decides to venture into the unknown, a.k.a. a high school house party, their lives are changed forever.
It addresses the age old questions of friends growing apart in high school, and where that leaves everyone involved. The cast is just two teen girls, and they were wonderful to watch. It’s a touching film, one that many an connect to on many different levels.