Georgetown, A Cinema Destination in the Making


Some locations in the movie, “The Place We Hide”, might look familiar to us locals. Filmmaker Erik Bernard shot the thriller almost entirely in Georgetown.

Through his movie, Erik hopes to pave the way for other filmmakers to put Georgetown on the silver screen.

As the president of GTX Film’s board of directors, he also hopes the upcoming GTX Film Festival and “The Place We Hide” will advance the city’s growing status as a film destination and draw other artists to “our amazing town.”

Erik Bernard (center in red) prepares for a scene at Austin Ave. & 8th St. David Yusel Madison (far right) stars as Jack in “The Place We Hide”.

His film, “The Place We Hide,” centers on two characters who have been shaped by tragedy and dark secrets. One, a brilliant hypnotherapist, has overcome adversity to reinvent herself through a hard-earned second chance and chooses to be a guide to others in search of salvation and redemption. She collides with a salesman committed to serve society as a violent agent of karma, believing that perpetrators don’t deserve a second chance. Confronting unyielding justice and redemption, two contrasting philosophies play out a game of life and death, revisiting the darkest events they have tried to hide.

Viewers might find themselves debating whether people can redeem themselves or if unrelenting justice is the only way to go.

Erik hopes to feature his movie at the Austin Film Festival and the Fantastic Fest, another annual film festival in Austin, in the fall.

His journey to film-making began on his third combat tour in Afghanistan when the taxing environment began to wear on him. “I knew I needed an outlet.”

He found it in writing. “It gave me a window to go somewhere else for a while,” he says. His writing sparked a film-making dream, and his screenplays have since garnered awards from international festivals and competitions.

Having lived on the road the past few years, Erik wanted to film something closer to home, leading to “The Place We Hide.” He directed the movie as Rebel 6 Films, which he co-founded with his wife to produce Texas-made films. He built sets at a warehouse off of Shell Road and shot scenes in the library and on the Square, expressing gratitude to the City of Georgetown and the police department for their support.

His experience involved a lot of hard work and lessons learned, especially as an independent filmmaker, as he had to be mindful of the costs he could and couldn’t cut. His fellow filmmakers, he says, brought contagious energy to the project “and a lot of the same ambition that I have in that they’re looking to get better in their craft.”

In case you’re wondering, at left, David Madison is “in character” as Jack, and not at all missing the charm and ambiance at Austin Ave. and 8th Street in Georgetown. 

Photos courtesy of Carol Whitney, Fifty Clicks Photography


Pandemic Plot Twist Moves Film Festival Online

As the founder of the GTX Film Festival, Cindy Weigand is used to movie drama. She didn’t, however, expect such drama to unfold off the screen in 2020.

She had hoped to host the second annual event at its usual City Lights Theater venue this year, but after the world became locked in a pandemic, Cindy decided the show must go on—virtually.

Viewers can enjoy 20 films from all over the world July 23-25 through a Vimeo link at gtxfilm.org. “Normal patterns of life have been interrupted,” says Erik Bernard, GTX Film board president. “People still need a way to connect to the outside world.”

TLG Motion Pictures will sponsor the festival—another addition to Georgetown’s growing film scene. Cindy says, “The festival is a celebration of independent film. These films are not funded by Sony or Disney. They’re truly independent, and often supported by crowdfunding campaigns. We celebrate their efforts and recognize their art, which can lead to the films being picked up for greater distribution.”

Featured categories include narrative feature and short films, documentary, student, Texas-made, and mobile. Movies are recommended for individuals 18 years of age and older, except “Tin Can”, “The Drone”, and “Hiko in Tonga – A Culture Almost Lost”, which can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

Live-streamed Q&A sessions with filmmakers following screenings are in the works.

To promote businesses, festival organizers encourage them to host watch parties. Businesses with a screen, projector, and sound system interested in sponsoring a watch party can contact Cindy at director@gtxfilm.org.


FESTIVAL SCREENING SCHEDULE

Thursday, July 23 • 6:00 – 8:30pm

“A Letter Home” A tale of Georgetown’s Field of Honor and the soldier who writes home about his plans to honor the military and first responders with his fellow citizens.

“Inheritance” Wes is a shy boy growing up poor during the Great Depression. His response to bullies is always to turn and run. With his family’s well-being at stake, Wes can’t run anymore.

“Lillian” A teenager cares for her younger sibling and local orphans after her grandmother is killed by the Mexican Army toward the end of the Texas Revolution.

“House of Glass” Convinced her husband is cheating, a woman is pushed over the edge.

Friday, July 24

2pm “Bullet Trip” Former Shinjuku No.1 male host Noboru slams up the hostess lover Noriko and rushes on the night highway in a “surprise bullet trip.”

“Bullet Trip” courtesy of director Nozumu Kalagi

2pm “#STEALTH” A story about the hidden lives of some members of the LGBT community.

6pm “Mother’s Day” Jane has the perfect life, perfect family, and the grooviest home in the neighborhood. All that is no match for the painful memories of her childhood on the eve of Mother’s Day.

6pm “Alter” Ana walks home at night, and feels a sense of danger.

6pm “At the End of Eight” Three contestants sneak inside the home of complete strangers as part of a popular, illegal game, which requires the players to stay eight hours without being discovered.

Saturday, July 25

10am “The Bronze Fly” A painter gives magic pills to his visually impaired girlfriend, then intentionally loses her in a crowd. Thanks to a painting and the pills that transform the view into a painting style, she will search for the artist and his secret, without suspecting that in the shadows, he will observe her during a passionate quest.

10am “What Are You Waiting For?” A simple act of kindness can have a profound impact on someone’s life.

10am “Motivation Monday” Following a fatal accident, a motivational podcaster struggles to balance life without his parents, care for his younger sister and find the words to motivate his audience.

10am “Perfect Match” A hopeless romantic finds herself at a matchmaker’s office to find a match, but who she meets might not be who you’d expect.

10am “Heads-Up: Will We Stop Making Cents?” Should the U.S. eliminate the penny? This documentary explores different sides of the debate, touching on the role of the penny in today’s economy, predictive economic models of a penniless future, and the cultural importance of the coin.

2pm “Tin Can” J.C. came to America as an illegal immigrant when he was just a child. Now an adult, he’s still illegal but has managed to persevere and prosper as a rodeo clown. However, after a series of unfortunate events, J.C. finds himself down on his luck and in search of new happiness.

2pm “The Drone” A story of DJ, a small quadcopter trying to fit in.

2pm “Hiko in Tonga – A Culture Almost Lost” A multi-generational film of a unique, vanishing culture of Polynesian women jugglers in the Kingdom of Tonga.

6pm “When All That’s Left is Love” A story of a wife’s determination to care for her Alzheimer’s-stricken husband in their home.

6pm “Promise Me” A social drama about a once-flourishing woman now at the end of her life who struggles to ensure that her recently reconciled son doesn’t make the same mistakes she did.

6pm “The Piano Teacher” This documentary is a poetic look at life, age, and memory. Few people progress enough in any art form to reach such a pinnacle of performance and renown but, with time, even the most masterful regress. Skills fade and memories vanish until we return to a childlike state and await that final curtain.

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