Austin Film Festival 2021 – Texas Thrill Ride takes a trip to the Big Bend: where fear and antelope play – Screens


In 2018, Los Angeles-based filmmaker Brett Wagner took a family vacation to the home of his friend, Aaron Brown, in Terlingua, located in the heart of West Texas and just outside the National Park. by Big Bend. Upon his arrival, Wagner was immediately fascinated by the remote environment: the arid desert, the sky vibrant with stars, the rugged landscape. During an excursion, there was a minor incident where one of the children wandered off for a few brief minutes. Almost three years later, these experiences would inspire Wagner to return to Texas to direct his new feature film, The big bend, with Brown as producer. The film is set to premiere at this year’s Austin Film Festival, and Wagner said he was “extremely excited … Almost everyone associated with the film is from the Austin area, which means a lot more. ‘between them can It’s like coming home.

The big bend stars Jason Butler Harner, Virginia Kull, Erica Ash, David Sullivan, along with Wagner’s two daughters, Delilah and Zoe, and features a sheet music from Austin’s Shakey Graves. The story follows the experiences of two families as their vacation turns into a suspenseful escalation of traumatic events that push the boundaries of their relationship.

The filming process on location in Terlingua was tumultuous to say the least. The scorching heat of West Texas, unpredictable turbulent thunderstorms that caused power outages, and rocky terrain would make for a tough shoot, especially since it only worked on an independent film’s budget. These conditions made it difficult to locate the locations, as the group was determined to find the perfect setting to complete the story.

“We felt like family at the end of it.” – Brett Wagner

Things got even more complicated for one of the film’s protagonists, Kull, who filmed indie when he was six months pregnant with twins. Kull said that despite being pregnant, she couldn’t pass up the role, and said the crew took great care of her while filming. “It will always be a really special movie for the experience, but also because I had my little ones while I was working. It became an amazing little time capsule.”

Wagner expressed his enthusiasm for the crew to be able to celebrate at the festival after the arduous and challenging shoot. “We felt like family at the end of it. We were strained, we worked really hard, we lived in close quarters. Everyone did it out of love and passion.”

The big bend has its world premiere on Friday October 22 at 6:30 p.m. and Tuesday October 26 at 9:00 p.m., both at Galaxy Highland.


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