Wimberley, TX

Fischer Store bridge

Fischer Store bridge

This past summer, Fiege Films journeyed to Wimberley, Texas to begin shooting our project Hell and High Water. Only two months before, during Memorial Day weekend, disastrous floods struck the town, damaging much of the area along the Blanco riverbank. One of the most striking sites is the Fischer Store Road Bridge, which was lifted off its supports and now lies in ruins.

chris, forrest, and john.

chris, forrest, and john.

Forrest Wilder of the Texas Observer joined us, sharing his knowledge of Wimberley, his hometown, as well as his thoughts on the flood and climate change. His story is just one of many in our upcoming series of shorts focusing on the effects of climate change here in Texas.

In kayaks and canoes, Forrest, John, and Chris ventured down the Blanco River to shoot the flood damage. Toppled and broken cypress trees, mounds of tangled debris, and scoured foundations bore witness to the waters that had swelled over fifty feet. Fiege Films interns Promise Jones, Kaiwen Fa, and Sofia Chang assisted with production. Hell and High Water will explore environmental issues in Wimberley, Texas, and is the first of our series of stories about the direct impacts of climate change all over Texas.

Interns in Action: Valerio Ferris

Valerio Ferris

Valerio Ferris

My name is Valerio and I'm a rising sophomore at New York University where I'm studying Media, Culture and Communication. The major allows me to explore a hands on approach to communication while also immersing myself in the theories and ideologies that guide the study. 

A Houston native, I was excited to return to my Texas home to intern with Fiege Films. This internship provides me with an opportunity to feed my love of documentary film making, an art that combines my journalistic passion with the creative eye. This, to me, is the magic behind documentary. Creating to produce change is something I find inspiring about documentary film making. 

As I head back to New York in the fall, I hope to bring with me all that I learned from the Fiege Films' office, especially as I begin to pursue a documentary minor. This internship helped me to better understand the arc of producing documentary content, from the birth of an idea to the realization of the story. I'd like to explore issues concerning social justice, of particular interest to me are childhood obesity and the Jewish American narrative in relation to the Israeli Palestinian conflict. 

[Interested in interning with Fiege Films? Send a resume, cover letter, and two references to chris@fiegefilms.com]

Interns In Action: Alejandra Gonzalez

A blog post by Alejandra Gonzalez

Alejandra Gonzalez, Fiege Films intern

Alejandra Gonzalez, Fiege Films intern

My name is Alejandra Gonzalez and this upcoming year I am going to be a fourth year at UT Austin as a Radio Television Film major. This summer I have been interning with Fiege Films and working on social media for their upcoming film, Above All Else and other projects. 

Just completing my first year at UT Austin in the RTF program, the year has been completely eye opening as I had never done anything with film previously.  About a year ago I transferred from a small liberal arts college in California, making the drastic transition of being an International Relations/ Government major to being a film major.  Moving to Austin, and to a university that was dramatically larger than my previous institution helped me become more independent and gave me more options within my newly found area of interest, communications.

In high school and throughout my first couple of years in college, I started watching many documentaries about food politics, environmental topics, and social issues.  Going into Claremont McKenna College, I had wanted to pursue environmental law and tackle issues regarding poverty and healthy eating.  However, after two years, I decided law was not my calling and decided to come to Austin and purse activism and awareness through film, in particular, documentary.  I am now majoring in Radio-TV- Film at UT and I love it!  With these new tools, networks, along with my internship Fiege Films, I feel like I am one step closer to eventually creating a film or project of my own that can help make a positive impact on the environment and on society.

Interns in Action: Shelby Hadden

Blog post by Shelby Hadden

Shelby Hadden, Fiege Films Intern

Shelby Hadden, Fiege Films Intern

I’ve been passionate about documentary filmmaking since I produced my first film, A Cat’s Life, for my fourth grade science fair project. Since then, I have been fortunate enough to follow my passion and edit and produce many films over the past few years.

 During my time at the University of Alabama, I made several short documentaries that have been in festivals across the country. My film, Not a Statistic, was screened at this year’s Nashville Film Festival and its Franklin Theatre premiere raised $6,000 for Team Hunt, a non-profit that was chronicled in the film and raises money to find a cure for mitochondrial disease. Never Got a Dime, a film about Lilly Ledbetter’s fight for pay equality, has been included in the Workers Unite Film Festival for the last three years.

 I’m currently a graduate student in the M.F.A. Film & Media Production program at the University of Texas at Austin and interning at Fiege Films this summer. I was first drawn to Fiege Films because I share their love for making films about social issues and have great respect for their work.

 Aside from filmmaking, I’m also a dedicated volunteer for the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference, an avid runner, and have an almost unhealthy obsession with Seinfeld.

www.shelbyhadden.com 

Above All Else Screenings in Marfa, Texas

submitted by producer Christopher Lucas

Above All Else screened on July 4th and 5th at Marfa Film Festival, deep in the beautiful Big Bend region in West Texas. Marfa, for those that don’t know it, is a unique place, both an iconic Texas small town and world-renowned art colony home to the Chinati Foundation; many fine artists, writers, sculptors, photographers and other creative types call Marfa home. It’s a harsh landscape and gets brutally hot out there, but also remarkably beautiful, especially in the magical hours of dawn and twilight.

I made the eight-hour drive to Marfa from Austin with my family and we took in some hot desert hikes in nearby Alpine, parties in Marfa, which were much cooler, and eventually got around to watching some movies.

West Texas Sunset

West Texas Sunset

On our first day in town John Fiege and I were interviewed on Marfa Public Radio. It was a good start to the weekend. Marfa Film Festival programs about 60 shorts and features and, a lot like the town, leaned toward the eclectic and artistically adventurous. Michel Gondry’s new film Mood Indigo was there, as well as Rick Linklater’s Boyhood, a great environmental doc Yakona, from Central Texas locals Paul Collins and Anlo Sepulveda, and Alex van Warnerdam’s Borgman, which was nominated for a Palme d’Or this year. We were thrilled to have Above All Else on the program. The film had a great response and several people came up after our first screening at the Crowley Theater -- as they often do at these festivals -- to thank us for making the film and telling David’s story.

Crowley Theater

Crowley Theater

Julie Gillis (left), Julia Trigg Crawford  (middle), Callie Trigg Bracewell (right)

Julie Gillis (left), Julia Trigg Crawford  (middle), Callie Trigg Bracewell (right)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    We screened with three short films—Honor The Treaties (Watch it), Shield the People (Watch it), and Overpass Light Brigade. Shield the People traveled to Marfa for the festival—raising a few of the tipis they are using to blockade the Keystone XL pipeline with a traditional village on their ancestral lands in South Dakota. After our screening the visiting Lakota spoke powerfully about the need to stop ecological destruction and of their own intention to preserve their people and the earth for all of us.

Shield the People

Shield the People

The festival included several side events as well, like live music at the coolest “nomadic hotel and campground” in Texas, El Cosmico, a indie game showcase The Space Cowboy Arcade, and a Fourth of July concert and fireworks out in the desert.

Marfa was a great mid-summer celebration for Above All Else and we’re looking forward to more events later in the summer and fall.

Spring 2014

Spring 2014 at Fiege Films has been consumed with finishing post-production on our feature documentary Above All Else, which premiered at SXSW on March 10. In the month since, Above All Else has screened at festivals in Atlanta, Sarasota, Dallas, and South Carolina. We have upcoming screenings in Minneapolis, Scottsbluff, Nebraska, and the Hot Docs festival in Toronto. Sign up on our screenings page for more dates to be announced soon.

We also added a STOREFRONT to the film's website, where our supporters can purchase t-shirts, tote bags, and our limited edition screenprint poster.

ABOVE ALL ELSE at the Paramount Theater

ABOVE ALL ELSE at the Paramount Theater

While we work to bring Above All Else to audiences, we've also been designing this new website and developing a proposal for a new feature project - looks like it'll be a busy summer here as well.