Spellerberg Projects

Ongoing and Upcoming

Screening: Run Like The Devil

Oct 5

RUN LIKE THE DEVIL, produced by Richelle Fatheree and directed by award-winning Austin-based director Steve Mims, documents the 2018 US Senate race between Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke. A non-partisan deep dive that goes beyond the political campaigns, the film threads the stories of the candidates with those of their respective political parties during a historic period of national political tumult.

Participants include O’Rourke, Cruz, Evan Smith (CEO, Texas Tribune), Mark McKinnon (political consultant), David Richards (Ann Richard’s ex-husband and redistricting litigator), Bob Moore (former editor, El Paso Times), Joshua Houston (Texas Impact Attorney) and others. Run time: 59 minutes.

Spellerberg Projects, Masur Gallery
119 W San Antonio St, Lockhart TX
Oct 5, 2018, 8pm
$10 suggested donation at the door

Film’s website


Statement by director Steve Mims:

In August of 2010 I was working on a documentary that found me out in front of the Texas capitol filming a Tea Party rally that focused on denouncing Barack Obama. One of the speakers that day was Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz. I had never heard of him at the time and he was largely unknown statewide. In a fiery speech he fervently called for ending the Affordable Care Act and for defeating the president in 2012. The event (which is included in this current documentary) made a huge impression on me. By 2012 Cruz had become a Tea Party hero. He surprised pundits when he toppled a mainstream Republican to win the nomination to run for U.S. Senate. Then he buried his Democratic opponent in a landslide victory in the general election.

I felt then that the election had unfolded with little examination of both Cruz and opponent Paul Saddler on film and in television.

When I picked up a copy of the Austin American Statesman in late 2016 and read that U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke of El Paso was considering a run for Cruz’s senate seat I took an interest. On March 31, 2017 I traveled to El Paso to film his campaign announcement. Off and on from that day until as late as August 2, 2018 I filmed and edited material for the film that has become RUN LIKE THE DEVIL.

The film is an honest effort to make a non-partisan film about the two candidates, their personal stories, their beliefs, their respective parties and some of the most controversial issues in the campaign. The film is independently funded. An ambitious Kickstarter campaign failed, but enough people donated to our project via a fiscal sponsorship through the Austin Film Society that we were able to cover most expenses for making the film. I work as a part-time Lecturer in film at UT Austin and as a freelance writer/director/cinematographer. I have my own gear and I also edit. My hours shooting and editing on this film are donated to the film as a civic commitment on my part and is also a reflection of my love of doing the job of work that is making a film.

Crucial in this effort is producer Richelle Fatheree. Early on we had help from Austin attorney Reid Nelson.

Like all projects, the very best part of the process is going to places you’d otherwise never go and meeting people you would never meet. Meeting Beto and his family was a true pleasure, as was getting to pick the brains of everyone else who was generous enough to make time for an interview. Ted Cruz’s staff kindly worked with us to schedule an interview where he answered all our questions without clearing them in advance.

In the end I think the film is as honest a portrait of the two candidates as I can make. There is much in the film that will be uneasy for partisans and which will anger some people. I think there is real utility in that and I hope it fosters frank discussions that otherwise might not happen.

Screening: All Is Well On The Border

Oct 20

Spellerberg Projects, Masur Gallery
119 W San Antonio St, Lockhart TX
Oct 20, 2018, 8pm
Free


Statement by curators Noor Ale and Claudia Mattos:

All is well on the border presents a collection of video works that contend with life on the margins. The program takes its name from the sale-titles 1997 Akram Zaatari documentary, which offers for wide viewing the testimonies of three prisoners held in detention centers during the Israeli occupation of South Lebanon. These gathered works align histories, accounts and experiences surrounding immigration, exile, statelessness, and the precarity of moving across sovereign borders, as well as the fringes of social and cultural boundaries. These liminal zones have come to increasing prominence on the back of refugee crises stemming from Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria, and activist platforms that have granted greater visibitiy to those in the periphery. And as the Internet and its digital effects and staked greater claims in the lives of people, globally; and facilitated communication and the bridging of experiences beyond arbitrary boundaries; borders, too, have grown increasingly irrelevant in our highly interconnected and global communities.

In these times of heightened national security, mass globalization, civic unrest and the rise of nationalist movements throughout the West, borders are both foregrounded and swept aside; highly policed or easily crossed; and used to reinforce geopolitical agendas and causes. All it well on the border is in many ways a case study of border states across divers cross-sections of global society, offering a nuanced picture of the myriad lines that divide our world.


Program:

Akram Zaatari, All Is Well On the Border, 1997. 43:00
A critique of the political slogans which usually dominate the image of the shrit, or the occupied frontal zone in South Lebanon.

Mieke Bal and Shahram Entekhabi, Lost In Space, 2015, 17:00
The film about homelessness and displacement tears apart the different manifestations of language.

Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Declaration of Poetic Disobedience, 2005, 15:15
“In November of 2003 I began to write this text. It was my clumsy attempt at finding a post-9/11 pice and place in another map — an imaginary one drafted by me.” (G G-P)

Mona Hatoum, Measures of Distance, 1998, 15:25
This early work is concerned with the artist’s separation from her Palestinian family and, in particular, her relationship with her mother whose letters from Beirut are read aloud as the soundtrack to the tape.

Julia Meltzer and David Thorne, Not a matter of if but when…, 2007, 17:40
Developed with Rami Farah in 2005-06 in Damacus, when momentous events reverberated throughout Syria giving rise to widespread anxiety and anticipation around the potential for imminent change, regime change, internal reform, internal collapse, civil war and the increased power of fundamentalist Islam.

Hollie Brown, The Triumph of Death

Opens Nov 2

More info to come.

Spellerberg Projects, Masur Gallery
119 W San Antonio St, Lockhart TX
Nov 2, 2018, 6pm

Artist’s website