Mobile app to highlight second year of Victoria film festival

  • IF YOU GO

  • •  WHAT: Victoria Texas Independent Film Festival

    • WHERE: Leo J. Welder Center, 214 N. Main St.

    • WHEN: April 4-7

    • For more information and for updates on the film festival, visit vtxiff.com.

Organizers of the second annual Victoria Texas Independent Film Festival will yell "action" in about 60 days.

Executive director Anthony Pedone dealt with a shaky start in 2012. But this year, the festival is expected to occur more smoothly and will have new features, such as a mobile app for planning and live music for entertainment.

"We've got 60 days to knock this down," said Pedone, who, along with others in the Crossroads and U.S., has been working year-round on the four-day event. "We have a lot of new ideas and a lot of delegating."

One of the biggest hurdles was removing the premiere of "Texas Before the Alamo" from the festival's April 6 show at the Victoria Fine Arts Auditorium. The film is not complete, and its final scenes will be shot in March.

The film will premiere as a stand-alone show a short time after the festival, and the April 6 slot is expected to be filled by "El Elephante Blanco," a film about a mercado in Cuernavaca that is faced with globalization and the threat of chain stores encroaching on its businesses.

Also this year, the festival partnered with the Texas Independent Film Network, which means festival participants will see more Texas-based, Texas-made independent films, Pedone said.

The festival received $20,000 in hotel occupancy tax money from the city to cover the cost of transportation to Victoria.

An official list of the movies is still not ready because film submissions will be taken online until the end of February. With more than 300 submissions already, Pedone and his crew have a lot of movies to review and decisions to make.

"That's one of the things I really have to juggle," he said. "Deciding what to show is difficult. You have to be that critical."

About 20 percent of the films submitted are accepted, and the others shown are those the film festival coordinators search for.

"I'm going to try to bring those films that will bring heat to our network," he said.

This year, the festival's mobile app will aim to make the experience as easy as possible. The app is expected to launch April 1 and replaces the paper programs. The goal is to allow indie film-goers to plan their four-day event from the palm of their hand.

And with live music from bands coming from such places as France, Boston and Houston, there will be plenty to plan, Pedone said.

Once the films are in place and the flights have been scheduled, it's show time.

At that time, Pedone will announce the list of musicians and movies in March, he said, and has high hopes this second year will kick it up a notch from its inaugural year.

"I want this to be a time when people put everything else aside and they come out and see indie films," Pedone said.