It was not too long ago that Bee Cave resident Kat Albert was asking herself why she would want to start such a huge project. Now, if all goes according to plan, the Lake Travis area is less than 18 months away from having its very own film festival.
Albert, who has always been a film lover, got serious about making movies about 10 years ago when she switched her professional focus from advertising. She said that one of her biggest reasons for bringing a film festival to her area is that, despite the fact they are prominent throughout Central Texas, there is still a vacuum in the Lake Travis area.
“I just see it as an opportunity for our community to do something that’s really fun and kind of educational,” Albert said. “I drive down to Austin almost every night for an event, and I just thought, ‘I live out here, and I think it’s beautiful out here. And we just don’t have a lot of real high-profile, kind of fun, glitzy things to go to.’”
The planned dates for the Lake Travis film Festival are Feb. 27 through Feb. 29, 2020, and Albert emphasizes that LTFF is still in a pre-planning stage called “Countdown to One,” referring to the time when there will be one year to go until the festival. In this phase of planning, venues, films, participants, expected attendance numbers and even an accurate budget are all still coming into focus.
Because of her extensive volunteer and attendance history at numerous other film festivals over the years, Albert said she has honed her vision for the LTFF, at least for its inaugural year.
“This film festival, I want it to be about the community,” she said. “I want to make it to where these independent films, and quality films from all across the globe, are accessible to people that live in the Lake Travis area.”
The next major planning event for the LTFF is scheduled for Nov. 29 at the Iron Wolf Ranch & Distillery in Spicewood. There will be a screening of several short films, and Albert said the primary purpose is to network and hopefully lock in more volunteers.
She said right now she has about 35 volunteers. Even teachers from Lake Travis High School have been helping out during the pre-planning phase, but Albert estimates she will need about 100 volunteers to make the festival happen.
Glenda Watters, vice president of corporate marketing and events for Iron Wolf, said it has been great watching how much everything, including a vibrant arts scene, is growing in all of the towns west of Austin.
“We’re really excited to have this event at Iron Wolf,” Watters said. “We are happy to be a part of the community and support the arts in the Lake Travis-Austin area.”
Watters said she will be putting up a 15-foot high-definition screen on her existing stage for sports and other events, and the LTFF event at Iron Wolf will be a perfect fit.
The LTFF is gaining some buzz through a news report and social media, and Bee Cave Mayor Monty Parker counts himself as one of the festival’s well-wishers.
“I am so proud of my friend and Bee Cave resident Kat Albert for her passion and tireless efforts to bring this event to our community,” Parker said. I’m confident this event will not only be appealing to our citizens but will also provide huge financial benefits to our local businesses. Kat’s vision is coming true, and I couldn’t be happier for her and our community. “