Best of Texas Short Films Program Screens in Dallas This Friday at Historic Texas Theatre

Texas Filmmaker's Showcase features six of the state's best up-and-coming filmmakers

Related Media

The Garden and the Wilderness - Official Trailer

DALLAS, TEXAS (10/11/2013)(readMedia)-- The award-winning modern day Western The Garden and the Wilderness will make its Dallas premiere screening this Friday at the 26th annual Dallas VideoFest. The film will screen along with five other films selected by the Houston Film Commission for its annual Texas Filmmaker's Showcase program of the state's best short films.

The Garden and the Wilderness and rest of the Texas FIlmmaker's Showcase program will screen at the historic Texas Theatre in Dallas's Oak Cliff district on Friday, October 11th at 9:30 PM. Tickets for the screening are only $5 and are available online or in person at the venue.

Also featured at the Showcase will be Russell O. Bush's documentary Vultures of Tibet, nominated this year for a Student Academy Award; Hellion by Kat Candler, which is being made into a feature film starring Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul; Little Lions by Tony Costello; Vincent Valdez: Excerpts for John by Mark and Angela Walley; and Cork's Cattlebarron by Eric Steele.

After premiering in 2011 at the Rome International Film Festival, The Garden and the Wilderness was awarded the prize for Best Editing at the 2012 Beverly Film Festival and was nominated for Best Short Drama at the Trail Dance Film Festival in 2013. The film was an official selection at numerous other international film festivals, including the Garden State Film Festival, the Hill Country Film Festival, and the Portobello Film Festival in London.

"This year's Texas FIlmmaker's Showcase program contains an amazing selection of films with something to offer to both casual moveigoesr and hardcore cinephiles," says director Craig Whitney. "These six films represent some of the best work being made by Texas filmmakers, and the cast and crew of The Garden and the Wilderness is honored to be taking part in this screening at the Dallas VideoFest."

A poetic re-imagining of the Western genre, The Garden and the Wilderness examines the intersection between the demands of work and family in our lives, and how they can both help and hinder our ability to deal with life's hardships.

After 30 years spent caring for a Texas hunting estate, ranch hand Will James must confront the prospect of moving on from his life's work when he learns that the property will be sold following the owner's death. A final visit from the late owner's son offers him a chance to reflect on his past, and to figure out what to make of himself in the uncertain future that awaits his family.

The Garden and the Wilderness was written and directed by Craig Whitney, whose credits include the short film Harvest Home and music videos by Miranda Cosgrove and the Dixie Chicks' Natalie Maines. Produced by Stephanie Huettner (The Peacemaker, Mighty Mutant Mollusks) and photographed by Christopher Rusch (Closing Night), the film stars Larry Harbin, DJ Economou, Terri Bennett, Billy Kring, and Julia Lorenz.

Whitney says that during its nationwide festival run, the universal themes of The Garden and the Wilderness have been warmly received by audiences far afield from the movie's central Texas origins.

"No matter where we have screened, from New York to California, one of the things that I have found truly remarkable is the way in which The Garden and the Wilderness has connected with audiences regardless of their personal background," Whitney says. "Although some of the details in this movie are unique to the land where it was filmed, I think this is a story that a lot of people have become all too familiar with during the economic upheaval of the last few years."

"In some ways, The Garden and the Wilderness carries a lot of the traditional themes of the Western film, but in a way that undoubtedly reflects the realities of the 21st century. The Western has evolved from legends like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood to more ambiguous, contemporary figures like No Country for Old Men's Llewelyn Moss and the two lovers of Brokeback Mountain. The Garden and the Wilderness continues this evolution, exploring the western hero through the economic prism of the Great Recession and the closing of the American West."

Already in its 20th year, past selections for the Texas Filmmakers Showcase have included Ain't Them Bodies Saints director David Lowery's Pioneer, Grammy's by Bryan Poyser (The Bounceback), Bradley Jackson's The Man Who Never Cried, Doki-Doki by Chris Eska (August Evening), and films by Kat Candler, Ya'Ke Smith, and other talented Texas filmmakers. Additional information about the Texas FIlmmaker's Showcase and upcoming screenings of the program around the state of Texas can be found by visiting the Houston Film Commission website.

The Texas Theatre, where the Texas Filmmaker's Showcase screening will take place, has been chosen as the best movie theater in Dallas for three years in a row by the Dallas Observer. The theater is also infamous as the site of the capture of Lee Harvey Oswald by Dallas police following the assassionation of President John F. Kennedy. This November will mark the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassionation and Oswald's arrest.

About Better Archangel Pictures

Better Archangel Pictures was founded in 2008 in Austin, Texas by writer and director Craig Whitney. Whitney and his producers are currently developing A Candle in the Funeral, a feature-length examination of violence along the Texas border and one Mexican family's struggle to persevere amidst these tragedies. For more information about The Garden and the Wilderness and other Better Archangel Pictures films, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or visit us online at