Austin’s Fantastic Fest – A Celebration of Genre Films

We all know that Austin, Texas is home to many film festivals. But if there’s one festival that is worth mentioning in this city, it is the Fantastic Fest. This is so because it is a celebration that focuses only on genre films.

Genre films are films that feature horror, science fiction, action, fantasy, cult and Asian. Commonly in film festivals, the emphasis is placed on the drama category. Because of this predominant concept, hardcore filmmakers and cinephiles are at a loss where they should go.

Fortunately, the Fantastic Fest was founded in 2005 by Tim League, the owner of the Alamo Drafthouse. The festival takes place at the theater of the Alamo Drafthouse usually in the month of September. It lasts for eight days and conducts three screens for each day. The screening is attended by many directors, film writers and actors. Participants can be amateurs or they may be well-known figures in the film industry.

The festival is a great venue for fantastic films to be viewed. Commonly, genre films are rejected by distributors because they deemed them lacking of selling factor. Fantastic films usually don’t make it to mass distribution as not many people are very keen on watching zombies, killers, aliens and other violent human portrayals.

The Fantastic Fest is celebrated much like any other film festival. Apart from the film screenings, there are also many themed parties that are thrown. This festival may only be young yet it has received many favorable remarks and acknowledges from respected media people and celebrities.

Austin Chronicle’s Hot Sauce Festival

Hot sauce is a big industry in the United States. It used to be that ketchup is the number one condiment in America. However, in 1992, salsa was able to steal its top spot and became the ultimate American condiment of choice. Its success can be attributed to the Austin Chronicle’s Hot Sauce Festival, which became a very effective launching pad of many hot sauce products.

The Austin Chronicle conducted the first Hot Sauce Festival in Austin, Texas in 1990. It only began as a friendly competition between Austin and San Antonio. Unexpectedly, the festival became a total success. Since its making two decades ago, it became one of the respected and largest hot sauce festivals in the whole world. Such event can draw as many as 15,000 crowds and 350 participating entries.

Many people come to participate into this competition. This is because early winners of the show go onto commercial success. The hot sauce contest in the festival has three levels of competition. These include the individual, restaurant and commercial bottler categories. The individual and the restaurants compete in the red, green and special variety. Commercial bottlers, on the other hand, compete in the red, green, special variety and the pepper sauce.

Popular features of the Hot Sauce Festival include the giant tasting tent full of tasty sauces for free and the hot sauce cooking demonstrations conducted by renowned chefs. Admission is free but anyone who comes is encouraged to bring 3 non-perishable food items to be donated to the Capital Area Food Bank. The festival is commonly held in the Waterloo Park.