The festival, in its fourth year, runs Nov. 5-8 and will feature a schedule of diverse indie films screened in venues in San Marcos and across Hays and Caldwell counties.
"I think we're all suffering from isolation, you know, these past many months," Buckley said. "We want to be able to facilitate those spaces for people to gather with one another."
Tickets range from $5 for a single feature film or grouping of shorts to $20 for a four-day venue badge that includes all daytime screenings. Evening shows at venues in Buda, Martindale and Lockhart are priced separately.
Scheduled flicks range from the retro-style genre film "Vampire Foxes from Space!" to documentaries—such as "Missing in Brooks County" and "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me"—which dive into serious social issues.
"Missing in Brooks County" examines the disappearance of more than 3,000 migrants 225 miles south of San Marcos by following two people searching for loved ones. The film's Texas premiere will feature a Q&A with the filmmakers and some of its subjects.
"I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" will also be a Texas premiere, and Director Karen Bernstein will make an appearance as well. Documenting the life of Brian Belovitch, Bernstein provides a window into the life of a transgender woman living in New York during the 1980s who has since transitioned back to a male gender status, according to Buckley.
"Brian just sort of reflects on his odyssey of discovering himself, and thinking about gender and self acceptance and a lot of really relevant and critical themes," Buckley said. "That's actually the only film in the history of our four-year event that we are going to be playing twice at the festival because it's just so timely and important."
The closing night film—"Bull"—premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival to rave reviews. "Bull" was directed by Annie Silverstein and written by her husband, Johnny McAllister, who is Texas State University's film studies director.
"['Bull'] is probably the most high-profile film we've ever booked in four years of the fest," Buckley said. "It debuted at Cannes Festival last year and the Hollywood Reporter said it was one of the best films of the fest."
In addition to Texan-made movies and other domestic films, an array of international indie films will also be shown during the festival.
In response to possible concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, Buckley said the festival acquired a sizable amount of sanitizer and wipes, and mask requirements would be enforced. Box fans will also be used to air out indoor screening areas between films.
Many films will be shown outdoors, and some will be viewed at drive-in venues.
"I think at its best, cinema helps us to envision a better way forward," Buckley said. "We try to highlight films that do that—in this moment of despair—and provide examples of people that are pushing back and trying to change things."
For a schedule of events, visit www.thelostriverfilmfest.org.