I find it most convenient that I was just watching the work of young director Clay Liford a few months ago. I was sitting on the jury of the Student Shorts competition at the ’09 Austin Film Festival, and his short My Mom Smokes Weed was one of the films upon which I was looking from my high horse (they give you one with your jury assignment.) The little film didn’t exactly blow me away, but it did show some promise. A cinematographer turned director, Liford has shown himself to have a clean, but interesting visual style. And I would be lying if I didn’t say that I’ve wondered what he’d do next.

Enter his first feature, Earthling, which will debut as part of the narrative feature competition at SXSW. This time, Liford is taking on a little bit of science fiction, turning his lens toward character affected by a tragedy aboard the International Space Station. The trailer reminds me of The Clone Returns Home, a Japanese film from Sundance 2009, in that it feels very meditative and intimate. That could very well be a recipe for an interesting film. Time will tell. This new trailer comes courtesy of Gordon and the Whale.

Also, check out this teaser, which shines a bit of a wider lens on the whole affair:

Tragedy aboard the international space station triggers a discovery that some lives have been a lie.

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