Every year we feature a "How to Drink Like an Austinite" guide for Fantastic Fest with recommendations on the favorite watering holes near film venues. SXSW Film Festival attendees looking for a change of pace from the "Miller Lite Taste Nation" will definitely want to venture out to bars offering craft beers beyond American light lager and great spirits. You can find award-winning beers from local breweries and brewpubs that will be sure to please any hophead or malt bomb lovers, as well as margaritas and great Texas wines from local wineries.
What is the best way to find great local beer in Austin? Arm yourself with information from Taplister as well the Austin Beer Guide. This collaborative effort between Beertown Austin and Craft Austin features information on craft breweries in Central Texas and where to find it -- unlike other states, in Texas it has been illegal for the breweries themselves to promote their retail locations although a recent lawsuit has changed that policy. The Austin Beer Guide maps are extremely useful to anyone not familiar with downtown and south Austin. Also follow the SXSW beer-drinking action on beer mobile apps including BrewskiMe, Untappd, and Tap Hunter -- if you are a beer geek with a SXSW Gold or Platinum badge, be sure to check out the SXSW Interactive Panel "Social + Location + Mobile = The Perfect Beer".
Rather than just share my own recommendations, this year I've asked local experts, i.e., beer bloggers as well as a couple seasoned SXSW volunteers to share their favorite bars and tips on drinking during SXSW. Find out after the jump where they think you should be enjoying fine craft beer and libations.
Jenn Brown and I often say we could write volumes on two topics: How to have the best film-festival experience, and how filmmakers can effectively promote their films. However, we're looking at these topics from the point of view of the press and people who like to watch movies. We're not filmmakers, so we can't speak from that point of view about film festivals.
Fortunately, Austin Film Society has a Moviemaker Dialogue next week just for filmmakers, in which a panel of experienced local writers/directors will offer their advice about how you can get the most out of a film festival, whether your film is screening at that fest or not. The "Maximizing Your Film Festival Experience" panel is moderated by me, and includes Kat Candler, Clay Liford, and Geoff Marslett. (That's Candler and Liford in the above photo.)
These filmmakers have taken their indie shorts and features around the country (and possibly out of the country; did you go to Sitges with Mars, Geoff?) to film festivals of all sizes. They've also all had films at SXSW, so they're certain to have advice specifically related to next month's film fest. They're a lively bunch and I think this is going to be an excellent session.
The panel takes place next Wednesday, February 29 at 7 pm at the Austin Studios screening room. If you have a Filmmaker-level AFS membership, admission is free, otherwise it's $5. You can get tickets online in advance -- it's not a huge space so I recommend buying (or reserving) now. Bring your best questions.
Actor Danny Trejo has made so many movies at Troublemaker Studios that he already feels like an honorary Texan. Austin Film Society plans to make this title legit, though. Trejo will receive the Patrón Honorary Texan Award at the Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards ceremony on Thursday, March 8, along with other previously announced honorees.
It should be entirely unsurprising that Austin filmmaker Robert Rodriguez will present the award to Trejo that evening. Trejo has played Machete in Rodriguez's films starting with Spy Kids in 1999 through the then-fake Machete trailer in Grindhouse in 2006 and of course in the actual Machete movie in 2010. The photo above is from the Austin premiere of Machete, which AFS hosted at the Paramount in September 2010. Rodriguez recently announced a second Machete movie, Machete Kills, and while I honestly feel a sequel is unnecessary, I do enjoy watching Trejo in action as the character.
Here's another photo from the Machete premiere, this time of Rodriguez and Trejo together with actor Daryl Sabara.
Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone originally screened at SXSW in 2011, and the filmmakers and the band were back in town last October to support Austin Film Society with a special screening and Q&A, as well as a sold-out show at Emo's Austin. I thoroughly enjoyed this compelling and dynamic tale of punk rock pioneers Fishbone and their rise, fall and subsequent revival -- read my review. The documentary was released on DVD this week, and is available for purchase on the Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone website. Bonus features include deleted scenes, band commentary, interview outtakes, and rare concert footage sure to please any Fishbone fan.
During their October movie-and-music tour, I spoke with band members and frontmen Norwood Fisher and Angelo Moore -- listen to the podcast interview -- as well as filmmakers Chris Metzler and Lev Anderson. Find out how Metzler and Anderson used a variety of visual storytelling techniques to portray the story of one of the most influential punk rock bands of the last 20 years and the social and personal issues surrounding them after the jump.
The Austin Film Society is providing a chance for AFS member filmmakers to get their short films screened during the SXSW Film Festival next month. ShortCase, a 70- to 90-minute special screening of short films, is confirmed for Saturday, March 10, 11 am, at the Canon Screening Room at the Long Center (aka the Rollins).
I am especially excited this year as I am officially curating the ShortCase film series on behalf of AFS. Our long-term goal is to expand the frequency of the ShortCase screening events, as well as provide constructive feedback to filmmakers whose work is not accepted into the screening lineup. We sincerely hope AFS filmmakers take advantage of the wealth of resources provided through AFS Artists Services, including the Texas Filmmaker Production Fund and Moviemaker Dialogues. AFS members interested in film-festival information should consider attending the upcoming "Maximizing Your Film Festival Experience" on February 29 with Kat Candler, Clay Liford and Geoff Marslett (and moderated by Slackerwood editor Jette Kernion).
To be considered for the AFS ShortCase screening at SXSW Film Festival, entries are due into the AFS offices no later than Wednesday, February 22, at 6 pm -- that's today, yes, and note that it's not the postmark-by date. They must be in DVD or Blu-ray format and should be clearly labeled . Films can be documentary, narrative, experimental, animation, music videos, etc. as long as they are under 30 minutes and completed -- no works-in-progress. Films should have been completed in the last 2 - 3 years (2010 to 2012). Older films can be submitted, but newer films will have preference. This will be a showcase for work that is not already playing at SXSW this year or has played in previous years. Find out more details here.
Debbie rounded up all the Austin films at SXSW Film Festival this year, but there are just a few more films in this year's SXSW fest with Texas connections... as far as we can tell, anyway. In addition to the features mentioned below, you can also catch Lone Star films in the Texas Shorts program (screening times) and the Texas High School Shorts program.
The folks who brought us Intimidad, which premiered at SXSW 2008, made documentary Girl Model (screening times), which follows an American model scout and the Siberian teen she has discovered. Nadya, a 13 year old, seems prime for the Japanese market and heads to Tokyo. Meanwhile, Ashley, the model scout, keeps searching Siberia for more young female faces. Girl Model comes from Carnivalesque Films directors Ashley Sabin and David Redmon. Redmon hails from north Texas.
The plethora of films at SXSW Film Festival this year includes a good selection of Austin-based features even without the Lone Star States category of movies. The quality and buzz for local films is high, and I predict a couple of these features are destined to win audience awards at SXSW.
Here's the best list we've been able to compile of Austin connections in SXSW films this year. If we missed your movie, please let us know in the comments and we will update the list as needed. Stay tuned for Elizabeth Stoddard's feature on other Texas films at SXSW.
A note to filmmakers: If your movie has some link to Austin, we would love to interview you about it and see the film. Please drop us a line ASAP so we can set something up before the fest begins.
The Dallas International Film Festival has announced 15 of the films in its 2012 lineup, and not only does Texas make a great showing, but Austin is well represented. I'm hoping to attend the festival this year, the selections look so good so far. Some notable non-Texas films include Lawrence Kasdan's Darling Companion, which has former Austinite Mark Duplass in the cast; The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best, the directorial debut of actor Ryan O'Nan (The Dry Land), and Takashi Shimizu's Tormented.
Cinema Six, the latest feature from filmmakers Mark Potts and Cole Selix (S&M Lawn Care), will have its world premiere at the festival, which takes place from April 12-22 (corrected from original text). Jenn and I visited the set in Lockhart last year (when the movie was called A Splice of Life). The filmmakers aren't from Austin, but many of their cast and crew are: producer Kelly Williams, Director of Photography Clay Liford, editor Don Swaynos, and actors John Merriman, Shannon McCormick, Chris Doubek, Kerri Lendo and Byron Brown, among many others. Barry Corbin, who will be honored at the Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards next month, has a cameo. Film Threat premiered the trailer today, which I've embedded with other trailers at the bottom of this article.
A couple of Austin-connected films that have played Austin fests will be at DIFF, in case you missed them. Local actor Jonny Mars' documentary America's Parking Lot, which premieres at SXSW, will make its way to Dallas -- appropriately, since it's about die-hard Dallas Cowboys fans. Austin Film Festival 2011 selection Sironia (Jenn's review), about a musician whose life changes as he moves from L.A. to the title town (which is really Waco), will also screen at DIFF. Filmmaker Brandon Dickerson made the move from California to Texas himself and now lives in Austin.
But wait, there's more. Bindlestiffs, which won an audience award at Slamdance this year, is from Houston filmmaker Andrew Edison, who started working on the movie in high school and is now a student at NYU. The comedy is about high-school boys, suspended from school, naively trying to be bad in the big city. Film Slate has a great summary and interview with Edison. The movie will be a midnight selection at DIFF.
Here's the latest Austin film news.
- Austin Film Festival presents its first Conversation in Film of 2012 with action writer Ric Roman Waugh on Tuesday night at the Harry Ransom Center. A wine reception featuring a film storyboard exhibit will precede the event. Then on Wednesday night, AFF is screening Waugh's 2008 film Felon, starring Stephen Dorff and Val Kilmer, at the Texas Spirit Theater.
- Also on Wednesday night, Cinema 41 has just confirmed it will screen the 1989 Jim Jarmusch movie Mystery Train at 7 pm, Alamo Drafthouse at South Lamar.
- And speaking of Alamo, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema co-founder Tim League announced last week that he is planning on renovating the historic New Mission Theater in San Francisco as a new Drafthouse location.
- SXSW 2012 will feature eight SXEncore screenings of acclaimed films from previous SXSW festivals, such as Sean Byrne's The Loved Ones (Jenn Brown's review)and Aron Gaudet's The Way We Get By. In addition, locally shot documentary Man on a Mission: Richard Garriott's Road to the Stars (Debbie's review) returns to Austin as part of the encore screenings.
The Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards is gearing up with a special screening of Infamous on Monday night at Alamo Drafthouse Lamar. It's directed by Douglas McGrath, one of this year's Hall of Fame honorees. If you haven't seen this movie because you saw the "other" Capote movie, check it out. Toby Jones is fantastic as Truman Capote, and Sandra Bullock isn't bad herself.
Did you miss Slacker 2011? Texas Independent Film Network is screening the film (Don's review) at Violet Crown on Tuesday. In addition, the provocative documentary Incendiary: The Willingham Case (Jenn's review) is having a DVD release party and special screening with filmmakers Joe Bailey Jr. and Steve Mims, on Wednesday at Violet Crown -- buy a ticket to the screening and get a discount on the DVD as well as a movie poster. A reception for the movie starts at 6 pm and the movie screens at 7 pm.
Bullhead -- This Belgian nominee for a Best Foreign Film Oscar has already had several local screenings -- Drafthouse Films is its distributor -- but now the Fantastic Fest fave is officially in limited release in Austin, LA and NY, and expanding next week. Don says Bullhead is "extraordinarily intense, a gripping and often unpleasant tale of organized crime." Read Don's review and Debbie's Fantastic Fest review for more. (Alamo Lamar, Alamo Village, Alamo Lake Creek)
Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance -- Nicolas Cage is back as Johnny Blaze. Do I really need to explain the motorcycle or the fiery whip? Mike saw the movie at Butt-Numb-a-Thon and says, "Nicolas Cage turns his insanity up to 11 in the sequel to Ghost Rider, a string of over-the-top action sequences by the makers of Crank 2 with no recognizable story connecting them together. This is in the running for my worst movie of the year." (wide)
This Means War -- A "spy versus spy" rom-com couldn't get a better cast with Tom Hardy and Chris Pine as best friends battling for the heart of Reese Witherspoon. Mike says in his review, "Some of the dialogue is quite witty... this was a fun escape from reality for a couple of hours. Not too serious, not too silly." (wide)