Slackery News Tidbits, February 18

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It's been a very busy, newsworthy week for Austin film. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • My favorite news of the week: Alamo Drafthouse programmer Zack Carlson is going into the moviemaking business himself. Carlson and Brian Connolly, who co-wrote the book Destroy All Movies: The Complete Guide to Punk Film, have also worked on a feature film script called Destroy, about vampire hunters in a world where vampires don't exist. The movie will be directed by Michael Paul Stephenson, who brought us Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2 fandom that was partially shot in Austin and has screened here many times. Can't wait to see the finished film.
  • The Texas Film Hall of Fame has announced their first 2011 award recipients: Rip Torn (a UT Austin alum) and Renee Zellweger (from Katy). The Star of Texas ensemble award will go to the TV show Friday Night Lights. And this year's emcee will be Wyatt Cenac. You may know Cenac from The Daily Show (or the amazing SXSW 2008 film Medicine for Melancholy), but he also has Texas ties: he's from Dallas and used to write for King of the Hill. Other special guests include Catherine Hardwicke, Luke Wilson, Richard Linklater and previous emcee Thomas Haden Church. Yes, of course we will be there with cameras.
  • SXSW Film Festival posted its 2011 conference and film schedules this week. So start planning now. The fest also announced some key panelists for the Film Conference, including Paul Reubens, Ellen Page, Jake Gyllenhaal, Rainn Wilson, and filmmakers Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) and Todd Phillips (The Hangover).
  • More from SXSW Film: Two videos are available to help you with your festgoing choices. About SXSW: 2011 SXSW Film Access explains the differences between badge, pass and ticket and offers advice on all options. It looks like the SXXpress tickets for badgeholders will be available again this year, if that's your cup of tea (I never seem to be able to make it to the box office at the right time for them myself). The second video, About SXSW: SXSW 2011 Film Venues and Shuttle Buses, is an excellent guide to getting around the fest. The video makes it sound like the shuttle will run every day of the film festival, which if true is wonderful news. The shuttle will also include Rollins this year (a new venue for SXSW that is part of the Long Center), but not Westgate or Arbor, which are essentially "satellite venues" meant to draw Austin filmgoers. Keep an eye out for our own Venue Guide in the next couple of weeks, which includes theater seat counts, bus routes and nearby dining options.
  • If you're looking for something to do on Saturday, Austin's Nordic Film Fest will run all afternoon and evening at the Texas Spirit Theater in the Texas History Museum. Then there's an afterparty at Shoal Creek Saloon. The films will be screened in three blocks of features and shorts; admission is per block. Fans of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series will be pleased to hear that the lineup includes a documentary about author Steig Larsson called Millenium: The Story. (via Austin Movie Blog)
  • Tonight's "Texas Legends, Before They Were Legends" short film collection screening is sold out, so the hosts are bringing it back again a week later. Buy tickets now for a Friday, Feb. 25 encore at 7:30 pm in the AFS Screening Room.
  • Speaking of early films from local filmmakers, the Texas Independent Film Network is also making a roadshow tour of Tobe Hooper's first feature: Eggshells, from 1969. The movie has been fully restored -- when I saw it at SXSW 2009 the restoration was still in progress. It'll travel all around Texas before its Austin screening on Friday, March 25 at 7:30 pm in the AFS Screening Room. This is a great look at Austin in the late 1960s, very groovy.