Happier News: Lars Nilsen to Program New AFS Venue

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Fantastic Fest 2010: Spying on Corman

I reported last week on the imminent departure of Alamo Drafthouse programmer Lars Nilsen, an event that drove many to reminisce and memorialize as if it were the death of a dear family member. All is well, however, as yesterday the Austin Film Society announced that Nilsen will be joining the organization as Film Programmer. "At AFS, Lars will curate repertory series in addition to midnight movies, new releases, independent films and classics," the press release read.

These new AFS series will take place at The Marchesa Hall & Theatre -- which longtime Austinites will remember is in the old Lincoln Theatre location near Highland Mall, and new Austinites might know as the Blue Genie venue. AFS has a new partnership with the theater, which will have a new Dolby sound system and 35mm changeover projection for "AFS Cinematheque at the Marchesa" programs. Lars is joining Chale Nafus and Ryan Long on the AFS programming team, headed up by Associate Artistic Director Holly Herrick.

"We are thrilled to welcome Lars to AFS," said Richard Linklater, AFS co-founder and artistic director, in the press release. "We have known Lars and his work for years, and are happy that one of our community's most cherished and gifted curators will remain a major part of Austin cinema culture. This is a very special moment for AFS, and we look forward to working with Lars to continue the exceptional programming he has offered for years at the Drafthouse."

Nilsen said, "It has been an honor and a blast to be a part of the Austin film scene for all these years at the Drafthouse, and I am tremendously excited to join the amazing programming team at AFS. Austin is already one of the movie capitals of the world, and with a little luck and a lot of hard work the years ahead will constitute a golden age of filmgoing for our community. We're going to have fun!"

The first AFS screening at the Marchesa will be the official 20th anniversary and reunion of Dazed and Confused on Wednesday, March 6.

In addition to his duties with AFS, Lars will continue to program Weird Wednesdays at the Alamo Drafthouse as well as assisting the programming team in an advisory role. We're looking forward to seeing what Lars and AFS Cinematheque will screen.

[Photo credit: "Fantastic Fest 2010: Spying on Corman" with Moises Chiullan, Roger Corman and Lars Nilsen, by J. Kernion. All rights reserved.]