Slackery News Tidbits: April 15, 2013

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Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news.

  • DFW-area filmmaker David Lowery (Ain't Them Bodies Saints) will team up with Robert Redford for the crime movie The Old Man and the Gun, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Old Man and the Gun, based on a 2003 article in The New Yorker by David Grann, tells the true story of lifelong bank robber Forrest Tucker, who died in 2005.
  • On Saturday night, Austin-based filmmaker Yen Tan won the Texas Grand Jury Prize at this year's Dallas International Film Festival for his movie Pit Stop (Debbie's review). Fellow Austin-based filmmaker and UT lecturer Kat Candler also won a DIFF grand jury prize for her short Black Metal. Black Metal and Pit Stop both premiered at Sundance this year, were both produced by Austinite Kelly Williams and both have local actor Jonny Mars in the cast. DIFF also recognized the Austin-shot film Good Night (Debbie's review), which premiered at SXSW Film this year and also co-stars Mars. The drama was written and directed by Sean Gallagher (Elizabeth's interview). Finally, Tomlinson Hill, directed by former Austinite Lisa Kaselak, received the DIFF Silver Heart Award. Tomlinson Hill explores the legacy of slavery from the perspective of one black and one white descendant of a Texas slave plantation. Jonny Mars does not appear in the film.
  • Legendary producer and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (The Phantom of the Opera) has acquired the rights to the 2003 Richard Linklater film The School of Rock to adapt it into a Broadway musical, IndieWire reports. 
  • Music Box Films has acquired the awardwinning documentary Informant (Elizabeth's review), about Austinite Brandon Darby, the former anarchist who turned in Brad Crowder and David McKay to the police during the Republican National Convention protests in 2008. It was during the convention that Darby shocked friends and colleagues when he was exposed as an FBI informant. The film, which won the Best Documentary Feature Award at last year's Austin Film Festival, is scheduled to be released this summer.
  • The Show! Austin will screen Austinite Jennymarie Jemison's short The Quiet Girl's Guide to Violence on Sunday, May 5 at 8:30 pm at Spiderhouse Ballroom (2906 Fruth St.). The film, about a shy barista who takes drastic measures in an attempt to break out of her shell, screened at last year's Fantastic Fest. Fellow Austinite Scott Rice will also screen three of his favorite Script Cops episodes during the event. Rice was commissioned by the screenwriting software company Final Draft to create Script Cops, which also screened as bumpers for Austin Film Festival in 2007. In addition, the short film The Space Between Us will premiere. The drama explores the relationship between two people who are faced with a life-changing decision.
  • The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment will partner with Texas State University's Common Experience to present "A Water Odyssey: A Film Screening"on Monday, April 22 at 4 pm at the university's Centennial Hall Teaching Theater (601 University Drive). The free event includes a sneak-peek clip of Yakona (Jordan's interview), an experimental documentary about the San Marcos River, followed by a brief presentation by San Marcos-based filmmakers Paul Collins, Anlo Sepulveda (Otis Under Sky) and Dean Brennan. In addition, an episode from the BBC TV series Planet Earth: Caves, "Yucatan Cenotes" will screen, followed by a discussion with Sam Meacham, Meadows Center research scientist, about his work mapping the underwater caves. The event will conclude with The Unsinkable Henry Morgan, about the legacy of Capt. Morgan, and a presentation by Fritz Hanselmann, chief underwater archaeologist at the Meadows Center, leading the search for Morgan's lost ships. Debbie saw the documentary and heard Hanselmann at Sundance earlier this year.
  • Cine Las Americas Film Festival starts Tuesday night. To get you in the mood, The Austin Chronicle interviewed Eugenio del Bosque, the fest's executive director, about the event, which has featured films by Latin American and indigenous peoples since 1997.
  • Finally, The New York Times on Sunday included an article about indie filmmaking from Texas Monthly reporter Christopher Kelly, using Texas films as an example of the problems of distribution and trying to make money from indie films. The article includes quotes from local filmmakers Bryan Poyser and Clay Liford.