Slackery News Tidbits: January 20, 2014

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Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news.

  • Austin filmmaker and Hammer to Nail editor Michael Tully is joining with Ion Cinema founder Eric Lavallee to found the American Independent Film Awards, which will honor "micro-budget" indies starting in 2015.
  • Local filmmaker Bob Byington (Somebody Up There Likes Me) is planning to shoot his feature Seven Chinese Brothers in Austin in the next couple of months, according to The Austin Chronicle. The cast will include Jason Schwartzman, Tunde Adebimpe and Olympia Dukakis -- no word yet on whether Bob Schneider will play a wedding singer (as in Byington's previous two movies). Byington says he wrote the script in 2001, and received an Austin Film Society Grant in 2010 for the film.
  • Louis Black, co-founder of SXSW and The Austin Chronicle, will serve as executive producer on Django Lives!, the sequel to the original Spaghetti Western Django. The star of the original film, Franco Nero, will reprise his role as the title character. Django Lives! finds the older Django as a consultant to silent-movie Westerns in 1915 Hollywood, and after getting entangled with racketeers, he fights back with a vengeance.
  • Drafthouse Films has been busy this week. The Austin distribution company acquired the U.S. rights to the Fantastic Fest-2013 screened Mood Indigo. A multi-city theatrical release is scheduled this year for Michel Gondry's movie, which tells the story of two Parisian newlyweds whose romance is tested when a flower begins to grow in the woman's lungs.
  • In addition, Drafthouse Films will re-release The Act of Killing (Elizabeth's review) in theaters on Feb. 7. The documentary, directed by Texan Joshua Oppenheimer, sees former Indonesian death squad leaders reenacting their real-life mass killings. The film has been nominated for a Best Documentary Feature Academy Award.
  • Also on Feb. 7, Drafthouse Films will release the Fantastic Fest-2013 screened A Field in England theatrically and on VOD. The psychological horror movie takes place during the Civil War in 17th-century England and follows a small group of deserters fleeing from a raging battle through an overgrown field.
  • The documentary Las Marthas, about the annual Laredo-based celebration honoring President George Washington, where Mexican-American debutantes dress as American Revolutionaries, will air on PBS's Independent Lens on Feb. 17.
  • Finally, the SWSWedu film lineup has been released, which includes the SXSW Film 2013 and Oak Cliff Film Festival selection Medora, a documentary about four boys from Medora, Indiana who struggle to end their high-school basketball team's losing streak during the town's economic downturn.

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