Slackery News Tidbits

Use this for general news items.

Slackery News Tidbits: April 14, 2014

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Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news. 

  • Congratulations to filmmaker/University of Texas lecturer Kat Candler (Debbie's interview) on her 2014 Dallas International Film Festival's Grand Jury Narrative Prize for Hellion (Debbie's review). Texas native Darius Clark Monroe's movie Evolution of a Criminal also won the Documentary Feature Special Jury Prize for Directorial Vision. The Texas Grand Jury Prize went to Flutter (Debbie's review), with a special jury prize to the East Texas documentary Tomato Republic. Austin filmmaker John Fiege's documentary Above All Else (Don's review, Elizabeth's interview) won a special jury prize in the Silver Heart category. Here's the full list of awards.
  • The 17th Annual Cine Las Americas International Film Festival announced its full lineup last week. The Marchesa Hall and Theater will feature the festival's opening and closing-night movies, international new releases and "Hecho en Tejas," a category devoted to movies made in Texas, including the documentary Las Marthas, about the annual Laredo-based celebration honoring President George Washington, where debutantes dress as American Revolutionaries.
  • Screenings for this year's Cine Las Americas will take place at the Alamo Drafthouse Village and the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center. San Antonio filmmaker Efrain Gutierrez, whose 1970s microindies are considered to be the first Chicano films, will also be honored during the festival, which takes place April 22-27.
  • Television station AMC has returned to sponsor and judge this year's Austin Film Festival and Conference's One-Hour Pilot Award for the Teleplay Competition. The award is open to any pilot script written in the one-hour format for an original TV series. Finalists will be given the opportunity to meet with a representative of AMC during the event, which takes place Oct. 23-30, or over the phone at a later date. 

Slackery News Tidbits: April 7, 2014

in

Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news.

  • Texas native Darius Clark Monroe's film Evolution of a Criminal, which made its world premiere at this year's SXSW, recently received the Grand Jury Prize at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. It also screened at the 2014 Dallas International Film Festival. 
  • Fellow SXSW 2014 selection The Great Invisible (Elizabeth's review), also won at Full Frame, for Best Environmental Documentary. The movie, directed by Austinite Margaret Brown (Elizabeth's interview), follows the effects of the BP oil spill on communities in the Gulf Coast. 
  • Another SXSW 2014 selection, the San Marcos River experimental documentary Yakona (Caitlin's review), will make its local premiere at 9 pm on Saturday at Sewell Park in San Marcos. The free screening takes place during the two-day Inaugural Texas Wild Rice Festival
  • The Austin Film Society announced its recent collaboration with the Sundance Institute on its Artist Services program, Indiewire reports. AFS is one of seven nonprofit organizations the Institute is collaborating with on the program, which focuses on helping independent filmmakers find digital distribution, marketing and financing for their projects. 

Slackery News Tidbits: March 31, 2014

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Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news.

  • Gravitas Ventures announced that it has acquired native Texan writer-director Matt Muir's Austin-lensed movie Thank You a Lot, which premiered at this year's SXSW. The sale includes North American VOD rights. The company plans to release the drama, about a struggling manager whose job is threatened if he doesn't sign his dad and reclusive Texas country music singer, in June on cable and digital platforms. The filmmakers are planning a summer tour of screenings and music concerts in which musicians that star in the movie will play. 
  • In more acquisition news, Netflix has acquired the rights to this year's SXSW recipient of the Special Jury Recognition Award for Editing and Storytelling, Print the Legend, The Wrap reports. The feature documentary goes behind-the-scenes of the top American 3D printing brands as they fight for dominance in the field. 
  • SXSW acquisition news continues: Magnet Releasing, the genre arm of Magnolia Pictures, has acquired the world rights to Honeymoon, which premiered at the fest this year, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The thriller follows a young newlywed couple during their visit to a remote cabin in the woods for their honeymoon. Magnet will release the movie later this year, following its screening at next month's Tribeca Film Festival. 

Slackery News Tidbits: March 24, 2014

in

Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news.

  • The historic Dobie Theatre, located in the Dobie Center mall off the University of Texas campus, is scheduled to reopen after renovations as a first-run movie house by the end of this year, Austin Business Journal reports. The four-screen theater closed in 2010 and was the original home for Austin Film Society screenings.
  • A production company behind last year's Austin-shot, action-comedy Machete Kills filed a request with Travis County District Judge Scott Jenkins for an injunction against the current rules regarding applications for the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program, according to The Austin Chronicle. Machete Productions argues that the movie met all reasonable criteria for the fund, and that it should be eligible for a reimbursement from the state for the $10 million in qualified spending. The company's attorney says its application was denied because of "inappropriate content." A hearing date has not yet been set.
  • Machete Kills co-writer/director Robert Rodriguez commented on the lawsuit, posted on Austin Movie Blog. Rodriguez says he is in no way affiliated with Machete Productions and that this financier was made well aware that Machete Kills would not qualify for a production incentive. He goes on to say that he will not be cooperating with the company, does not approve of the lawsuit and stands with Texas. 
  • In festival news, the Hill Country Film Festival recently announced three of its official selections: Austin filmmaker Andrew Disney's comedy Intramural, which makes its world premiere during Tribeca Film Festival next month; the SXSW 2014 world premiere Before I Disappear (Don's review), chronicling a day-in-the-life of a suicidal New Yorker forced to babysit his precocious niece; and the documentary Lord Montagu, co-scripted by Bradley Jackson, who also produced Intramural. The Fredericksburg festival, which takes place April 30-May 4, will announce the remainder of this year's fifth anniversary lineup later today.

Slackery News Tidbits: March 17, 2014

in

Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news.

Slackery News Tidbits: March 3, 2014

in

Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news.

  • The Austin-shot film Hellion has been acquired for US distribution by Sundance Selections (via Hollywood Reporter). The movie premiered at Sundance this year and will screen at SXSW. Read Debbie's review and her interview with filmmaker Kat Candler.
  • At the Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, the Robert Altman Award went to Mud (Debbie's review), from Austin filmmaker Jeff Nichols (via Indiewire). The award is given to a director and ensemble cast -- for Mud, the cast includes Austin actor Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan (Joe) and Reese Witherspoon. In addition, McConaughey took home the Best Actor award for his role in Dallas Buyers Club (Caitlin's review).
  • But that wasn't all for McConaughey, who also won an Academy Award last night for Best Actor for Dallas Buyers Club.
  • In Alamo Drafthouse news, Austin filmmaker Robert Rodriguez's El Rey Network has partnered with the Drafthouse to screen the premiere episode of From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, a television adaptation of his 1996 cult film From Dusk Till Dawn, on Tuesday, March 11 at nine Drafthouse markets across the country to coincide with its television premiere at 8 pm that day, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League will host a live Q&A with Rodriguez and the series cast following the Austin screening at Alamo Slaughter. This Q&A will be livestreamed into other participating Drafthouse theaters and on the El Rey Network YouTube channel. The Austin-shot From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series will be the first scripted original series to air on Rodriguez's new cable network.

Slackery News Tidbits: February 24, 2013

in

Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news.

  • The Fifth Annual RxSM Self-Medicated Film Expo will take place March 6-13 at various locations around Austin. The free festival will feature more than 130 movies at four venues that honor "edgy, boundary-expanding storytelling," like the East Texas-shot documentary Little Hope Was Arson (Elizabeth's dispatch), which played at last year's Austin Film Festival, and native Dallasites Luke and Andrew Wilson's Satellite Beach, a short drama about the journey of two space shuttle transports. You can RSVP for the festival, which kicks off at the Spider House Chapel (2908 Fruth St.).
  • Speaking of AFF, their annual Oscar Prediction Contest is now open and will close on Sunday, March 2 at 6 pm, the start of the award show's telecast. The top five entrants who most closely predict the winners of the 86th Annual Academy Award winners will each win a Lone Star Badge to this year's festival and conference. 
  • The Alamo Drafthouse's South Lamar location and popular bar, The Highball, both of which closed in January 2013 (Rod's dispatch), will open this summer in the newly redeveloped Lamar Union complex at the previous address, according to Austin Movie Blog. The Highball, which will be adjacent to the movie theater, will feature karaoke rooms, a ballroom with dance floor and stage, a lounge area and an outdoor patio.

Slackery News Tidbits: February 17, 2014

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Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news.

  • Local filmmaker Richard Linklater won the Berlin Film Festival's Silver Bear award for best director for his long-awaited feature Boyhood, which chronicles the life of a child from age six to 18 and stars native Texan Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette, Indiewire reports. University alumnus Wes Anderson's movie The Grand Budapest Hotel, slated to hit U.S. theaters March 7, also won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize (a kind of runner-up to the Golden Bear for Best Picture).
  • Drafthouse Films-distributed documentary The Act of Killing (Elizabeth's review) took home the Best Documentary Feature award at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) ceremony on Sunday. The Best British Film award went to the movie Gravity, which stars Austin-based actress Sandra Bullock.
  • Variance Films has partnered with filmmaker Chris Eska to bring his feature The Retrieval (Don's review) to theaters this spring, according to Variety. The Civil War drama tells the story of a boy who is sent north by his bounty-hunter gang to retrieve a wanted man.
  • The Austin Film Society will host a special screening of From Dusk Till Dawn, about a duo of criminals and their hostages who unknowingly seek refuge in a bar populated by vampires, on Wednesday, March 5 at the Marchesa Hall & Theatre. Tickets go on sale Feb. 26. Actor Fred Williamson, who played Frost in the movie, will speak at AFS's Moviemaker Dialogue before the screening.

Slackery News Tidbits: February 10, 2014

in

Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news.

  • The Texas Filmmaker's Showcase is now accepting entries to its annual short movie contest until April 1. Filmmakers whose projects are selected to participate in the showcase will be flown to Los Angeles in June for a screening of all chosen works and will have opportunities to meet various industry professionals. 
  • Gravitas Ventures has acquired the rights to Austin-based Hammer to Nail magazine editor and filmmaker Michael Tully's feature Ping Pong Summer, Indiewire reports. The coming-of-age comedy, based on Tully's own childhood experiences, premiered at Sundance (Debbie's review) and is scheduled for an early summer theatrical and digital release.
  • KLRU will air One Square Mile: Austin, an episode of the documentary television series One Square Mile: Texas, on Thursday at 8 pm. 
  • Dallas actor Barry Nash, star of the DFW area-shot movie Bob Birdnow's Remarkable Tale ..., won the Mississippi-based Oxford Film Festival's Special Jury Prize for Best Performance in a Narrative Feature for the drama. 

Slackery News Tidbits: February 3, 2014

in

Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news.

  • The "completely insane" zom-com Buck Wild, which premiered at the Dallas International Film Festival and then screened at the Hill Country Film Festival (Jette's dispatch), has been acquired by Millenium Entertainment. This tongue-in-cheek buddy adventure, about a hunting vacation gone awry, is scheduled for a VOD/DVD release on March 18, with an early digital release on Feb. 18.
  • The Houston Film Commission is currently taking submissions for its annual Texas Filmmaker's Showcase of short films. Selected films are screened in Los Angeles in June, as well as at other venues in Texas.
  • Entries are now being accepted for the Austin Film Festival's Screenplay and Teleplay Competition. The final deadline is May 31.
  • In more AFF news, the AFF 2012 Official Selection Punk in Africa, which traces the multiracial punk movement in three countries, will screen at 9:35 pm on Feb. 10 at Alamo Ritz as part of the theater chain's Music Mondays series. The documentary is also scheduled for a DVD release March 11.
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