Slackery News Tidbits

Use this for general news items.

Slackery News Tidbits, September 10

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Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news.

  • Filming on Richard Linklater's Before Midnight wrapped in Messinia, Greece last week, Deadline New York reported. The romantic drama, co-written and starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, is the third movie in the "Before" series about star-crossed lovers Celine and Jesse, set nine years after the events of Before Sunset. Linklater didn't announce publicly that the movie was in production until the trio arrived at the Toronto International Film Festival last week after filming was complete.
  • According to Joe M. O'Connell's blog, Terrence Malick's new film, formerly known as Lawless, began shooting last week in Austin. A vague job posting from Malick's production company for an untitled independent feature says shooting is scheduled until the beginning of next month. O'Connell's savvy detective work led him to the conclusion that the job posting was for Malick's film.
  • Fantastic Fest announced its closing-night film last week: Red Dawn, a remake of the 1984 film originally scripted by San Antonio native Kevin Reynolds. The cast includes Josh Peck and Adrianne Palicki, who will be at the screening, and also Houston-born actor Brett Cullen. The closing-night party will tie into the "Korean invasion" theme of the movie and will feature a maximum-security prison theme.
  • Austinist interviewed Texas cinematographer Peter Simonite about his work, which include four official Toronto International Film Festival selections. The 37th annual event began last Thursday and continues until Sept. 16.

Slackery News Tidbits, September 3

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Here's the latest in Austin film news.

  • Local teen director Emily Hagins' horror comedy My Sucky Teen Romance (Don's review), about a youth who finds out her boyfriend is a vampire, will be available on home video on DVD, Blu-ray, iTunes and Amazon Instant Video starting tomorrow. The Austin-shot movie premiered at SXSW 2011.
  • Fantastic Fest has announced the 2012 AMD Next Wave competition films. Eight films by up-and-coming directors from seven different countries will compete for the festival's highest honor, the AMD Next Wave award, which includes a $1,000 cash prize and AMD-based computer hardware, Sept. 26 at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar. Selected films will debut at the festival, many in world and U.S. premiere screenings. Last year's winner, Bullhead (Don's review), was acquired by Drafthouse Films and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film.
  • Speaking of local festivals, aGLIFF is looking for moviegoers with a friendly, helpful attitude and a willingness to have fun while supporting the Austin film community. Volunteer positions for the 25th anniversary festival include film greeters, line and theater attendants, and registration and special events. For every four-hour shift worked, volunteers will accrue film vouchers to festival screenings.
  • Austin Film Festival announced that 2011 AFF Audience Award-winning documentary Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters, about a group of gamers at the 2010 Classic Tetris World Championship, is now available in HD for U.S. rental or purchase on iTunes.
  • Drafthouse Films has acquired North American distribution rights to the Filipino crime thriller Graceland. The film will have its Texas premiere at this year's Fantastic Fest and is scheduled to have a limited theatrical and VOD release next year.
  • Fantastic Fest and Badass Digest have teamed up for the fest's 2012 bumper contest, and this year's theme is Time Travel. Filmmakers are asked to submit a 15-45 second movie to screen as a "bumper" before festival films this month. The festival's programming committee will select the top four films, with the Filmmaking Frenzy voting community selecting the fifth finalist. The top five films will then play at the festival's award ceremony, with the audience selecting the grand prize winner, who will receive two VIP tickets to next year's festival, among other prizes. Entries must be submitted by Sept. 15.

Slackery News Tidbits, August 27

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Here's the latest in Austin and Texas film news.

  • Austin-based film composer Brian Satterwhite has been commissioned by the Dallas Chamber Symphony to compose scores for two silent films, including A Sailor-Made Man, a Harold Lloyd film about a boy who accidentally enlists in the Navy to impress a girl, according to Satterwhite's blog. The scores will be performed live during the entire second half of the screenings on Nov. 13 and and Feb. 26 at the new Dallas City Performance Hall.
  • IndieWire reported that University of Texas alumnus Todd Berger's film It's a Disaster, which premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival, has been picked up by Oscilloscope for North American distribution. The ensemble comedy, starring America Ferrera and Julia Stiles, is about a group of friends who experience an apocalyptic bomb explosion during brunch. 
  • Speaking of films with local ties that premiered at LAFF ... the Austin-shot movie Saturday Morning Massacre took home the Best Feature prize at the Minneapolis Underground Film Festival last weekend. Check out Jette's review and Virginia's interviews with cast and crew, including producer Jonny Mars and director Spencer Parsons.
  • Looking to stay on top of the filmmaking game? The eighth annual Business of Film Conference will take place Sept. 8 at the Rice University Media Center in Houston, according to Short Film Texas. Film industry professionals, such as opening speaker and distribution strategist Peter Broderick, will share their advice and experience to filmmakers. Rebecca Campbell, Austin Film Society executive director, and Rick Ferguson, Houston Film Commission executive director, will discuss the state of the Texas Filmmaking Union.

Slackery News Tidbits, August 20

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Here's the latest in Austin film news.

  • Don Simpson's Film School Rejects column "Austin Cinematic Limits" reports that PJ Raval's Untitled Gay Retiree Documentary, Kat Candler's and Kelly Williams' Hellion, as well as Clay Liford's script-in-progress Cutlet were selected as part of next month's 34th Annual Independent Film Week's Project Forum. The purpose of the project is to provide opportunities for independent filmmakers to connect with industry professionals. 
  • UT alums Will James Moore's and Jonathan Case's independent film Satellite of Love (Jette's review) won a Golden Ace Award at the Las Vegas Film Festival. The Central Texas-shot film, about a love triangle between friends that unfolds over the course of a week, will screen at next month's Ruby Mountain Film Festival in Nevada. 
  • Fantastic Fest 2011 favorite Juan of the Dead (Rod's review), about a Cuban slacker who capitalizes on a zombie invasion, is now available on DVD and VOD via Vudu and iTunes.
  • Tickets are on sale now for Austin Film Festival's 10th annual Film and Food Party on Oct. 17 at the Driskill Hotel. Mix and mingle with some of Austin's finest while supporting the arts. Event proceeds benefit AFF's Young Filmmakers Program. 

Slackery News Tidbits, Mid-week 'El Mariachi' Edition

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El Mariachi at ParamountSome Austin film news that couldn't wait for next Monday:

  • Robert Rodriguez's classic El Mariachi turns 20 this year and the Austin Film Society, AMD and El Rey Network will be hosting an anniversary screening later this month at the Paramount. Before his 1992 microbudget feature film shows on August 30, Rodriguez's early short Ismael Jones and the Eyes of the Devil makes its screen debut. A Q&A will follow the screenings, and then the Troublemaker Studios filmmaker and his band Chingón will play songs from some of his movies for the audience.

    Pre-sale tickets are available for AFS members through 5 pm on Thursday, Aug. 16. Tickets open up to the general public Friday, Aug. 17 at noon. Proceeds from the event benefit the Texas Filmmakers Production Fund.
  • Richard Linklater's Bernie, a hit among local theatergoers (and still playing at the Violet Crown and Arbor), is available for purchase on iTunes already! The Jack Black comedy about a Texas mortician will be released on DVD Tuesday, Aug. 21. Read Don's review to learn more about the film.
  • If, like me, your Twitter/Tumblr/Facebook feed is already filling up with friends and others saying, "Vote for my panel at SXSW!" you likely already know: The SXSW Panel Picker is now open. There are 159 panel ideas vying for space at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival and Conference -- you can vote for your favorites through August 31.
  • Somebody Up There Likes Me, local filmmaker Bob Byington's latest feature, has been making the festival circuit. Over the weekend it earned a special jury prize at the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland. Read Don's review from SXSW, where the film premiered.

Slackery News Tidbits, August 13

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Here's the latest in Austin and Texas film news.

  • Austin-based actor Matthew McConaughey joins the cast of Martin Scorsese's biopic of former Wall Street broker Jordan Belfort, The Wolf of Wall Street, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Based on Belfort's bestselling memoir, the film chronicles Belfort's dramatic rise and fall on Wall Street and his tumultuous personal life. McConaughey will play Mark Hanna, Belfort's early boss and mentor.
  • Do The Right Thing and join the Paramount's new Silver Screen Speaker Series on September 8 at 7:30 pm for a visit from acclaimed director Spike Lee, Austin Movie Blog reports. The Paramount and Stateside Theatres began selling tickets for the Fall 2012 season last week, which also includes an appearance by Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz on December 1 and Maya Angelou on November 2, who will speak as part of the Leading Ladies Series.
  • Or do the Wrong thing, like Drafthouse Films, which has acquired the North American distribution rights to Quentin Dupieux's surreal comedy, The Austin Chronicle reports. The French filmmaker's follow-up to the 2010 horror movie Rubber is about a normal guy on a journey to find his missing dog. Wrong, which premiered at Sundance 2012, is scheduled for a 2013 limited theatrical and VOD release. 
  • In other Alamo Drafthouse news, beginning August 24 the theater chain will present the new series, "Presented in Amazing AlamoScope: 70mm at the Ritz." Moviegoers have the opportunity to watch West Side Story, Cleopatra, Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and other films in their original format. The series kicks off with director Paul Thomas Anderson's new film, The Master, which is screening in 70mm in only a few cities.

Slackery News Tidbits, August 6

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Here's the latest in Austin and Texas film news.

  • Extras are needed today and tomorrow at The Mohawk for the upcoming film Thank You A Lot. Written and directed by Matt Muir, the film tells the story of a music agent whose job and the livelihood of his clients is threatened when he is forced to sign his reclusive, legendary musician father, played by real-life country artist James Hand. If you're interested, email your contact info to thankyoualotmovie [at] gmail [dot] com with "EXTRA" in the subject line.
  • The AFS-sponsored Moviemaker Dialogue series will bring Austin filmmakers David and Nathan Zellner (Kid-Thing), Kat Candler (Hellion) and Clay Liford (Wuss) together for a conversation about their short film successes, and how this translates to feature-length film opportunities. The panel takes place at 7 pm on Wednesday, August 15 at the Austin Studios Screening Room.
  • Academy Award-nominated actress Viola Davis will produce and star in an untitled Barbara Jordan biopic, the Houston Chronicle reported. Davis gained acclaim for her roles in The Help and Doubt
  • In other casting news, actor Jeremy Irvine will play Robert Duvall's grandson in the upcoming Bill Wittliff-penned film A Night in Old Mexico, according to Joe M. O'Connell's blog. The film, about an older man who heads to Mexico with his grandson after the foreclosure of his ranch, is scheduled to shoot in Brownsville.

Slackery News Tidbits, August 1

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It's been such a busy week for Austin film that we needed a second news roundup. Here are the highlights:

  • Fantastic Fest announced the first films in its lineup on Monday. The headline news is a red-carpet premiere of Dredd 3D, although no news yet who will be on the red carpet. The film's star, Karl Urban, was at Fantastic Fest in 2010 for the movie Red (my best photo here). Will he return? In addition, 17 other films were announced, including Wrong, the latest film from Rubber director Quentin Dupieux. No Austin or Texas films yet, but I've got my fingers crossed (coughBoneboyscough).
  • The part of the Fantastic Fest announcement that pleased me most is a sidebar series programmed by Kier-La Janisse, one of the original Fantastic Fest programmers before she returned to Canada to program genre fests there. The "House of Psychotic Women" films tie into Janisse's new book of the same name, described in the press release as: "an autobiographical exploration of female neurosis in horror and exploitation films. Anecdotes and memories interweave with film history, criticism, trivia and confrontational imagery to create a reflective personal history and examination of female madness, both onscreen and off." I'm in. The movies include Joseph Losey's Secret Ceremony from 1968; the 1978 film The Mafu Cage, directed by Karen Arthur, in which Carol Kane plays Lee Grant's feral sister (!); and The Entity, a 1982 film starring Barbara Hershey.
  • Drafthouse Films' 26-part anthology The ABCs of Death will have its world premiere in September at ... not Fantastic Fest, but the Midnight Madness sidebar (PDF) at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Thanks to the Austin Chronicle for the heads up. I'd be surprised if it didn't make its way to Fantastic Fest later that month, though. Midnight Madness will also include Aftershock from Chilean director Nicolas Lopez, whose film Santos was produced by Elizabeth Avellan and played Fantastic Fest 2008; and John Dies at the End, from Don Coscarelli (Bubba Ho-Tep). As Jordan noted on Monday, the TIFF lineup also includes the documentary Shepard & Dark from part-time Austinite Treva Wurmfeld -- the movie's editor is Sandra Adair and composer is Graham Reynolds.

Slackery News Tidbits, July 30

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Here's the latest in Austin and Texas film news.

  • Tribeca Film recently acquired all North American rights to Austin-based director Bob Byington's offbeat indie comedy Somebody Up There Likes Me (Don's review), Indiewire reported. Byington's follow-up to his 2009 film Harmony and Me stars Keith Poulson and Nick Offerman as best friends who are aided through life by a magic suitcase (Jette's interview with Byington and Offerman). The movie, which premiered at SXSW 2012, is scheduled to have a Spring 2013 theatrical release and will be available for rent on various video-on-demand platforms and iTunes. 
  • Austin independent film has another reason to rejoice with the recent announcement of part-time Austinite Treva Wurmfeld's appearance as one of 25 new faces of independent film by Filmmaker Magazine, Austin Movie Blog reported. Wurmfeld was chosen to be a part of the 15th annual list, which has included other local filmmakers such as Joe Nicolosi and Andrew Bujalski, for her debut feature Shepard & Dark. The documentary chronicles the friendship between writer and archivist Johnny Dark and Hollywood star Sam Shepard. Post-production on the film was completed at Richard Linklater's Detour Productions and is scheduled to make its world premiere this September at the Toronto International Film Festival.
  • The Toronto International Film Festival will also host a special screening of Austin-based director Terrence Malick's new film, To The WonderAustin Movie Blog recently reported. The Oklahoma-shot film, which stars Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem and Rachel McAdams, is about a man who reconnects with a woman from his hometown after his marriage with a European woman ends. The film is also scheduled to screen at next month's Venice International Film Festival, where it will compete for the festival's top prize, the Golden Lion.
  • Speaking of Terrence Malick, his stepson, actor Will Wallace, will direct the film Red Wing in the North Texas town of Whitewright, according to Joe M. O'Connell's blog. Screenwriter Kathleen Orillion, who adapted George Sand's book Le Petite Fadette into the family saga The Marfa Lights for the now defunct Burnt Orange Productions, rejoins Malick for Red Wing. Orillion's collaboration may provide insight into the plot of the film, which is set to star Fort Worth native Bill Paxton; Frances Fisher, who attended high school in Orange, Texas; and Luke Perry.

Slackery News Tidbits, July 24

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Here's the latest in Austin film news.

  • So long, TV networks? Austin Business Journal reported that media experts predict Web productions, such as those produced by Transmedia Austin in the newly renovated Austin Studios, are the future. Locally produced Web series Ain't It Cool With Harry Knowles, Weatherman With Kelli Bland and The Quiet Girl's Guide to Violence have utilized traditional advertisement models, corporate branding and websites such as Kickstarter to finance their projects.
  • Speaking of Austin Studios, Austin City Hall was transformed into an Arizona location last Thursday for an episode of the second season of ABC Family's The Lying Game, KXAN reported. The series, about a teenager in foster care who switches places with her long-lost identical twin sister in hopes of uncovering the truth of their separation, is primarily filmed at the 20-acre production facility.
  • Austin-based IPF Productions has been invited to the inaugural Fantasia Industry Rendez-Vous and International Co-Production Market in conjunction with Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal, the company reported. Representatives will participate in the conference panel "Transmedia Promotion Before and During Production," which will focus on ways people can utilize the Internet to gain audience involvement during the early stages of a project. IPF Productions is working on the documentary Rewind This!, about the evolution of VHS tapes.
  • The Cine Las Americas 2012 award-winning film Las Malas Intenciones, about an early 1980s Peruvian girl with an often morbid imagination, will screen at 7 pm tonight at Alamo South Lamar. Check out the trailer below.
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