Slackery News Tidbits

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Slackery News Tidbits: January 21, 2013

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Here's the latest Austin movie news.

  • Films such as Slacker and Grindhouse may have put the "third coast" on the map, but the Texas House and Senate have proposed to eliminate the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program budget, which provides financial incentives for movies, video games and advertising, according to Austin Movie Blog. The state legislative bodies budget proposals include $4.2 million for the Texas Film Commission and Texas Music Office, which would not include incentives, instead of the $39.2 million the Governor's office requested. If approved, the budget cuts could cause many productions to move out of Texas.
  • The "third coast" isn't down yet. Austin Film Festival is kicking off the return of its Audience Series with a screening of the Austin-made horror-comedy Saturday Morning Massacre (Jette's review) on Monday, February 4 at Alamo Drafthouse Village. The film, which screened at AFF 2012, is about a group of down-on-their-luck paranormal investigators and their beloved pooch, who embark on an adventure to debunk the ghost stories surrounding an abandoned mansion. 
  • Andrew Bujalski's latest film will put you in check. The critically acclaimed Austin-based filmmaker's movie Computer Chess, which is premiering at Sundance this week, will screen internationally at the Berlin International Film Festival (aka the Berlinale) next month. The Austin-shot Computer Chess revolves around chess players and computer programmers at a computer chess tournament in the 1980s. Bujalski, a 2011 Texas Filmmakers Production Fund recipient, raised more than $50,000 in crowdfunded donations through United States Artists for the film. (The filmmaker also has a small role in the above-mentioned Saturday Morning Massacre.)
  • The PBS show Independent Lens will broadcast two shows with Texas connections in the next few weeks. Tonight at 9 pm on KLRU, you can watch SXSW 2012 selection Beauty Is Embarrassing (Jette's review), the documentary about artist Wayne White. (If you are Texan, you will love White's LBJ mask.) And on Monday, January 28 at 9 pm, catch The Revisionaries (Don's review), which examines the Texas State Board of Education. Visit the Independent Lens web page for a full broadcast schedule.

Slackery News Tidbits: January 14, 2013

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Here's the latest in Austin film news.

  • Austin-based producer Cori Shephard Stern has received an Academy Award nomination for the documentary short Open Heart, according to The Austin Chronicle. Set in Rwanda, Open Heart follows eight children afflicted with rheumatic heart disease, and their journey to Sudan and the Salaam Centre for Cardiac Surgery. Stern's next project, the feature film Warm Bodies, about a zombie who falls in love with the girlfriend of one of his victims, opens in the U.S. on February 1.
  • Despite Texan Matthew McConaughey's Oscar snub, he received a Best Supporting Actor award from The National Society of Film Critics last week for his work in Richard Linklater's dark comedy Bernie (Don's review), and Steven Soderbergh's dramedy Magic Mike (Don's review).
  • Austin Film Festival has announced its first round of 2013 panelists. The only Texas-connected panelist so far is Alvaro Rodriguez (Machete). Other speakers include Jim Uhls (Fight Club), Dan Sterling (producer of Girls), John August (Frankenweenie) and Rick Dugdale of Enderby Entertainment, among others, are scheduled to speak at the 20th annual festival, running from October 24-31.
  • The historic New Mission Theater in San Francisco, which has been closed since 1993, has been approved for a renovation and remodel into a five-screen Alamo Drafthouse, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The San Francisco City Planning Committee gave final approval last week to the $10 million deal for the 1916 theater. Work is scheduled to begin this summer.

Slackery News Tidbits: January 7, 2013

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Here's the latest Austin film news. 

  • Kicking off the new year, AGLIFF-Polari is teaming up with Queer Cinema for a Superhero Spectacular on Saturday, January 26 at 8 pm. Austin celebrity host Rebecca Havemeyer and a lineup of queer superhero talent will present the Indonesian film Madame X, about a transgender hairdresser who moonlights as a superhero, with pre-show entertainment and party following the screening.
  • For a look back at Austin film in 2012, check out Austin American-Statesman reporter Matthew Odam's retrospective for the Austin American-Statesman.
  • The Austin-shot film Holy Hell (our review), which premiered at the 2009 Austin Film Festival, will be the first movie to premiere on the iPad. The comedy, about a strapped-for-cash church whose parishioners decide to make a horror movie to raise the necessary funds, will be free to download on Friday and Saturday at the iTunes store.

Slackery News Tidbits, December 26

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Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news.

Slackery News Tidbits, December 17

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Here's the latest Austin film news.

  • Take a trip back in time with the screening of Amos Poe's film Unmade Beds at 7 pm on Wednesday in the Austin Film Society Screening Room. It's 1976, New York City, and "Rico," a photographer, is searching for reality down the barrel of his camera lens to fulfill his innermost fantasies in this No Wave classic, starring Debbie "Blondie" Harry
  • The Austin documentary Trash Dance, which premiered at SXSW 2012 (Mike's review), is up for a Cinema Eye audience award ... and you can vote for it online right now. The film is about choreographer Allison Orr's project to create a "dance" performance based around Austin Department of Solid Waste staff and vehicles. The results will be announced at Cinema Eye's awards ceremony on January 9.
  • The 2013 Sundance Film Festival has added a few more features to its lineup ... including El Mariachi, Robert Rodriguez's first feature from 1992. The movie joins a long list of features and shorts with Texas connections screening at the Park City festival next month.
  • Congratulations to Austin Film Festival 2010 Screenplay Finalist Chris Cantwell, whose script Halt & Catch Fire has been ordered by AMC as one of four projects to get the pilot greenlight. The AFF newsletter reports that filming is scheduled to begin next year. The drama unfolds during the personal computer boom of the early 1980s in Texas.

Slackery News Tidbits, December 10

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

  • Former Austinite Elizabeth Mims' film Only the Young made the National Board of Review's Top 5 Documentaries, IndieWire reports. Austinite Richard Linklater's Bernie and Texas native Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom were on  the group's Top 10 Independent Films.
  • In distribution news, Tribeca Films has acquired the North American rights to sometimes-Austinite actor/filmmaker Alex Karpovsky's films Rubberneck and Red Flag, with plans to release both in select theatrical and VOD platforms this February.
  • Following the success of Boneboys, Texas filmmakers Duane Graves and Justin Meeks are back in the saddle again with a dark Western, Red on Yella, Kill a Fella, according to The Austin Chronicle. Joe O'Connell visited and took photos on the film's set. The six-week shoot took place at various locations in Texas, including the Northeast Austin living history site Pioneer Farms. Inspired by true events, the film follows an outlaw gang in 1900 who travel from western Texas to the Gulf of Mexico in search of lost treasure. But the adventure is cut short when something mysterious starts killing the men one by one.
  • Congrats to former Austinite and DFW-area resident, David Lowery, who has been named one of Variety's 10 Directors to Watch, the entertainment-trade magazine reports. Lowery's latest feature film, Ain't Them Bodies Saints, will screen in the dramatic competition at next month's Sundance Film Festival. You can watch his previous feature, St. Nick, for free online until December 13.

Slackery News Tidbits, December 3

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

Slackery News Tidbits, November 27

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

  • Adult Swim's Tim Heidecker and director Rick Alverson will be in attendance at the premiere screening of their movie The Comedy, about the modern privileged hipster class, 9:30 pm Thursday at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar. Join the duo before the film at End of an Ear Record Store to listen to its soundtrack. The film's theatrical run begins Friday at the Drafthouse.
  • Bastrop's community access television station, UpStart Bastrop, will host its third annual Off Kilter Xmas Film Fest at 2 pm on Saturday, Dec. 8 at Upstart Studios in Bastrop with a screening of the independent horror-comedy Christmas with the Dead, filmed in East Texas and based on Texas native Joe R. Lansdale's short story. J.C. saw the film and published some stills back in August.
  • Save the date: join AFS at 5 pm on Dec. 8 at Austin Studios for the Make Watch Love Austin party. Get a sneak peek of the Austin Studios expansion while mingling with local filmmakers, actors, musicians and gamers.

Slackery News Tidbits, November 19

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Here's the latest in Austin film news.

  • Stephen Jannise, former Austin Film Festival film programmer, has been named the Paramount Theatre's new film programmer, Austin Movie Blog reported. Jannise replaces Jesse Trussell, who recently moved from Austin to Brooklyn.
  • Austin-based filmmaker C. Robert Cargill (Sinister) is all over the news this week. Cargill will co-write the screenplay for the film adaptation of the Square Enix video game Deus Ex: Human Revolution, CBS Fillms reported. Cargill will reunite with Sinister co-writer/director Scott Derrickson on the cyberpunk feature about an ex-SWAT security specialist who tries to unravel a global conspiracy. Movies.com interviewed Cargill to discuss the film's adaptation process.
  • Cargill tops the news again, this time for a starred rating and review of his upcoming debut novel Dreams and Shadows from Publishers Weekly. The novel, which hits stores in February, is about two young boys, one who is abducted by fairies and the other who is granted a wish to see "all the things mankind wasn't meant to see." Read my interview with Cargill.
  • Alamo Drafthouse's executive chef John Bullington is leaving his post, according to Eater Austin. Bullington began developing the theater chain's famous movie-paired menus eight years ago. The Drafthouse is currently shifting to hiring "regional concept" chefs who will focus on food and film pairings.

Slackery News Tidbits, November 12

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

  • It's not too late to submit your last-minute film, web series, cross-media or other non-traditional web-based project to this year's SXSW Film Festival. Deadline for last minute entries is Thursday, November 15. For more information, visit the SXSW Film site.
  • In an effort to improve the moviegoing experience, Alamo Drafthouse has announced it will not admit late arrivals into any Austin theater once the film has started, beginning Jan. 3. If you're late, tickets bought in advance will be applied to other screenings or your money will be refunded.
  • Two Austin filmmakers took home awards at the Lone Star International Film Festival last weekend: Best Short went to Sexy Chat from Caroline Connor, and Merman, from Jono Foley, won an Honorable Mention. Mike previewed Merman before its premiere at SXSW this year.
  • In addition, honorees at the Fort Worth festival included Corsicana native Billy Joe Shaver and former Austinite John Hawkes. Shaver's career as a songwriter, whose work has appeared in the Academy Award-winning film Crazy Heart, won him the festival's Stephen Bruton Award. The award recognizes artists whose career, although anchored in music, includes achievement in film. Hawkes received the Lone Star Film Society's Maverick Award for his achievement in acting.
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