Slackery News Tidbits

Use this for general news items.

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.

Slackery News Tidbits, November 5

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

  • Open Road Films has acquired the rights to Austin-based director Robert Rodriguez's Machete Kills, Austin Movie Blog reports. The locally shot film is the sequel to Rodriguez's 2010 movie Machete. In the sequel, Danny Trejo's title character is hired by the U.S. president (played by Charlie Sheen) to hunt down an arms dealer. The film also stars Austin native Amber Heard, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba and Lady Gaga. 
  • The Alamo Drafthouse is calling on local filmmakers and film lovers to help eradicate the cinematic disease that is talking and texting during movies with its "No Talking, No Texting" Filmmaking Frenzy PSA contest. Video submissions must not exceed 60 seconds in length and are due Nov. 21. All submissions will then be posted on Badass Digest for public viewing and voting until Nov. 28, in which case preliminary winners will be chosen for each Alamo Drafthouse market. The final winner will be chosen by a panel of judges, including Tim League, Alamo Drafthouse CEO and founder. 
  • In more Drafthouse news, Drafthouse Films has acquired the U.S. rights to the Danish documentary The Act of Killing. The film, which screened at this year's Toronto and Telluride International Film Festivals, is a journey into the memories and imaginations of former Indonesian death squad leaders, expected to open theatrically next year.

Slackery News Tidbits, October 29

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

Slackery News Tidbits, October 22

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Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news.

  • Austin Film Festival announced its 2012 film competition awards, which includes the locally made short documentary, See The Dirt. Chelsea Hernandez's and Erik Mauck's film, about a Georgetown teen who collects vacuum cleaners, won Best Documentary Short. Director Jamie Meltzer's documentary Informant, about Austinite Byron Darby's turn from left-wing protestor to FBI informant, won Best Documentary Feature at this year's festival.
  • Austin Film Society is hosting a member mixer with beer, snacks and short film clips from local filmmakers on Friday, October 26 from 5:30-7:30 pm at Austin Studios. The mixer is also providing info about the Love Austin initiative, which supports the municipal bond on the Austin ballot in November. Proposition 18 includes provisions to expand Austin Studios by transforming the neighboring National Guard Building into 50,000 square feet of office space for creative media professionals.
  • In more festival news, SXSW has announced its first wave of 2013 Film Conference programming, which includes a session with Turk Pipkin (The Nobelity Project) about "The Power of Film (To Change the World)" and a panel organized by local filmmaker Karen Kocher and UT Austin called "Storytelling Devices in Interactive Documentary."
  • Speaking of SXSW, fest staffers Claudette Godfrey and Jarod Neece won a Partners in the Arts Award for their assistance with the Faces of Austin short film program. The annual awards are presented by the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division and the Austin Arts Commission to individuals and organizations that have made a valuable impact on the work of the division.

Slackery News Tidbits, October 15

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Here's the latest Austin film news.

  • Austin Film Festival announced director Frank Darabont as this year's Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Award recipient. Darabont, a three-time Academy Award nominee for such films as The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption, will accept the award at the festival's annual award luncheon Oct. 20 at the Austin Club. More recently, Darabont created the television series The Walking Dead. AFF conference-goers are invited to attend a conversation with the director on Oct. 21.
  • In addition, AFF has announced its closing-night film: Jayne Mansfield's Car, co-written and directed by Billy Bob Thornton. Thornton will attend the October 25 screening. Several other additions to the schedule and special guests have also been announced. The festival kicks off this Thursday -- or Wednesday night if you're attending the annual Film and Food Gala.
  • Austin Film Society fiscally-sponsored projects Anne Lewis' Anne Braden: Southern Patriot, Karen Kocher's Living Springs and Karen Skloss' The Honor Farm received grants from the City of Austin's Cultural Arts Division, totaling more than $33,000. Texas filmmakers with non-commercial projects (those not carrying or seeking investors) can apply for fiscal sponsorship on a rolling basis and City of Austin grants in the spring through AFS.
  • Austinite and former film critic C. Robert Cargill was on the other side of a national press tour for Sinister, the horror movie he co-scripted that opened Friday. IndieWIRE has published his tales from the tour. Sinister, which stars Ethan Hawke, was third in this weekend's box-office results -- Hollywood Reporter notes the film cost $3 million to make and grossed $8.3 million over the weekend. Read J.C.'s review for more details about the movie.

Slackery News Tidbits, October 8

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Here's the latest in Austin film news.

  • Alamo Drafthouse announced last week that all the chain's Austin theaters will transition to 100 percent reserved seating, starting October 15, without a ticket price increase. Alamo ran a pilot program with all reserved seating at the Village location earlier this year, which they said was a success.
  • An economic impact report released last week announced that SXSW 2012 generated $190.3 million for Austin's economy, Austin Business Journal reports. The number of official registrants increased this year by more than 15 percent to 147,000.
  • In casting news, actors AJ Bowen (A Horrible Way to Die) and Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator) have signed on for Austin filmmaker Emily Hagins's fourth feature film, Grow Up, Tony Phillips, according to the movie's production company, Austin-based Arcanum Pictures. The actors join Jamie Landau (son of veteran producer Jon Landau) and My Sucky Teen Romance cast members Tony Vespe and Devin Bonnée. Filming for the independently produced comedy about a Halloween-loving teenager who refuses to grow up is scheduled to begin late this year, and will shoot in and around Central Texas. The producers are crowdfunding some of the movie's costs on Kickstarter.
  • Women in Cinema, a student organization at The University of Texas at Austin, is holding its monthly Producing Panel tonight (October 8) at CMA 3.120 at 8 pm on the UT campus. This month's panel features local producer Megan Gilbride (Lovers of Hate), Rakeda L. Ervin (X=A Generation Evolved) and Caroline Connor (LUV, Pictures of Superheroes). Admission is free.

Slackery News Tidbits, October 1

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

  • Heather Page has been named the new Texas Film Commission director, Austin Movie Blog reports. She's worked as a camera operator on a number of locally shot movies and TV shows, is a former Texas Film Commission staff member and is on the board of the Society of Camera Operators.
  • Magnolia Pictures has acquired the U.S. rights to Texas filmmaker Terence Malick's new film To The Wonder. The film, starring Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams, tells the story of a man who reconnects with his childhood sweetheart after his marriage to a European woman fails.
  • Do you have no game? Neither does Scott, the overweight and overbearing fantasy role-playing gamer in the Austin-shot movie film Zero Charisma, from filmmakers Katie Graham, Andrew Matthew and Thomas Fernandes, which will screen as part of the AFS Narratives-In-Progress series at 7 pm tonight in the AFS Screening Room. The feature received a Texas Filmmakers' Production Fund grant in 2011.
  • In more AFS news, a newly restored digital print of the 1979 Academy Award-winning German film, The Tin Drum, will screen 7 pm Thursday at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar in collaboration with AFS. The film is about Oskar, who on his third birthday, refuses to grow older. As the world marches onward to the madness of WWII, Oskar pounds his tin drum in a baffling state of perpetual childhood.

Slackery News Tidbits, September 24

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

  • Sometimes-Austinite actor/filmmaker Alex Karpovsky will be in attendance for a Q&A following the Austin premiere of his film Red Flag this Sunday, Sept. 30 at 8 pm [note time correction] at Cheer Up Charlie's. Austin Film Society and Cinema East are co-sponsoring the screening of this indie comedy about a filmmaker named Alex Karpovsky who, after being dumped by his longtime girlfriend, takes his film Woodpecker on the road. The movie was partially shot in Austin. Read Jette's review for details.
  • Rooftop Films announced the 2012 Rooftop Filmmakers' Fund recipients, which include Austinites David and Nathan Zellner's short film Part-Time Jobs, as well as Bill and Turner Ross's untitled documentary, about the lives of a cross-section of residents in-and-around Eagle Pass, Texas. The Ross brothers won the 2009 SXSW Grand Jury Prize for their documentary 45365.
  • The Hollywood Reporter announced that Drafthouse Films has partnered with Films We Like for Canadian distribution of The Ambassador, which chronicles Danish director Mads Brugger's stint as a Liberian ambassador to the Central African Republic, and Quentin Dupieux's surreal comedy Wrong, which is screening at Fantastic Fest this week.

Slackery News Tidbits, September 17

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

  • The Austin Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (aGLIFF) has announced this year's 25th anniversary lineup, which includes the festival's opening-night film Cloudburst, about a lesbian couple escaping from their nursing home to get married in Canada. During the five-day festival next month, 104 films and locally-produced Web series will screen at the Alamo Drafthouse, Paramount, Stateside and Violet Crown theaters. 
  • In honor of aGLIFF's anniversary, the festival introduced its rebrand as Polari. The nonprofit's name change, a historic form of cant slang used in the gay subculture, pays homage to the LGBTQIA community while charting a new course for the future. 
  • After widespread online reports of a mass DVD theft from the Infusion Room at Texas Children's Cancer Center, The Superficial reported that the Layla Grace Childrens Cancer Research Foundation is collecting new and used G/PG-rated DVDs as donations for the hospital through the end of this month.
  • Austin wunderkind Emily Hagins is raising funds on Kickstarter for her fourth feature film: Grow Up, Tony Phillips. The comedy is currently in pre-production, with principal photography scheduled in and around Central Texas in late fall.

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.
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