Jette Kernion's blog

aGLIFF is hiring


Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival (aGLIFF) is in need of a new Executive Director and a Programming Director. I'm not sure how they're going to find anyone as good as Lonny and Mo, but the festival board is certainly trying. I've seen ads posted for both these positions on Craigslist multiple times. Paid film festival positions in Austin? I'm surprised there isn't a stampede. If you're interested in either position, full job descriptions are available on the aGLIFF website.

I did some volunteer work for aGLIFF last year while I was between full-time jobs, and enjoyed the overall atmosphere as well as the board members and other volunteers I worked with. It's the most social film festival I've attended in Austin -- you've got to love a festival where before every movie, someone stands up in front to tell you about all the after-parties. The deadlines aren't posted for these jobs, so apply now if you're thinking about it.

A brief note from Alamo's "Hot Fuzztival"

I am at the Alamo Drafthouse cop-movie marathon, taking a brief break during Sudden Impact and waiting eagerly for Freebie and the Bean, which will be followed by Hot Fuzz, and I would like to take a minute to note something in a way that is uncharacteristic of me. But I can't resist: That Edgar Wright is HOT. There may be a photo coming soon, which will not do him justice. Now back to Dirty Harry.

AFS panel about film blogging (including me)


Austin Film Society has just announced an upcoming session in its Moviemaker Dialogues series called "Film Bloggers are Your Friends." And we are! I swear. The session is aimed at filmmakers who want to know more about using the web to promote their movies, whether they develop their own sites or provide material that online reviewers and film blogs can use.

The session will take place on Tuesday, April 10 at 7 pm in the AFS screening room. Matt Dentler of SXSW (who has his own blog) will moderate. Panelists include Aaron Hillis (Cinephiliac), Joel Heller (Docs that Inspire), Mike Curtis (HD for Indies), and Jette Kernion ... hey, that would be me. I haven't met all the other panelists in person but I do read their blogs and it sounds like it'll be a useful and fun evening.

You must be a Filmmaker-level AFS member to attend the session, and you have to register on the AFS site. The session is free. You know I have plenty of issuesto rant about on this topic, so if you're an Austin filmmaker, I hope you'll be there.

Alamo Downtown, meet the Ritz Theater


Alamo DowntownI'm still surprised by the news, which was posted to Alamo Drafthouse's blog this morning: Alamo Downtown will move into the old Ritz Theater building this summer. This will ease all our worries about what would happen to the theater when its lease was up -- rumors abounded that it would be prohibitively expensive for the theater to remain in the now-trendy warehouse district, and that perhaps it would have to close entirely, with its programming moving to Alamo on South Lamar.

I've only been to the Ritz once, about 8 years ago. I worked on a short Super 8 film called Cold Turkey, written and directed by my friend Tom Chamberlain, that was a Thanksgiving-themed Tarantino-esque scene shot with hand puppets. (We were doing gory Thanksgiving before Eli Roth ever thought of such a thing.) So I have nothing but fond memories of the Ritz. As Tim Trentham points out on Metroblogging Austin, the Ritz has its own long history in Austin -- it's been around since 1929 -- and I'm happy that it will be able to remain open as a theater. In its original incarnation, the theater could seat nearly 800 people, so there's plenty of room for Alamo there.

My one concern is that the Ritz is on Sixth Street. You know, Sixth Street, where the drunken frat boys love to party. I haven't felt unsafe walking alone from Alamo Downtown to a parking spot after a late movie, but Sixth Street is another matter entirely. I've never been comfortable around Sixth Street alone at night, and of course it's insane down there on weekend nights. However, if I have to start bugging various guys to walk me to my car, it's a small price to pay to keep an Alamo Downtown.

I'll miss the old Alamo Downtown -- I've been going there for nearly 10 years. My first movie there was the first Austin Powers movie (that would have been June 2007), and I was delighted that I could watch a movie and have a beer for the price of watching the movie at night at a multiplex. I'm looking forward to seeing the new combination of the Ritz and the Alamo.

Updated, 5:30 pm: The entry on Alamo's blog has been removed. Was it intended to be posted later this month ... or even April 1? But it's not outrageous enough for April Fool's. If you've got some light to shed on this mystery (Tim League, are you out there?), feel free to post a comment.

Update #2, March 21: The Alamo blog entry is live again. Apparently it wasn't supposed to be published until today. AICN has more details on the new theater sizes, etc.

Update #3, March 21: Check out Micah's photo at Reel Distraction showing what the Alamo Ritz might look like.

More SXSW resources

Here's a list of helpful blog entries and articles about SXSW 2007, either generally or for the film festival:
  • The Austin Chronicle has a huge section devoted to SXSW film, as they do every year. One article I particularly liked is good for anyone attending SXSW: "So, Basically, Tacos and Free Beer: Enjoying Good Food and Drink at SXSW for $10 a Day During SXSW" by musician Kathy McCarty.
  • Metroblogging Austin has "advice for daytime" for out-of-towners unused to Texas weather. I'd add that I bring bottled water everywhere -- I get those teeny Ozarka bottles and stick them in my purse, I keep cold bottles in my car, etc.
  • Austinist is full of SXSW interviews, info, and giveaways right now -- most of it's related to the music festival but you can also find good film fest content.
  • SXSW Baby is blogging about all aspects of the festival. They have a film category if you just want to read the film fest stuff. They have some good food guides if you're an out-of-towner. (What I personally need is a good guide to downtown-area food for someone who lives in Austin -- I don't need to be continually steered toward Tex-Mex, I just need to know where I can get a bite running between ACC and the Paramount. Anyone?)
  • Keep an eye on Matt Dentler's blog, because you never know when he might post something about SXSW that you'll want to know. After all, he's the source.

A handy guide to SXSW Film Fest venues


Alamo on South Lamar

Note: A 2010 guide to SXSW Film Fest venues is now available.

SXSW Film Festival has six venues this year, and if you've never been to Austin you may not know where all the theaters are located and all of their little quirks. You might think it's possible to run from the Paramount to Alamo on South Lamar on foot in ten minutes, and you'd schedule movies accordingly, and then be sad later. Or you might make it through the entire festival without trying the root-beer float at Alamo Drafthouse.

I thought I'd offer a guideline to the Austin theaters playing SXSW movies to help visitors who want to maximize the number of films they see in a day or who want to make sure they're able to find decent meals in between or even during the movies.

The SXSW film venues are a little different this year -- the Arbor is no longer on the list. This is a shame in one way, because it's a very nice venue and a good place for locals with cars to see movies. On the other hand, trying to drive across town to catch a movie at the Dobie right after seeing one at the Arbor is something I'd rather not attempt again. SXSW has added another screen at Alamo on South Lamar instead, which is more convenient to downtown.

The official SXSW Venues PDF provides a list of theaters with a map, including nearby hotels and film party venues. This useful page also has info on bus service: "Cap Metro’s Film Fest Flyer (Route 3) stops within a few blocks of nearly all the Film Fest venues. Ride from downtown to the Dobie (from 8th and Brazos) or Alamo South (from 3rd and Colorado) for just 50 cents, or buy a Day Pass on the bus for just $1 a day. Buses leave around every 20 minutes and run from 6am to midnight on weekdays, with reduced schedules on weekends. See, call 474-1200, or see the CapMetro flyer in the 'Big Bag'" (which I assume is the bag you get at registration).

Update 3/6/07: The B-Side Unofficial SXSW Other Site Guide includes a venue page with a Google map display for each venue, which you can use to get directions to/from the venues. Here are the six SXSW theaters, with info on location, nearby food, and nearby wireless. If I've missed some tips and tricks that you think belong in this guide, please add a comment or email me and I'll be happy to update this entry.


AFF brings Trading Places writer to Austin


Austin Film Festival (AFF) is starting a monthly film series at Alamo Lake Creek, which kicks off Thursday night at 7:30 pm with a screening of Trading Places. It's a great chance to see Oscar-nominated Eddie Murphy in one of his early film appearances ... not to mention Dan Ackroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis in a fabulous wig, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche, and the usual complement of odd cameos that you find in comedies directed by John Landis.

Plus, Trading Places writer Herschel Weingrod will be in attendance and will hold a Q&A after the movie. Alamo Lake Creek will offer a "prince and pauper" style menu, and I'm wondering what in the world that even means. Caviar and ramen? I'm not sure I'll be able to go, so if you do, report back and give us the scoop on the evening. Admission is only $4 (free if you're an AFF member).

Austin Studios garage sale on Saturday


I didn't see this news until today, but there's still one day left to visit the big garage sale at Austin Studios. On Saturday, from 9 am to 3 pm, you can buy props and stuff from The Hitcher. In fact, this blog entry on the Austin Film Society site implies that the garage sale may include items from other films shot at Austin Studios, such as Miss Congeniality. The sale takes place at Hangar 2 -- Austin Studios will probably have some signs out to navigate you.

I went to one of the Austin Studio garage sales about a year ago for a movie advertised as Coyote but which I confirmed was really Fast Food Nation. Check out my Celluloid Eyes entry about the sale, which includes photos of the kind of stuff you might find at tomorrow's event. The "Coyote" sale was fun to browse through, so you might see me at Austin Studios tomorrow morning if I can get up early enough.

David Lynch in Austin (without cows)


Filmmaker David Lynch decided to include Austin in his multi-city promotional tour of his latest film, Inland Empire, which he is self-distributing. On Wednesday night, every seat in the Paramount was filled for the local premiere of the three-hour film, followed by a Q&A session with Lynch.

Paramount marquee for David Lynch


I had hoped that Lynch would hold a red-carpet event with a cow, or perhaps hang out on the corner of Congress and Sixth with a cow to advertise Inland Empire, like he did to promote Laura Dern's performance. I'd heard he was planning to include a cow in the tour. However, no cows were sighted anywhere near the Paramount.

I was happy enough to have the chance to hear and see Lynch himself.

AFF hosts Anne Rapp script reading


Hearing someone's script read is a lot more fun than it might sound. At least, it is if you have a number of actors taking all the parts, as opposed to a very nervous screenwriting student muttering dialogue in a monotone. I went to a script reading at Austin Film Festival (AFF) a few years ago, for that year's winner in the comedy screenplay category, and had a great time.

So I would definitely recommend the script reading that AFF is hosting for Anne Rapp's latest screenplay, Double Wide. Rapp, who lives in Austin, previously wrote two scripts for films directed by the late Robert Altman: Cookie's Fortune and Dr. T and the Women.

The actors reading Double Wide include Johnny Hardwick, the writer/actor from King of the Hill that all the female writers were crushing on at AFF one year (he does not look or sound like Dale Gribble in person); local disc jockey Dale Dudley, whom I think was reading at the AFF script reading I mentioned above; actress Kit Gwin; and Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel.

The script reading will take place at Capitol City Comedy Club on Sunday, Jan. 28, and admission is free.

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