Slackery News Tidbits, March 5

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Here's the latest Austin film news.

  • Austin-based graphic designer and filmmaker Yen Tan (featured on a February cover of the Austin Chronicle) has been awarded a $40,000 grant from the Vilcek Foundation to fund the production of his third film Pit Stop. The movie tells the parallel stories of two gay men living in a small Texas town. Tan is scheduled to begin filming Pit Stop in Texas in May.
  • Have you had difficulty finding seating next to your friends and were unable to discuss an actor's hunkiness? If so, moviegoers, fret no more. The Alamo Drafthouse has been conducting a new theater seating test at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, which will run through March 6, in hopes of finding the "perfect mix of awesomness." The reservation and seating system will be familiar to attendees of Fantastic Fest -- tickets have numbers on them (like Southwest Airline passes) and eliminate the need for lines. A similar system is also being planned at the new Alamo Slaughter.
  • Austin 360 reports the Third Annual Hill Country Film Festival, which takes place April 26-29 in Fredericksburg, has announced its first three official selections. Actress Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights) stars in the Texas-filmed comedy, Searching for Sonny, about reunited friends whose lives begin to parallel a play they performed in high school (Mike's AFF review); the stop-motion animated short film, The Maker; and the short documentary Randy Parsons: American Luthier, about a Seattle-based guitarmaker. The festival's complete lineup and schedule will be released March 26.
  • Austin Film Festival has opened registration for their 10th annual film camp. The camp, presented by AFF's Young Filmmaker's Program, is aimed at aspiring filmmakers between the ages of 9-18. Screenwriting, claymation and filmmaking workshops are offered from June 11-August 3.
  • Richard Linklater's film Bernie will screen at SXSW 2012 on March 14. The dark comedy premiered last year at Los Angeles Film Festival, and Linklater held a special screening at the Paramount Theatre last fall to benefit Bastrop wildfire relief groups (read Jette's coverage of the event). Bernie is scheduled to open in theaters nationwide starting April 27.