Slackery News Tidbits, June 25


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

  • Austin was well represented in the awards at the Silverdocs Documentary Film Festival in Silver Springs, Maryland this week. The Sterling Award for best U.S. feature doc went to Only the Young, a film about teenagers in an economically troubled California suburb, co-directed by Jason Tippet and Austin native Elizabeth Mims. (Her dad, Steve Mims, clued us in on the award.) The film Ann Richards' Texas won the WGA Documentary Screenplay Award -- we don't have to tell you how that one ties into Austin, although filmmakers Jack Lofton and Keith Patterson are from Houston. And last night, the Silverdocs Audience Awards were announced, one of which went to Andrew Garrison's documentary Trash Dance, about a unique Austin event involving the Department of Solid Waste Services (SXSW interview, Mike's review).
  • Calling all activist filmmakers: The submission deadline for the Fourth Annual Lights. Camera. Help Nonprofit Film Festival is June 30. PSAs, short and feature-length films that support or raise awareness about a cause may be entered to screen at the festival September 12-14. Lights. Camera. Help is expected to donate $5,000 to the causes represented in the winning movies.
  • Speaking of Lights. Camera. Help, the fest recently announced that Austin-based filmmaker/actor/musician/writer Turk Pipkin will be this year's keynote speaker. Pipkin will discuss the nonprofit organization The Nobelity Project, which he co-founded with his wife Christy. The Nobelity Project's new short film, Let There Be Sight, will premiere during the festival. Let There Be Sight tells the story of the nonprofit's partnership with the Seva Foundation, an international health organization focused on the prevention of blindness and Native American health. An audience Q&A with Pipkin will follow the address.
  • A screening of The Nobelity Project's 2011 award-winning film Building Hope (Debbie's review), which chronicles the construction of the first high school in a remote African community, will take place June 29 at the Long Center during The African Leadership Bridge.
  • In more film festival news, aGLIFF recently announced Curran Nault as this year's film programming director. Nault previously served as the Austin Asian American Film Festival director of programming for three years and is a University of Texas at Austin RTF PhD candidate, specializing in independent LGBTQIA productions.
  • The Guardian reported that gossip website TMZ failed to recognize reclusive Texas filmmaker Terence Malick (The Tree of Life) when they caught footage of him with actor Benicio del Toro in L.A. 
  • Ain't It Cool News reported that the indie romantic comedy, My Sucky Teen Romance will be released on Blu-ray on September 4. Austin-based teen, Emily Hagins's third feature film, about a teen who finds out her boyfriend is a vampire, made its world premiere at SXSW 2011 (read Slackerwood's interview with Hagins). Harry Knowles, who has a cameo in the film, said in his blog that he is working to get the film screened in theaters.