Slackery News Tidbits: March 25, 2013

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Here's the latest in Austin film news.

  • Disney has hired DFW-area filmmaker (and former Austinite) David Lowery and producer Toby Halbrooks, whose film Ain't Them Bodies Saints premiered at Sundance this year, to script a remake of the animated movie Pete's Dragon. If this sounds unlikely, bear in mind that Lowery's first feature, St. Nick, was about two children who run away from home. And don't forget his short Pioneer, about a father and son. (Jette adds: Now, someone please release St. Nick on DVD? Finally?)
  • Austin-based filmmaker Elizabeth Mims' documentary Only the Young (Elizabeth's AFF review), which follows three Southern California teenagers, will air July 15 on PBS's award-winning TV series POV, according to Austin Movie Blog.
  • In festival news, the Hill Country Film Festival announced its lineup last week, which includes the feature-length thriller The Iceman, starring James Franco, and the 2013 Academy Award-winning short Curfew. The festivities take place May 2-5 in Fredericksburg. Texas movies at the fest include short films Black Metal, Do Over, Happy Voodoo, Fourth and Orchard, The Secret Keeper and Where am I Texas.
  • Austin Film Society Artistic Director Richard Linklater presents "Land and People: Recent Films of James Benning" April 6-8 at Alamo Ritz and the AFS Screening Room. Hailed as one of the most significant and groundbreaking avant-garde filmmakers, Benning began exploring the American landscape on film in the early 1970s. His recent films, 13 Lakes, Ten Skies, the war and Stremple Pass, were made between 2004 and 2012.
  • Glenn Frankel, University of Texas School of Journalism director, will be interviewed by UT Professor Charles Ramirez Berg about his book The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend and the John Wayne film it's based on, on April 3 in the BMC Auditorium. A brief Q&A will follow the discussion. The 1956 film The Searchers, based on a novel by Alan LeMay, was inspired by the true kidnapping of a nine-year-old girl in East Texas in 1836.
  • Austin filmmaker Steve Mims let us know that Incendiary: The Willingham Case, the documentary he directed with Joe Bailey, Jr., was recently honored with the 2013 Texas Coalition Against the Death Penalty Media Award. Incendiary, which premiered at SXSW 2011, is about Cameron Todd Willingham, a Texan who received the death penalty after his children died in a house fire, based on flawed and nonscientific evidence of arson. In Don's review, he said "Riveting, flawlessly executed and painfully relevant, Incendiary is the sort of provocative documentary the Powers That Be don't want you to see. Which is all the more reason to see it." (Which you can do via iTunes, DVD and Tugg.)
  • Central Texas filmmaker Terrence Malick was asked recently to curate an outdoor film series in Tulsa. His choices included ... Zoolander. Not what you'd expect? Cinema Blend has the details.