Slackery News Tidbits: April 1, 2013

in

Here's the latest in Austin and Texas film news -- no April Fooling here.

  • The 16th Annual Cine Las Americas International Film Festival has announced its opening and closing-night movies. Blancanieves will open the festival April 16 at the Stateside Theatre. The drama, a twist on the Snow White fairy tale that centers on a female bullfighter in 1920s Seville, was chosen by Spain as its Foreign Language Film Academy Awards nominee in 2012. 7 Cajas (7 Boxes), about a boy's journey transporting unknown cargo, will close the festival April 21, also at Stateside. 
  • In celebration of April Fools' Day, the Austin Film Festival will screen the fest's 2012 audience award-winning comedy Junk at 7 pm at Alamo Drafthouse Village as part of its Best of Fest series. Junk follows two B-movie co-writers through their film's festival debut.
  • Ryan Long, former Austin Film Society programs and operations manager, has been named director of programming at Tugg, Austin 360 reports. Tugg, co-founded by Austinites Nicolas Gonda and Pablo Gonzalez, allows people to bring the movies they want to see to their local theaters. Long joined AFS in Nov. 2010 and co-founded the Texas Independent Film Network, a statewide tour of independent movies, which concludes its spring run with Hands on a Hard Body
  • Hands on a Hard Body documents an annual endurance competition in Longview, Texas, in which 24 participants attempt to keep their hands on a Nissan Hard Body pickup truck for as long as possible. The last person with their hand on the truck gets to drive away with it. Director S. R. Bindler will be in attendance at select TIFN screenings throughout the month, which begin Tuesday in McAllen, Texas. It reaches Austin on Friday, April 26 -- more details as they're confirmed.
  • In more AFS news, the Austin Film Society Grant Application, formerly known as the Texas Filmmakers Production Fund, is now open. Texas residents seeking funding for their independent productions can apply online by June 1.
  • Austin filmmaker Clay Liford's comedy Wuss (our interview and Jette's review), about a high-school teacher who wants to fight back after being beaten up by several of his students, will be released on iTunes, Amazon and other VOD outlets Tuesday. The Dallas-shot film premiered at SXSW 2011.
  • In addition, last year's Dallas International Film Festival selection LUV (J.C.'s review) will be available on DVD, VOD and some online outlets Tuesday. The drama, starring rapper Common, tells the story of a boy's day-long adventures with the ex-con uncle he idolizes.
  • This year's ATX Television Festival, which takes place June 6-9, will screen Austin-based filmmaker Richard Linklater's rare 2004 HBO pilot, $5.15/Hr, according to The Austin Chronicle. The unaired comedy pilot, starring America Ferrera (scheduled to be in attendance with Linklater at the screening), follows the unusual going-ons at Grammaw's Home Cookin'.  
  • The 11th Annual Independent Film Festival of Boston announced this year's lineup, which includes films by Austinites PJ Raval and Andrew Bujalski, IndieWire reports. Computer Chess (Jordan's interview and Jette's review), about computer programmers and chess players at a computer chess tournament in the 1980s, will screen with Bujalski in attendance, as well as Raval's documentary Before You Know It (Don's review), which follows the adventures and challenges of three gay senior citizens.
  • Finally, congratulations to AFS for getting a City of Austin Grant for Technology Opportunities Program (GTOPs) Award last week to support its Film Club, an afterschool program that fosters the next generation of filmmakers.