Slackery News Tidbits: June 24, 2013

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Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news.

  • Austinite Nicolas Gonda, co-founder and CEO of Tugg, is one of 40 people and companies from North America featured in this year's Indiewire Influencers, a list of those who are changing independent film. Tugg, a web platform that allows audiences to choose which films play in their local theaters, launched in 2011 and now has more than 1,000 titles in its catalog. 
  • Alamo Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League may be in a league of his own... creation. The Austinite and UT alum made the Indiewire list not only because he's slated to open 50 more Drafthouse locations across the nation by 2017, but has expanded the brand to include a distribution arm (Drafthouse Films), genre-celebrating film festival (Fantastic Fest) and a poster and apparel company (Mondo Gallery). 
  • League's collaborator on Fantastic Market/Mercado Fantastico collaborator (an international co-production market for genre films set to at this year's Fantastic Fest), Robert Rodriguez, made the list for his move to the small screen with the upcoming launch of El Rey, an English-language, Latino-centric TV network he co-created. Rodriguez and his Austin-based Troublemaker Studios are also gearing up for the theatrical release of Machete Kills in September and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, which Austin Movie Blog reports has delayed its release to 2014.
  • Indiewire also highlighted the careers of sometimes Austinites and UT alums Jay and Mark Duplass (The Puffy Chair). The duo recently completed the HBO pilot for their original series Togetherness and played midwifing specialists on the TV sitcom The Mindy Project. And if that's not keeping the duo busy, Mark has a recurring role on F/X's The League and can next be seen on the big screen in Tammy.
  • SXSW Film Festival regular Joe Swanberg (Drinking Buddies) also made the list. The prolific filmmaker, who's directed more than 20 features in less than two decades, may best be known for reestablishing the mumblecore genre with his naturalistic portraits of confused twentysomethings. 
  • Speaking of SXSW, Janet Pierson, SXSW film conference and festival producer, made the Indiewire list for her ability to foster burgeoning independent filmmakers, like Lena Dunham (Girls), whose film Tiny Furniture screened at the 2011 festival. Next year will be Pierson's sixth SXSW on staff.
  • In even more SXSW Film Festival news, Spark: A Burning Man Story, which made its world premiere at this year's fest, will have a limited theatrical release by Paladin in NYC and L.A. on Aug. 16. FilmBluff will release the documentary about the annual event in the Nevada desert on iTunes and other digital platforms the following day.
  • Sushi: The Global Catch, produced by Austinite Mark S. Hall, is now available on iTunes and pay-per-view on major cable systems. The award-winning documentary that traces the history of the popular food item is slated for an August DVD release. 
  • Mondo Gallery is now featuring original artwork and posters inspired by two Cartoon Network series: the Emmy Award-nominated Adventure Time and Emmy Award-winning Regular Show, available to the public until July 20. 
  • Tim League strikes again with next month's opening of Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline in north (very north) Austin, which will be the chain's largest theater to date with 10 screens. The theater will open in the new Lakeline Market Shopping Center adjacent to Lakeline Mall. Nearby theater Alamo Lake Creek will remain in business until after the new Drafthouse opens. 
  • In more Drafthouse news, the theater chain and Action Pack have teamed up for a mini U.S. theatrical tour of Rock Jocks, which begins Tuesday at Alamo Vintage Park in Houston. The 2012 film, about a group of dysfunctional government employees who find themselves responsible for saving earth by shooting down asteroids, will screen in Austin at 7 pm Thursday at Alamo Ritz  before heading out of state. Each theatrical event will feature a vintage Asteroids arcade game competition on the big screen, as well as live appearances by some of the film's stars at screenings in Houston and Austin and Skype Q&As scheduled for those in Denver, Kansas City and Seattle.