AFF and Blanton Host 'New Directions' Series

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Blanton Museum of Art by David A.G. WilsonAustin Film Festival and the Blanton Museum of Art have teamed up to bring us more good movies over the next couple of months. The New Directions Summer Film Series will focus on "the exceptional work of emerging independent filmmakers," and several of the films in the series were shot locally.

The series kicks off on Thursday, June 18 with one of my favorite Austin-shot films that hasn't had a theatrical release: Gretchen, directed by Steve Collins and photographed by P.J. Raval. Watchmaker Films may be releasing it on DVD soon, but in the meantime, this is a chance to see this oddly sweet movie in a theater. I reviewed the film when it played SXSW in 2006.

Another Austin-connected feature ends the series: Shotgun Stories, written and directed by Austin filmmaker Jeff Nichols. The drama, which stars Michael Shannon, won a Best Narrative Feature award from AFF in 2007 and was also nominated for an Independent Spirit award.

You can catch the series at the Blanton's new auditorium on the University of Texas campus, on the Sundays and Thursdays listed below. Admission is $5 -- or $3 if you're an AFF member, a Blanton Museum member, or UT Austin faculty/staff/student.

Full schedule after the jump:

Thursday, June 18, 7 pm: Gretchen

Sunday, June 21, 3 pm: Gretchen

Sunday, June 28, 3 pm: Silent Light

Sunday, July 12, 3 pm: TBA

Thursday, July 16, 7 pm: Welcome to Nollywood

Sunday, July 19, 3 pm: Shotgun Stories

[Photo credit: "Blanton Museum of Art" by David A.G. Wilson. Found on Flickr; used under Creative Commons license.]