Slackery News Tidbits: January 27, 2014


Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news.

  • Austin-based indie electronica band The Octopus Project won the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Musical Score at this year's Sundance Film Festival for their work on fellow Austinites David and Nathan Zellner's Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter (Debbie's review). This true-to-life drama follows a lonely Japanese woman who travels to America in search of the treasure mentioned in the movie Fargo.
  • The Zellner Brothers discussed their inspiration for Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter, which debuted at Sundance, with The Wall Street Journal
  • Austinite Todd Rohal's Rat Pack Rat (Debbie's dispatch), about a Sammy Davis Jr. impersonator who's hired to visit a Rat Pack fan, won Sundance's Short Film Special Jury Award for Unique Vision. Austin filmmaker Clay Liford (Wuss) produced. 
  • In more Sundance Film Festival news, Austin-based filmmaker David Gordon Green continues to express his appreciation for Iceland (Prince Avalanche was based on the 2011 Icelandic movie Either Way) with his role as executive producer of the Iceland-shot adventure-comedy Land Ho!, which premiered at the festival. Sony Pictures Classics bought worldwide distribution rights to the indie film, directed by Aaron Katz (whose features Cold Weather and Quiet City premiered at SXSW) and Martha Stephens (whose Pilgrim Song also premiered at SXSW).
  • One of the few remaining drive-in theaters in North Texas is for sale: The Brazos in Granbury, which opened in 1952, and the surrounding five acres can be purchased for $575,000. Owner Jennifer Miller told The Dallas Morning News that she's selling the landmark because of expensive upgrades to digital. 
  • Texas Monthly reports that Bernie Tiede, the Carthage man whose story of shooting the town's richest widow inspired Austin-based filmmaker Richard Linklater's 2011 movie Bernie, may be released from Panola County Jail this week.
  • It's a comedy, it's a musical, it's... Keith & Heath, a short movie by Austinite and University of Texas alum Andy Young, whose last short, Crime of the Century, screened at the Austin Film Festival. This musical comedy about identical (puppet) brothers who fall in love with the same woman will feature actors from other Austin movie projects, like Zero Charisma and Intramural, and is expected to premiere online in May ... that is, with the public's help. A Kickstarter campaign for Keith & Heath concludes Feb. 13.
  • Short movie entries are now being accepted for the Seventh Annual Off-Centered Film Fest until Friday. The grand prize winner will be announced during the festival, which takes place April 24-26 at the Drafthouse.
  • SXSW 2013 awardwinner From Above will be available on VOD, DVD and Blu-ray on Feb. 4. The romantic drama stars Danny Glover as an aging man who recalls the story of his great love and the problems that ensued because of racial and ethnic differences.
  • In celebration of Valentine's Day, the Alamo Drafthouse will offer a slate of love-themed programming throughout next month. Screenings will include an eclectic mix of old and new classics like Casablanca and Moulin Rouge. Additionally, select locations will host special movie-themed food menus to commemorate the holiday -- Alamo Lakeline is screening Moonstruck with a four-course menu.
  • In more Drafthouse news, the theater chain will celebrate the theatrical release of the Fantastic Fest-2013 screened A Field in England (opening Feb. 7) with a special screening and menu on Feb. 11 at Alamo Slaughter. The psychological horror movie takes place during the Civil War in 17th-century England and follows a small group of deserters fleeing from a raging battle through an overgrown field.
  • Finally, registration for this year's Austin Film Festival Summer Film Camp is now open for those ages 9-18. Sessions will take place June 9-Aug. 1 at St. Austin Catholic School and will feature hands-on workshops led by industry pros.