Fantastic Fest

Free Friday at Fantastic Fest: 'El Infierno' for Cine Las Americas Badgeholders


Cine Las AmericasCouldn't get a badge for Fantastic Fest? If you were a Cine Las Americas badgeholder this year, you can see a free movie during the fest anyway, with the director in attendance.

I love it when film festivals collide this way; both fests bring outstanding international programming in a variety of genres to Austin. I also love free. I especially love it when there is free at a festival.

Tomorrow at 2 pm at the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar, Cine Las Americas is hosting a special screening of the Fantastic Fest selection, El Infierno. This is not on the Fantastic Fest schedule, so you don't have to worry about getting in a queue for the online ticketing system. This particularly screening is reserved exclusively for CLA badgeholders, so unless you also happen to have a Fantastic Fest badge, you will probably not be able to see this movie again anytime soon (El Infierno screens twice as part of the regular Fantastic Fest schedule). 

The hitch is that you need to get to the theater on time and bring your badge from Cine Las Americas. If you're like me and attend a lot of festivals, you keep your badges, but then you have to find the right badge. To make it easier to find it, the badge has the 2011 Cine Las Americas poster on it, pictured here.

Just remember to leave plenty of time for parking -- it's only day two of Fantastic Fest so there is probably a full parking lot. 

Fantastic Fest Interview: Eric Vespe and Aaron Morgan, 'No Way Out'


Aaron Morgan and Eric Vespe

Claustrophobia? Check. Dark rooms? Check. Things that go bump in the night? Check. A crazed gentleman in excruciating pain? Check! If you checked of any of those items, you definitely need to see the short film No Way Out, staring AJ Bowen, at this year's Fantastic Fest.

I recently had the opportunity to screen the movie and discuss it with local filmmakers Aaron Morgan and Eric Vespe. We chatted over tacos and queso at Austin's famous institution Torchy's Tacos.

Slackerwood: How did you two meet?

Aaron Morgan: I used to host touring short film festivals with Atom Films back in 2000. One of the places I did the short film fest was at the original Alamo on Colorado. I'd been a fan of Eric's writing on Aint it Cool for a while and I invited him out to watch the short films.

Insider's Guide Extra: Tim League, Ultimate Fantastic Fest Insider


When we polled filmmakers and film geeks who've attended Fantastic Fests past to contribute to a Fantastic Fest edition of Insider's Guide, little did we know that word would get to Alamo Drafthouse/Fantastic Fest co-founder Tim League (pictured above at right with David Roland Strong). We figured he'd be too busy with last-minute details of the festival along with the very recent arrival of twin daughters.

Not only did Tim League respond, he's gone all out (if you haven't met Tim, this isn't surprising). So we decided to include all his tips in their entirety as a special edition. You'll notice Tim has some advice that mirrors some of the sentiments in yesterday's edition, because they're that important.

What advice would you give to newbies who've never done Fantastic Fest before?

Use the Festival Genius. Create your schedule online, review and rate as many films as possible and check in during the second half of the festival to see what screenings are getting buzz.

Insider's Guide: Fantastic Fest Survival Tips from Experts


I originally called this guide "celebrity tips," but "celebrity" is a slight exaggeration. We don't do a lot of that in Austin. However, anyone who spends time at film festivals in Austin will recognize some of not all of the folks sharing their wisdom about making the most of Fantastic Fest.

Here at Slackerwood, we've shared tips about How to Drink Like an Austinite, the Fantastic Fest venues and last year's still-relevant Fantastic Fest 2010 Survival Guide, from A to Z (a great companion piece to our Festival Survival Tips). But we aren't the only festival veterans out there, so it only seemed logical to get some input from other Fantastic Fest experts. If you don't know them, you can meet them at the festival; I promise they won't bite, and you won't regret it. 

Kat Candler, Filmmaker
If there was a "Most Supportive Filmmaker" award, it would be retired; I can't list all the times I hear Austin and Texas filmmakers mention Kat (Hellion, jumping off bridges) as a pivotal resource when talking about their own films. Her first Fantastic Fest was last year, but she has some priceless tips.

Fantastic Fest 2011 Guide: How To Drink Like an Austinite


Taps At Red's Porch

Every year the Alamo Drafthouse serves up Fantastic Fest film programming to satisfy a diverse and eclectic range of tastes amongst festivalgoers, and this year is no exception over eight days and nights. Similarly, visitors to Austin for the festival can experience an equally diverse selection of adult libations to satisfy any palate.

This year's Fantastic Fest beer sponsor is Shiner Beers from the Spoetzl Brewery, which was founded about 100 years ago in Shiner, Texas. Shiner is best known for their flagship brew, Shiner Bock, which makes up over 80 percent of the brewery's sales. In addition, Central Texas has experienced a welcome growth of local craft breweries. Find out what's new on tap at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar as well as nearby watering holes, and what you don't want to miss after the jump.

Fantastic Fest Final Lineup Includes Jeff Nichols' 'Take Shelter'



It's a pleasure to announce that the final lineup of movies at Fantastic Fest this year will include a feature film from an Austin director. Take Shelter was written and directed by Jeff Nichols (Shotgun Stories) and the post-production work was completed by local company Stuck On On.

This will be the Texas premiere for Take Shelter, which stars Jessica Chastain, Michael Shannon and Kathy Baker. Victor Diaz at YNN interviewed Nichols at the Stuck On On office before the movie premiered at Sundance in January. Two other Austin-connected films are screening at the fest this year, both shorts.

The Fantastic Fest closing-night film also has Austin ties. Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope is produced by Ain't It Cool News founder Harry Knowles (and Joss Whedon and Stan Lee, among others), and I suspect Knowles is actually in the movie. The documentary about San Diego Comic Con is directed by Morgan Spurlock. The closing-night party will have a superhero/fanboy theme to tie into the doc.

Two Austin Shorts Are Added to Fantastic Fest Lineup


AJ Bowen of No Way Out

As the largest genre festival in the U.S. featuring horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action, and "fantastic" movies, Fantastic Fest recently announced the 2011 short film lineup, with 50 shorts from across the world. The stellar programming showcases the best of hundreds of submissions from many countries, including Australia, Norway, Germany, Estonia, Canada, Spain and the U.K. This year's slate of short films also includes 15 from the United States, two of which were shot right here in Austin, Texas.

So far, Austin is represented at Fantastic Fest this year by No Way Out and Family Unit, films that feature Fantastic Fest veterans, including filmmakers, actors and writers. Find out after the jump why the Austin Fire Department paid an unexpected visit to one film's set. 

Fantastic Fest Reveals More Movies and a New Director


The seventh annual Fantastic Fest is just over a month away, and the anticipation is building, especially with the newly announced second wave of programming.

What stands out the most for me is the announcement that Alamo Drafthouse veteran Kristen Bell is officially the Fantastic Fest Director. If you've ever spent any time at the South Lamar Alamo, you've probably seen Kristen (not to be confused with the star of Veronica Mars) as General Manager, taking care of business and making sure guests have a good experience. She's been an integral part of making Fantastic Fest a success in years past. Fantastic Fest co-founder Tim League said, "We are all excited to have Kristen assume this expanded role at the festival and look forward to working with her to continue to improve what is undoubtedly my favorite eight days of the year." Congratulations, Kristen!

As deserving as Kristen is, you're probably more interested in hearing about what's going to be onscreen and not behind the scenes at next month's fest. The second wave of titles includes 17 new world, North America and U.S. premiere films, including a special vintage program of Asian Grindhouse titles called "Movies on Fire: Hong Kong Action Classics," which will be introduced by New York Asian Film Festival's Grady Hendrix. The first wave was announced in July.

First Batch of Fantastic Fest 2011 Films Announced


Fantastic FestAustin's Fantastic Fest has just announced the first 20 titles in its programming for the 2011 festival in September. I am not enough of a genre fan to know much about many of these titles, but then many of my favorite Fantastic Fest selections have been movies I knew very little about when I walked into the theater to watch them. 

The one title I recognized was one from my childhood -- and I did a double-take when I saw it at the top of the list. Comin' At Ya! was originally released in 1981 during the peak of the previous 3D movie craze in America ... back when we had to wear the red-and-blue paper glasses, remember? It has been restored with the latest 3D technology so we can watch a lot of things flying at us for two hours. Which, in my opinion, is still the most fun part of 3D. Actor Tony Anthony and producer Tom Stern will be at Fantastic Fest with the film.

The rest of the titles include U.S. and regional premieres of films from other countries including Belgium, Hong Kong, The Netherlands, Russia, Japan and Australia; digitally restored presentations of two Lucio Fulci films, Zombie and House by the Cemetery; and a Cine Las Americas co-hosted screening of the Mexican film El Infierno. I can't see any Austin or Texas films so far -- only one of the movies is from North America, the 2011 science-fiction film Beyond the Black Rainbow. I've included the list of films from the Fantastic Fest press release after the jump.

Quick Snaps: Flashback to 'True Legend' at Fantastic Fest


Fantastic Fest 2010: RZA at TRUE LEGEND

Watching True Legend for a second time last week brought back memories of my favorite red carpet event of 2010, when director Yuen Woo-ping was in Austin for the world premiere at Fantastic Fest. After the screening, Yuen was awarded a Fantastic Fest Lifetime Achievement Sword -- yes, a sword -- which was presented by artist RZA (pictured above).

Master Yuen and RZA worked together on the Kill Bill movies. RZA spoke about how Yuen's work influenced his music as well as his first venture into filmmaking directorial debut with The Man with the Iron Fist, co-produced by Eli Roth. See more photos of RZA with Yuen Woo-ping event after the jump.

Syndicate content