Fantastic Fest

Quick Snaps: Waiting for Fantastic Fest News



Fantastic Fest is announcing its first round of 2009 films at 10 am, and the organizers been working festgoers on Twitter into a frenzy with rumors of "bombshell announcement" and "huge news." In fact, they like Twitter so much that it will be the first place the announcements are posted.

If you use Twitter and want the very first heads-up on Fantastic Fest 2009 news, now would be the perfect time to start following @fantasticfest. If you aren't interested in Twitter, don't worry -- Jenn Brown will be keeping an eye on the news, and she'll post the titles and info here on Slackerwood as soon as possible.

While we're talking about Fantastic Fest, filmmakers take note: the deadline for submitting your films to the fest is this Friday, July 17.

The above photo is from Fantastic Fest 2008 -- Tim League preparing to announce the awards while a sister act pre-show plays onscreen. I've posted a second photo after the jump from the 2008 opening-night World Air Sex Championship, in memory not only of last year's fest but a recent political announcement. Enjoy!

Another View of Slackerwood


Slackerwood, by John Gholson

So not only do I have this cool new illustration to show you this morning, I have a good story about where it came from. John Gholson is a local film geek who wanted to raise some funds so he could go to Fantastic Fest this year. So he came up with a fun way to earn the money: a blog called Taking Requests, where you can pay him $5 to draw anything (within reason) and he posts the requests and resulting illustrations on his site.

I heard about this on Friday and thought, "Ooh, I wonder if he could draw the Slackerwood photo." The photo at the top of this page doesn't quite measure up to the way I wanted it to look in my head. And, you know ... five bucks? You can't beat that. Sure enough, the resulting art is a lot closer to the way I've always envisioned the Slackerwood theme. Thank you, John!

Tim League also heard about John's fundraising project, and not only requested a drawing of his own, but posted the info to the Fantastic Fest blog. Naturally, this increased the requests John's received. He's drawn some cool and bizarre things: a zombie for Megan Hagins, who produced her daughter Emily's zombie film Pathogen; a Patrick Swayze centaur for Austinist film writer Steph Beasley; and my favorite so far, a sketch of H.I. McDunnough from Raising Arizona.

Go check out the Taking Requests site, see John's latest illustrations, and maybe spend $5 on something wild and crazy all your own.

Slackery News Tidbits are Fannntastic


Fantastic Fest 2009It's Monday morning and time to wake up, smell the coffee, and find out what's going on in Austin film right now. Here's what I've got so far:

  • Fantastic Fest and website HorrorSquad are co-hosting a special screening of the horror thriller The Collector on July 22. Writer/director Marcus Dunstan and co-writer Patrick Melton will be in attendance. Click the link above to find out how to RSVP if you have a Fantastic Fest badge. If you haven't heard of The Collector, the movie toured the fest circuit under the title Midnight Man. [Full disclosure: I write for HorrorSquad's sister site, Cinematical.]
  • Speaking of Fantastic Fest, a preview of the poster and t-shirt art is now available on the Mondo Tees blog for you to admire. "Yes, but when do we find out what's actually playing at Fantastic Fest this year?" The first batch of fest films will be announced on July 13.
  • Decider Austin (the local online Onion site) has a fun interview with Austin Film Festival programming director Kelly Williams called "How not to enter the Austin Film Festival." Don't forget that the deadline for AFF film submissions is this Friday, July 3.

Be An Extra, Have a Beer


Fantastic Fest 2006

Last month, Jenn reported that Simon Rumley, whose film The Living and the Dead won an award at Fantastic Fest 2006 (which he's holding above), would be shooting his next film around Austin: Red, White and Blue.

The production is currently looking for extras to fill the Broken Spoke in a scene that will be shot on Tuesday, July 7. You have to show up in country-and-western clothing and it seems some beer drinking may be involved. For more information, check out the Alamo blog entry written by the film's executive producer, Tim League.

The Austin Chronicle published a story today with more details about Red, White and Blue and Rumley shooting in Austin. We're also planning more news about the production soon -- I heard a rumor that one of the shooting locations is also the home of a Slackerwood contributor (aside to husband: no, not our house, don't worry).

News Flash: Fantastic Fest Alum Shooting Next Film Here


Fantastic Fest 2006

Simon Rumley, director of the surreal and memorable The Living and the Dead, as well as the sublimely succinct short Handyman, is returning to Austin this summer to make his next film.

Red, White and Blue, a revenge flick, will be shot in and around town. Rumley is currently looking for extras and locations. Visit the original Alamo blog for details.

The above photo is from Fantastic Fest 2006, when The Living and the Dead won Best Film. Rumley is on the right, about to chug his award in traditional Fantastic Fest fashion.

Cine Las Americas Day 4: 18 Countries in 9 Days


Cine Las Americas MarqueeFriday's lineup was a theme of extremes, starting with Cruzando (odyssey to confront a father at all costs), Stranded (survival in extremis), Gasolina (explosive teenagers), and the dark and twisty Breaking Nikki. I'm not entirely sure how good it all was, but it sure was dark, because the digital projection was not the state-of-the-art 4K at Alamo Village. The difference between old-school and new-school digital projection is astounding.

Fantastic Fest is co-sponsoring a screening next week of a Fantastic Fest favorite, Santos, but in the meantime more fantastic style goodness occurs tonight. Perro Come Perro (Dog Eat Dog) is a gangland thriller mixed with black magic that plays at Regal Metropolitan at 10 pm). It's followed at midnight by Sangre eterna (Eternal Blood), a 2002 Chilean vampire flick -- with the filmmaker in attendance, Austin's horror fans should go.

The Austin Jewish Film Festival is co-sponsoring a screening tonight of Cinco Dias sin Nora (Nora's Will), a comedy from Mexico in both Spanish and Hebrew. The film screens at Metropolitan at 8 pm.

Quick Snaps and News: 'Santos' is Back in Town

Santos at FF 08

I don't know how I missed this earlier, but the Cine Las Americas lineup this year includes a popular film from Fantastic Fest, Santos. The Chilean movie is about a comic-book artist who suddenly discovers that the fantasy superhero world he's been writing about may actually be real. It's very silly and full of dorky jokes, and I got a kick out of it. I wasn't the only one -- Santos won a Special Jury Award for originality and vision at Fantastic Fest.

The above photo is from the Q&A after the film, in which writer-director Nicolas Lopez chatted with Alamo Drafthouse co-founder Karrie League. I don't have any notes from that Q&A, but check out Kevin Kelly's interview with Lopez from SpoutBlog.

Elizabeth Avellan was one of the film's producers -- I believe Troublemaker Studios helped out with some of the special effects. You might remember that Avellan was at the Fantastic Fest awards ceremony and even chugged a beer.

Santos will play Cine Las Americas on Tuesday, April 28 at 7 pm at Alamo Ritz. You can buy tickets or a fest pass from the Cine Las Americas website.

Star Trek: Turning 10 Minutes into 126 and Loving Every Minute

Star Trek 2009

Updated: Alamo has posted photos and video from the event.

Austin is the film geek town, and everyone knows it. Fantastic Fest goes out of its way to put on special screenings throughout the year and giving priority seating to badgeholders, and they completely topped themselves, even when considering the Hellboy II screening last year. This was supposed to be some "never before seen by the public" footage from the new Star Trek film a few hours before the official world premiere in Australia. Fantastic Fest decided to pair it up with the the second film in the franchise, considered to be the best, The Wrath of Khan. With free popcorn and soda. And rumors of shirts and other goodies.

We didn't get 10 minutes. We got 126. With Leonard Nimoy, producer Damon Lindelof, and writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. Hours before the official world premiere in Australia.

Suspicious minds like mine thought something was up when we saw press seats with personalized seating assignments. Then the intro included the writers and the producer. When The Wrath of Khan started and it was a really bad picture, which quickly burned out, we all knew. The switch was on.

The 'Office Space' Anniversary at the Paramount

On Sunday night, SXSW and Fantastic Fest teamed up to host a 10th anniversary screening and cast reunion at the Paramount for Office Space, which Mike Judge filmed in Austin (okay, and a couple of scenes in Dallas) in 1999. The Paramount was completely sold out, which means that we saw Office Space with 1,200 people. That's an experience I highly recommend.

I wrote about the event for Cinematical, but I thought I'd include more photos here. The above photo is a shot of the red carpet ... yes, that's a "Jump to Conclusions" mat, just like the one in the movie.

The evening started with a red carpet, and writer/director Mike Judge showed up first with his daughters. The young women looked very happy to be the center of photographic attention:

Fantastic Fest Flashback: 'Role Models' and 'Repo' Guests

David Wain and Paul Rudd at Fantastic Fest

Two movies opening in theaters today played at Fantastic Fest earlier this year, so it seems like a good time to share some photos from those events. (Yay, I have an excuse to post the photos late without looking like I procrastinated! Ahem.) Plus, some of us will use any excuse to post pictures of Paul Rudd. I am not ashamed to admit that.

Role Models was one of the "super-secret screenings" at Fantastic Fest, playing at midnight near the end of the fest. The movie stayed a secret for awhile because for whatever reason, a lot of people thought the screening would be My Name is Bruce with you-know-who in attendance. Something on Bruce Campbell's website sounded like a hint. But then the website changed, people In The Know hinted other things, and someone whispered the title to me about ten minutes beforehand. Even then, I didn't believe them until we were in the theater and the title was announced. Someday I should keep track of every rumor about secret screenings during Fantastic Fest, the wilder guesses are hilarious.

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