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Austin Film Society Announces 2013 Grants

$116,000 awarded to Texas filmmakers

By Richard Whittaker, 12:35PM, Wed. Aug. 28, 2013

Flying high with Vultures of Tibet, one of the AFS 2013 grant recipients
Flying high with Vultures of Tibet, one of the AFS 2013 grant recipients

Hellions, environmentalists and vintage computer programmers all make the list of movies to receive a helping financial hand from the Austin Film Society, as the local non-profit announced this year's list of AFS Grant and Travel Grant recipients.

Originally launched in 1996 as the Texas Filmmakers’ Production Fund, in total the society's program has given over $1.5 million to over 385 film and video projects. This year, panelists Ry Russo-Young (Nodody Walks), Matt Wolf (Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell), and AFI Fest Director Jacqueline Lyanga picked 30 projects by 28 filmmakers to receive $90,000 in production, post-production and distribution funds, $10,000 in travel grants, pus $16,000 worth of goods, services and film stock.

It's particulalry good news for director Todd Rohal (The Catechism Cataclysm). His narrative feature Sweet Cheeks was awarded a total of $20,000, including the winning the Kodak Film Award and splitting the MPS Camera Award with Karen Skloss for The Honor Farm.

Other major recipients include two ecological documentaries: $12,000 to biography Forty Panes: A Portrait of Wendell Berry; and $9,000 for John Fiege's Above All Else portraying the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline in East Texas. On the narrative front, $10,000 goes to Micah Magee's San Antonio-set teen drama Petting Zoo.

The rest of the list includes some names familiar to our readers. Kat Candler receives both a production and a travel grant for her short Hellion and a travel grant for her new award winner Black Metal. Andrew Bujalski gets travel support for Computer Chess (showing in Austin this week), while PJ Raval gets some travel assistance for Before You Know It.

The list also shows how AFS continues to support filmmakers throughout the lifetime of a project: Hellion, Black Metal and Above All Else were recipients of grants in 2012, as was Ash (Nathan Duncan
's short doc exploring the abandoned parts of Austin State Hospital) and Russell O. Bush's examination of cultural tensions over the Asian practice of sky burials, Vultures of Tibet.
 Same goes with Computer Chess and Ben Powell's Barge, both of which were on the 2011 list.

Congrats to all the lucky filmmakers. Here's the titles of all the winning projects:

2013 AFS Grant Recipients

Above All Else
D: John Fiege (Documentary) $9,000 for Production

Barge
D: Ben Powell (documentary) $4,000 for Post-Production

Forty Panes: A Portrait of Wendell Berry
D: Laura Dunn (Documentary) $12,000 for Production

Hellion
D: Kat Chandler (narrative feature) $5,700 for Post-Production

Higher Ground
D: Mary Magsamen and Stephan Hillerbrand (Experimental Short) $3,000 for Production

The Honor Farm
D: Karen Skloss (Narrative Feature) $6,000 for Production; $4,000 MPS Camera Austin Award

King Bling
D: Lauren Kinsler (Narrative Short) $700 for Post-Production

Part-Time Jobs
D: Zellner Bros. (Narrative/Experimental Short) $4,100 for Production

Petting Zoo
D: Micah Magee (Narrative Feature) $10,000 for Post-Production

Pit Stop
D: Yen Tan (Narrative Feature) $3,000 for Distribution

Rehearsal
D: Thomas Rosenberg (Documentary/Experimental Short) $1,500 for Post-Production

Seeker
D: Michel Scott (Documentary Feature) $5,500 for Post-Production

The Sensitives
D: Drew Xanthopoulos (documentary feature) $1,500 for Production

Some Beasts
D: Cameron Nelson (Narrative Feature) $5,000 for Post-Production

Star Nation
D: Justin Agnew (Documentary) $6,000 for Production

Sweet Cheeks
D: Todd Rohal (Narrative Feature) $8,000 for Production; $6,000 MPS Camera Austin Award; $6,000 Kodak Film Award

Untitled
D: Jeffrey Peixoto (Documentary Feature) $2,000 for Production

Untitled Freakshow Animation
D: Nidhi Reddy (Animated Short) $3,000 for Production

2013 AFS Travel Grant Recipients

Ash
D: Nathan Duncan. $500 for travel to the Full Frame Film Festival

Before You Know It
D: PJ Raval. $500 for travel to Independent Film Week Project Forum $1,000 travel to Edinburgh International Film Festival

Black Metal
D: Kat Candler. $500 for travel to Sundance Film Festival

Bloom
D: Scott Stark. $500 for travel to the San Francisco International Film Festival

Computer Chess
D: Andrew Bujalski. $500 for travel to the Sundance Film Festival; $1,000 for travel to the Berlinale (Berlin Film Festival)

Cutlet
D: Clay Liford. $500 for travel to Independent Film Week Project Forum

Eu, Selaron
D: Annie Silverstein. $1,000 for travel to the Berlin Talent Campus

Hearts of Napalm
D: Andrew Irvine. $500 for travel to the Slamdance Film Festival

Hellion
D: Kat Candler. $500 for travel to Independent Film Week Project Forum

Pit Stop
D: Yen Tan. $500 for travel to the Sundance Film Festival

Spark
D: Annie Silverstein. $500 for travel to the Slamdance Film Festival

Vultures of Tibet
D: Russell Bush. $500 for travel to AFI Docs; $1,000 for travel to Edinburgh International Film Festival

Where Soldiers Come From
D: Heather Courtney. $500 for travel to the Emmy Awards

Wolf
D: Ya’Ke Smith. $500 for travel to the Urban World Film Festival

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