On Labor Day, the Austin Film Society announced the names of the grant recipients of this year's Texas Filmmakers' Production Fund. In only its second year of existence, the TFPF awarded $50,000 to 21 makers of film and video, up from last year's inaugural figure of $30,000. The grants are funded through a combination of private and corporate donations, and revenue from benefit film premieres.
The four judging panelists this year included filmmakers Judith Helfand (A Healthy Baby Girl), George Huang (Swimming With Sharks), Jim McKay (Girlstown), and producers' representative and author John Pierson (Split Screen; Spike, Mike, Slackers & Dykes). The panelists awarded a little less than half of the total $50,000 to narrative shorts and features, while the other portion of the grant money will fund documentary or experimental films. The names of the grant recipients and their projects follow.
TFPF award winners include Lauren Ivy Chiong, for Holy Tortilla, a 28-minute 16mm comedy ($4,000); Andrew B. Cockrum, for Prague, a 70-minute mixed media fantasy-adventure ($1,000); Bill Daniel, for Who is Bozo Texino?, a 45-minute experimental documentary ($1,200); Kris DeForest, for High Noon at Tee Time, a 15-minute Super-8 comedy ($1,000); Christine Felton, for Location, Location, Location, a 90-minute video documentary ($5,000); Kim Flores, for Maid! Madonna! Whore!, a 5-minute 16mm comedy ($2,000); and Julia Halperin, for Texas Pawn, a 12-minute 16mm drama ($2,000).
Others among the list are Kyle Henry, for American Cowboy, a 56-minute 16mm documentary ($5,000); Don Howard, for Nuclear Family, a 90-minute video documentary ($5,000); Karen Kocher, for Springs Symphony, a 12-minute video installation ($2,800); Greg Pak, for Mouse, a 10-minute 16mm drama ($2.010.92); Bryan Poyser, for Hollow, a 30-minute 16mm drama ($2,000); Susan Prevost, for KOOP: A Community of Vision, a 60-minute video documentary ($1,000); and Mark Sawyer, for My First Job, a 30-minute experimental 16mm comedy ($3,000).
Further recipients include Elisabeth Sikes, for Weekend With Larry, a 20-minute video documentary ($2,500); Joseph Strickland, for Searching for Tony Joe, a 70-minute video documentary ($2,500); Laura Tabor-Huerta, for DFW Punk, a 58-minute video documentary ($1,500); Rachel Tsangari, for The Slow Business of Going, a 90-minute 16mm narrative ($2,000); Jamarl Tyler, for Divide and Conquer, a 25-minute 16mm drama ($2,500); Michael Woolf and Cressandra Thibodeaux, for The Donegal Beard Growing Contest, a 60-minute video documentary ($1,000); and David & Nathan Zellner, for Plastic Utopia, an 88-minute 16mm comedy ($1,000). Bob Ray received a non-cash award (with small honorarium), a programming slot on John Pierson's Independent Film Channel show Split Screen.
The TFPF is administered by Austin Film Society managing director Elizabeth Peters, with the volunteer assistance of Uyen Tran, Greg Gilpatrick, and Keryn Aikman. Next year's applications will be available in April. Watch for opportunities to participate in fundraising events throughout the year. -- Claiborne K.H. Smith