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In Development

From Cinemaker to the Austin School of Film

Fri., Dec. 8, 2006

In Development

1996: Cinemaker Co-op founded by Kris DeForest and Barna Kantor as a way to promote the small-gauge filmmaking community.

First housed in the ArtPlex, 1705 Guadalupe. Screenings held at the Ritz Lounge, Sixth Street.

Early luminaries include Luke Savisky, Gonzo Gonzales, Deb Lewis, Jen Proctor, Shannon Owens, Bill Daniel, Lee Daniel, Bob Ray.

Elizabeth Peters of AFS says, "It's kind of like the karaoke of independent film."


1997: Association with Cinematexas, SXSW begins.

December screening, Attack of the 50-Foot Reel.


In Development

1998: July screening the Texas Super 8 Massacre, comprising 19 films with live score by Golden Arm Trio. Held at Blondie's Skate Shop.

August screening, Exquisite Corpse, modeled on the poetry-writing exercise.


1999: Cinemaker membership +/- 200.

Kantor's punk rock tweener protégés Rusty Kelley and Duncan Knappen win the Creative Excellence Award at the National Children's Film Festival for the Cinemaker-produced short "Toy Car." HBO Family's 30 by 30 interviews the pair. "Toy Car" also takes first prize, elementary category, at the Austin Children's Museum's Youth Film Festival.

Barna Kantor founds the Center for Young Cinema. The school provides low-gauge film and video production classes, educational resources, and exhibition opportunities for students younger than 18.


2000: CYC's first Loud and Clear Film Festival for Children held.

Cinemaker Co-op's 8 the Hard Way minifestival held.

In Development


2001: Anne Goetzmann Kelley, Debra Dennett officially come onboard at CYC.

Rusty Kelley and Duncan Knappen's CYC/Cinemaker-produced short "French Restaurant" airs on HBO Family's 30 by 30. Of the hoopla, Rusty says, "My teachers are like, 'This is going to mess up finals.'"

Second annual D. Montgomery Award presented to Cinemaker Co-op at Slacker 10-year reunion, Paramount Theatre.


2002: Austin Cinemaker Co-op Southwest U.S. Tour (January-August 2002).


2003: Motion Media Arts Center, "Dedicated to the students' vision without pretense or censor," forms in May at the 501 Block, Fifth and I-35, combining Cinemaker Co-op and the Center for Young Cinema. Kantor exits. Austin Museum of Art's Erica Shamaly enters as executive director. Anne Goetzmann Kelley is education director; Tim Wojcik is curriculum and technology director.

Kantor declares, "Narrative is dead!" World untroubled. Kantor attempts to form Texas Institute for Media Education, thinks better of it, exits to pursue graduate degree, later marries longtime filmmaking partner Mireille Fornengo.

Cinemaker Co-op provides Kickoff Trailers for SXSW Film Festival.


2006: Austin School of Film & Media Arts Center forms, incorporating Cinemaker, CYC, under corporate MMAC umbrella.

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