Making Good in Michigan

Ben Steinbauer and Bob Byington nab prizes at the Traverse City Film Festival

Ben Steinbauer in spring of 2009
Ben Steinbauer in spring of 2009 (by John Anderson)

A couple of weeks back, we wrote about two Austin fimmakers, Bob Byington and Ben Steinbauer, who were going up to Michigan to show their films at Michael Moore's annual Traverse City Film Festival. Well, now, all hail the conquering heroes: Both Bob and Ben nabbed prizes at the event, with Bob receiving the Stanley Kubrick Award for Bold and Innovative Filmmaking, Fiction Film, for his films Registered Sex Offender and Harmony and Me, and Ben taking home the Founders Prize for Best Comedy Documentary for Winnebago Man.

Spout's Karina Longworth attended their panel on Comedy, American Style up in Traverse, and she had this to say about it:

"An overarching theme of the panel was that things that you’re not supposed to joke about make the best fodder for jokes. Moore recalled an early writing meeting on his show TV Nation, in which he made a list of a number of taboo subjects — the Holocaust, the death penalty — and set his staff to work turning each into comic theater. A similar impulse underlined Byington’s RSO, which screens here tonight and tomorrow. “I couldn’t believe that no one had ever made a film about a sex offender,” he said. “I thought, if you just followed a guy through all the stuff he had to do after getting out of prison, you couldn’t miss.”

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Bob Byington
'Tuna' Is a Catch on YouTube
'Tuna' Is a Catch on YouTube
Bob Byington's 2000 film stars Louis CK and Nick Offerman

Monica Riese, April 18, 2013

Bob Byington Sees the World, Writes Home About It
Bob Byington Sees the World, Writes Home About It
Harmony and Me's adventures in Australia

Bob Byington, March 8, 2011

More Ben Steinbauer
The Love Connection
The Love Connection
Michael Moore hearts Austin and two of its funniest filmmakers, Bob Byington and Ben Steinbauer

Kimberley Jones, July 24, 2009

The Watchmen
The Watchmen
Three documentaries shine a light on playing to the audience

Kimberley Jones, March 13, 2009

More by Kimberley Jones
The Unsubtle Art of Self-Promotion, Plus Unconventional Holiday Movies
The Unsubtle Art of Self-Promotion, Plus Unconventional Holiday Movies
LISTEN: The Austin Chronicle Show on KOOP Community Radio

Dec. 3, 2021

Hassle-Free Gifts for the Foodie on Your List
Hassle-Free Gifts for the Foodie on Your List
Ship it, sip it, sniff it, stuff it

Dec. 3, 2021


Bob Byington, Ben Steinbauer, Winnebago Man, Harmony and Me, Registered Sex Offender, Traverse City Film Festival

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle