New Grant at Other Worlds Austin

Dan O'Bannon award to help Texas filmmakers

New Grant at Other Worlds Austin

Indie filmmaking is a tough realm, with even a few hundred or thousand dollars making all the difference. Yesterday, the Austin Film Society announced who will be selecting winners of the AFS Filmmaker Grants: Now Other Worlds Austin is launching its own production grant, honoring one of sci-fi and horror's masters.

The Dan O'Bannon Filmmaker Award honors a genre icon. O'Bannon may not be as famous as, say, John Carpenter or Ridley Scott, but as the writer of Carpenter's cult debut Dark Star and of Scott's revolutionary Alien, plus credits for Lifeforce, Total Recall, and Blue Thunder, plus directing The Return of the Living Dead, his fingerprints are all over Eighties science fiction and horror. OWA founder and artistic director Bears Fonté said, “We can think of no better artist that better exemplifies the drive and singular determination it takes to make a sci-fi film, and that’s what this award is for, to help someone with that drive."

The $1,500 grant, co-sponsored by the O'Bannon Company, will go to a Texas filmmaker for production or post-production on a short science-fiction film. The jury panel consists of aGLIFF program director Jim Brunzell, Cine Las Americas director Jean Anne Lauer, SFX artist Meredith Johns, Zero Charisma director Andrew Matthews, Computer Chess star Tishuan Scott, AMFM editor/publisher Christine Thompson, and Ain't It Cool News' Mike Saulters.

Application details are online at All applications must be submitted by Sept. 30.

It's actually the festival's second financial boost for filmmakers, after the organizers established the Mary Shelley Award for women filmmakers last year (the winner of which, Embers, just arrived on VOD this week: Read our review here).

O'Bannon's widow Diane said her husband would have appreciated being in the company of the revolutionary SF pioneer. “I will never forget Dan and I seeing her screen credit as ‘Mrs. Percy B. Shelley’ while watching the old Frankenstein film! I'm glad, as Dan would be, that you are getting it right about writers, and I'm certain he would be thrilled to be included in your festival.”

Badges are already on sale for Other Worlds Austin 2016 (running Dec. 1-4 at Flix Brewhouse, 2200 S. I-35, Round Rock), with prices starting as low as $45. More info and tickets at

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