"...The Austin Film Festival has just announced its first wave of films for its 2014 gathering, with new movies starring Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, James Franco, and (calm yourselves) Benedict Cumberbatch. Plus, Austin's most famous director finds himself on the other side of the lens for once...."
"...AFF 2014’s just-announced slate includes films with some of the season’s buzziest performances so far, including Wild, which stars Reese Witherspoon in an adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s bestselling memoir, Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and writer/director Andrea Di Stefano’s debut feature Escobar: Paradise Lost, starring Benicio del Toro...."
"...The two films are testaments to the old Austins that persevere within our modern-day boomtown metropolis. Both are warm-hearted documents of a certain local brand of nostalgia, circa 2014..."
"...During the creation of the film, Shapter was diagnosed with cancer and was forced to take a break while he underwent treatment (see “Pause/Play,” Oct. 10, 2014, for more on that)..."
"...Stories of similar complexity came – not coincidentally – from a series of UT-based filmmakers: Rachel Bardin, who shot her ambitious biographical doc “Lavoyger” in gorgeous black-and-white; Joel Fendelman, whose character study “Game Night” observes a ruminant night in the life of a failed athlete; and Lizette Barrera, who with writer Renier Murrillo portrays a near-incestuous family’s confrontation in “Mosca.” These Texas-set projects challenged the pejorative use of the term “student film” with their undeniable visual accomplishments and their unifying sense of profound social concerns. Between “Lavoyger” and “Game Night,” we received the two most excoriating commentaries on social stratification to screen in Austin since Juan Pablo Gonzalez’s brilliant 2014 short “The Solitude of Memory.”..."
"...29, 5pm, Stateside Mon., Oct. 30, 7pm, Alamo Village Pat Mills' follow-up to 2014 festival favorite Guidance is another whip-smart look at outcasts, in this case, high school recluse Irene, who wants desperately to join the cheerleading squad...."
"...Even a few thousand can be a big leg up for a small production. Previous grant recipients include Keith Maitland for his documentary Tower, Steve Mims' Starving the Beast, Clay Liford for modern sex comedy Slash (all of which played at SXSW this year), Andrew Bujalski's Results (which played at SXSW in 2014), Carleton Ranney's Other Worlds Austin title Jackrabbit, Austin Film Festival fave Booger Red – and that's just a tiny slice of the class of 2014...."
"...Muller brought the long-running Noir City Film Festival to Austin for its inaugural Texas crime spree last year (see "Dark Times in Austin With Noir City," Feb. 16, 2014)..."
"...Their new feature – which has its world premiere April 1 at the Dallas International Film Festival – was directed and co-written by Elrod, co-written and shot by Smith, and stars a who's who of local character actors, including John Merriman, Byron Brown, and real-life couple Macon Blair and Lee Eddy. For Elrod, who has had several shorts premiere at SXSW, including "Molly" (2014) and the 2010 Jury Award winner "Petting Sharks," the journey to Mustang Island's completion has been an odyssey: "This thing has been going for the longest time."..."