Short Cuts

If it's not one festival, it's another. We're in the season — sort of like being in the zone. As the Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival (aGLIFF) heads into its second week, its strong schedule is continuing to attract great audiences and discussion. Here's a reminder of aGLIFF's info line (476-2454) and Web address (http://www.agliff.org) and an update on the location of Sunday's Filmmakers Brunch. The brunch is now scheduled to take place on Sept. 6, 11am, at Ninfa's on Sixth St...

CinemaTexas, the third annual festival of short films, video, and new media, is scheduled for Sept. 16-20 at the Texas Union, Alamo Drafthouse, and the Ritz Lounge. Some announced highlights include a series of three short films by Hal Hartley, a special screening of Richard Linklater's favorite short films, and national retrospectives from Cuba, Mexico, and Germany. Festival passes good for admittance to all CinemaTexas screenings go on sale Saturday, Sept. 5 at 33 Degrees Records, I Love Video (Guadalupe), Spider House, and at the Alamo Drafthouse during Tuesday's start-up of the Austin Film Society's new Rainer Werner Fassbinder retrospective and during Wednesday's Texas Documentary Tour presentation of Paris Is Burning. Passes cost $20 ($15 students). For more info call 471-6497...

The Austin Heart of Film Screenwriters Conference and Film Festival (AHFF) has extended their registrationdeadline to Sept. 21 for the Oct. 1-8 conference. A featured highlight is the world premiere of Joel and Ethan Coen's re-edited version of their debut film Blood Simple and the staging of their never-held cast and crew party. Other highlights include the U.S. premiere of the hot fall film Pleasantville, starring Jeff Daniels, William H.Macy, Joan Allen, and Reese Witherspoon, and the involvement of such distinguished panelists as Paul Schrader, Whit Stillman, and John Landis. Call 800/310-FEST or see http://www.austinfilmfestival.org for more info...

Here's an interesting film financing event: Casino Night at the Ritz Lounge on Sunday, Sept. 6, beginning at 8pm. The occasion is a fundraising event to benefit the film Counting Cards, a feature-length documentary about the history, mathematics, politics, and culture of card counters — those people who use the mathematical odds when playing 21. Sponsored by The Action House production company, the party will feature live music by Mr. Fabulous and Casino Royale, a five-minute trailer for the film, a recreational blackjack table and dealer, hors d'oeuvres, and more. The cover charge is $10. The film is being produced and directed by longtime Austin film figure David Layton and its film crew includes cinematographer Deb Lewis, filmmaker Stephen Mims, and Meredith C. Boyd. Prior to the festivities, The Action House will host a special seminar at the Ritz, "Winning at Blackjack." Seating is limited; call 796-6679 for reservations to the $50 seminar, which also includes admission to Casino Night...

Bob Ray has finished shooting his feature film, Rock Opera, a tale of a local musician struggling to put together a tour for his band through back-stabbing and pot-dealing, and various other double-crosses. Ray is now soliciting songs for the soundtrack. Interested parties should mail or deliver cassettes, CDs, or vinyl to CrashCam Productions, 906 E. Fifth St. — Suite 106, Austin, TX, 78702 or see http://lonestar.texas.net/~crashcam for more info...

The Film Alliance reminds everyone that it's happy hour time again, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 5:30-8:30pm, at Twist (505Neches). Admission to the networking event is free to members; $5 for non-members.

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Marc Savlov, Sept. 17, 2004

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Invest in the fests!

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Movie, Marge Baumgarten

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