The Austin Chronicle

Short Cuts

By Marjorie Baumgarten, October 22, 1999, Screens

With the changing of the seasons this year also comes a changing of the guard -- a pair of them, actually -- within the Austin film community. The first is the abrupt resignation of longtime SXSW Film Festival director Nancy Schafer, who has announced that after six years overseeing the annual event, she's moving on to bigger and, presumably, better things in Indie-Film Central (aka New York City). During her tenure as director, Schafer managed to turn what could have been a disastrous idea ("Hey, what if we had films, too?!") for an already crowded international music festival/conference into one of the best-known film fests in the country, if not the world. We wish her luck. As for the second turnover of late, Regal Cinemas has announced that they will be relocating Charly Raines, manager of that chain's Village Cinema 4, over to their newer Lake Creek Festival Theater, which, frankly, makes us wonder about the future of the Village. Along with the Dobie Theatre (which has also undergone a major transformation in the past year, moving from under the aegis of independent owner Scott Dinger to part of the Landmark Theaters arthouse chain), the Village under Raines' guidance has been at the forefront of Austin's indie and arthouse programming for as long as we can remember. Thankfully, Regal's plans for the Village, according to Raines, are to keep it running as an arthouse for the foreseeable future. Asked whether this means the Lake Creek will also begin programming less mainstream fare under his stewardship, Raines admitted that he didn't know for sure, but that he has a few irons in the proverbial fire... Loss of another kind is threatening to hit indie and experimental filmmakers right in their sprockets, specifically those with 16mm aspirations: a recent dispatch from the Film Alliance of Austin includes an alarming notice that Kodak is on the verge of phasing out two of their film stocks beloved to non-mainstream filmmakers, Kodak 7272, for optical and blow-up printing, and Kodak 7378, a b&w high-contrast stock normally used in creating optical soundtracks. The notice goes on to explain that Kodak's suggested ether-based replacement stocks are "not a viable alternative," either, thanks to contrast and grain increases in printed shots. If you're interested in voicing opposition to Kodak's plans, send an e-mail of support to Chris Gehman, Programme Assistant, Cinetheque Ontario, at along with your name address, and occupation. E-mails will then be presented to Kodak personnel at an upcoming meeting... The Cinemaker Co-op has announced a call for entries in their upcoming "Tiny Prophesies" Super-8 festival. It's a 4x4 fest, which means each submitted film must be no longer than four minutes and include no more than four cuts. As always, equipment is available for rental from the co-op. The deadline is Nov. 19. For official rules and whatnot, call 236-8877 or e-mail On a similar note, the Sweet Sixteen Film Festival has extended their deadline to Nov. 16. General info on the fest and rules thereof are available by calling 314-9133 or e-mailing Finally, a reminder that all real (reel?) men (and women) should heed the call of blood-and-guts filmmaking and plan to take in the Austin Film Society and The Show With No Name's Sam Peckinpah Film Festival which begins today (Thu., Oct. 21) with Ride the High Country and runs through Dec. 16. Eight films, 10,000 bullets, and one dead head. Now that's entertainment!

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