Short Cuts

Busted legs galore and more on the Texas Production Filmmakers' Fund panelists.

Cavalcade of Agony Dept.: Chalk it up to directors attempting to have a life, I guess. Austin auteurs Mike Judge and Richard Linklater both suffered debilitating leg injuries recently, though at this stage Linklater is in a far better position (sitting, comfortably) than Judge (lying, uncomfortably, post-surgery). Here's what happened: According to Austin Film Society head Rebecca Campbell, Linklater injured his leg during a July 4 softball game, only to find out the next day -- as the injured ankle began to turn all sorts of interesting colors not normally associated with good health -- that he had, in fact, fractured it, necessitating a cast (which he's already out of) and orders to laze around for a while. Rumors that he was rushing to catch a pop fly to centerfield with the bases loaded at the bottom of the ninth with pro scouts in the stands remain unconfirmed at press time. That injury was slight compared to the accident that befell Judge while surfing off the California coast last week. According to the director's assistant, Jessica Jarrett, "he was surfing and when he came off the wave he thought he was in deeper water than he actually was and came down hard," breaking the ankle seriously enough to require surgery to install a metal plate in the broken limb. As if that wasn't bad enough, Judge was alone when the accident occurred and had to walk all the way back to his car before getting medical attention. Judge had a second cast put on this past Friday and is doing well, though the injury is, of course, a painful one. The Chronicle sends its sympathies to both directors and breathes a sigh of relief that neither was eaten by a shark… It's Texas Filmmaker's Production Fund time again and the Austin Film Society's Artist Services head honcha Elisabeth Sikes reports that they've received a total of 152 applications thus far. For those out of the loop, the TFPF provides annual cash grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 (and totaling $50,000) to Texas-based filmmakers deemed worthy by a panel of judges, which this year include directors David Gordon Green (George Washington), Jehane Noujaim, (Startup.com), Bennett Miller (The Cruise), and animator Joanna Priestley. The panelists will have a screening of their works during mid-August; more on that as the date draws near. If you're a filmmaker who has yet to discover the exceedingly beneficial TFPF, check out their Web site at www.austinfilm.orgAlchemy Works' popular Movie Midwifing: A Series of New Screenplay Readings and Short Films program is set to begin its 2001 season on Tuesday evenings beginning Sept. 4 at the Hideout theatre and coffeehouse (617 Congress Ave.). The series offers screenwriters and short-filmmakers a chance to read/screen their works in progress before a receptive audience, with finalists later selected for a statewide contest. Winning screenplays are then "cast with professional actors and presented to the public as unstaged readings." Screenings will begin at 7:15pm, with readings following at 7:30. Admission is $6. For more information contact Lorie Marsh at 443-8229 or e-mail info@moviemidwifing.com… San Antonio's popular film education group CineSA is holding their Third Annual Film Focus this Saturday, July 28, at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in -- where else? -- San Antonio. The daylong event will feature panels and workshops on such topics as "How to Produce a Movie Without the Headaches" and speakers such as Alex Winter (Bill of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure fame) and Texan Henry Thomas, who have recently completed the feature Fever together. Registration is available by calling 210/733-7170 or check out their Web site at www.cinesa.org/filmfocus2001/htm

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Mike Judge, Richard Linklater, Texas Filmmakers' Production Fund, Movie Midwifing, Alex Winter, CineSA, Elisabeth Sikes, Henry Thomas, David Gordon Green, Joanna Priestley, Bennett Miller, Jehane Noujaim

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