Short Cuts

The Austin film community appears ready to rumble as the Austin Film Office (under the aegis of the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau) files suit against the Austin Film Commission, whose name and mission statement the AFO thinks is too close for comfort.

What's in a Name? Dept.: After months of quietly simmering in the background of the Austin film community, a legal skirmish pitting the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Austin Film Office (which is funded by the ACVB) against the recently formed Austin Film Commission (headed by River City Tattoo and Exotic Piercing owner Roxanne Wheelis) has boiled over into the courts. The ACVB and Gary Bond, the longtime director of the Austin Film Office, have filed suit against Wheelis to stop her from using the name "Austin Film Commission," which sounds close enough to the state-mandated Texas Film Commission and the Austin Film Office to have raised the hackles of TFC Director Tom Copeland, Austin Film Festival head Barbara Morgan, and various other members of the Austin film community. As of last Tuesday (April 30), Wheelis had not yet been served with any papers and said that it was not something she had anticipated. As for the difference between the similar-sounding commissions, Wheelis said, "The Texas Film Commission's purview is the whole state, and since Austin has so many more films coming to it these days, we just felt like [the city] needed personal attention," adding that, litigation aside, she "can't wait until we can all sit down at the same table and work together." On the advice of attorney Jerry Galow, AFO Director Bond declined to comment, but TFC Director Copeland said that "for us, primarily, we're only going to recognize one film office or film commission per city ... In this particular case, there's only one, and that's the Austin Film Office." Copeland broke it down further: "Film commissions have to be sanctioned and funded and recognized by an individual city and an individual state. And [the Austin Film Commission] is not, so they're not really a film commission and they shouldn't call themselves that." The next move by both sides will likely be in the courts. Stay tuned... This Sunday, May 5, the Hideout Coffeehouse and Theatre (607 Congress) will be kicking off a series of Sunday night independent film screenings, this week featuring a collection of film shorts from local Austin filmmakers. $5 at the door, HID-EOUT gets you more info... The Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival has officially called for entries for its 2nd Annual My Gay Movie Competition. If you've ever walked away from a festival screening thinking "Dude, that was gay," here's your chance to do something about it. aGLIFF is searching for short films (under eight minutes) with a queer sensibility, everything from music vids to animation to digital and beyond. Winning entries will be screened at a gala event in June, as well as being submitted to gay and lesbian film festivals from London to Los Angeles. Entry deadline is May 31, 2002. All and sundry information is available online at Finally, in the Armageddon? Bring It On, Beeyatch! Dept.: Honorary Austinite Guillermo del Toro's long-awaited big-screen adaptation of Mike Mignola's wicked-cool Hellboy comic has been given a green light from Sony/Revolution Studios, with Ron Perlman fingered as the Big Red One and a "pre-end of the world" release date scheduled. Now where's that Madman adapt we keep hearing about, Mr. Rodriguez?

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Austin Film Commission, Austin Film Office, Texas Film Commission, Gary Bond, Tom Copeland, Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, Roxanne Wheelis, River City Tattoo, Mike Mignola, Guillermo del Toro, Hellboy, Ron Perlman, Madman, Hideout Theatre, Austin Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, aGLIFF, My Gay Movie

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