Short Cuts

A new Vietnam Film Series, a Cine Las Americas call for entries, aGLIFF's "Secret Cinema," and a fond farewell to AFS film programmer Salvatore Botti.

All's Fair in Love & War Dept.: Veterans Day may have come and gone already, but fans of the cinema of destruction (i.e. war films) that weren't satiated by last weekend's round-the-clock valor-fests on everything from CNN to AMC will want to check out the excellent Vietnam Film Series, which debuts next Tuesday, Nov. 19, 7pm, at the LBJ Library and Museum's Bass Lecture Hall on the University of Texas campus. On hand for the event will be writers/directors/ producers William Broyles Jr. and John Sacret Young, co-creators of the Emmy-award-winning television series China Beach. Broyles and Young will present a discussion of the origins of the groundbreaking show and the making of the 1988 pilot episode, which will then be screened. Admission is free and open to the public. Call 916-5137 for more info... Another week, another call for entries: Cine Las Americas Sixth Annual Festival of the Americas -- showcasing films by or about Latinos and other native groups of the Americas -- is coming up this spring, and wouldn't you know it, they're looking for feature and short films "of all forms": narrative, documentary, experimental, animated, etc. (Our fave, the telenovela, isn't specifically listed, but we figure those are eligible, too.) Early deadline is Friday, Jan. 31, 2003; late deadline is Saturday, Feb. 15, 2003. Submission fee is $20 (late submission fee is $40), and films must be submitted on standard NTSC tape. Complete submission guidelines (including info on their young filmmakers program) and forms can be found online at, or by e-mailing Scott Dinger and the gang over at the Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival have come up with a new twist on an old standby. They're holding a "Secret Cinema" screening this Saturday, Nov. 16, 6:30pm, at the home of Erin and Eve McArthur ("sumptuous landscaping" and "sizzling treats from the grill" included!), but -- ha! -- they're not telling you what you're going to be watching if you show up. Yes, we're curious how this is going to work, too, but knowing the aGLIFF crew, who promise "a crowd pleaser," it'll be top-drawer regardless. Admission is $15 advance/$20 at the door. Bring your blankets or chairs, unless chlorophyll goes well with your trousers... Finally, and on a considerably more serious note, the Austin Film Society has announced that their beloved film programmer Salvatore Botti will be leaving at the beginning of December to pursue other creative avenues (and to be closer to family) in New York. Over the past four years, Botti has been responsible for putting together some of the AFS' most stimulating programming coups, including the (ongoing) Texas Documentary Tour and the immensely popular Free Film Series. More to the point, Botti has been the man who doubtless introduced (or reacquainted) a sizable segment of Austin's filmgoing public to everyone from Pier Paolo Pasolini to Rainer Werner Fassbinder via the AFS' varied and always fascinating film series. AFS Director Rebecca Campbell summed up the prospect of a post-Botti Film Society with an eloquent "I'm still in denial." So long, Sal, and thanks for all the films.

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Salvatore Botti, Austin Film Society, Vietnam Film Series, William Broyles Jr., John Sacret Young, China Beach, Cine Las Americas Sixth Annual Festival of the Americas, Scott Dinger, Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival, Erin McArthur, Eve McArthur

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