The Austin Chronicle

Short Cuts

By Marc Savlov, April 4, 2003, Screens

The League of Extraordinary Films Dept.: In a move guaranteed to turn film geeks outside of Austin positively emerald with envy, Harry Knowles of and Alamo Drafthouse owner Tim League have joined forces to present an ongoing series of major film premieres and special screenings with an eye toward benefiting local charities and other worthy organizations. In the wake of the success of the Alamo's recent special screenings of Willard and The Hunted (which netted $2,405 for the Cinemaker Co-op and $1,378 for the Center for Young Cinema, respectively), Knowles and League realized that they could make such star-studded events a monthly (if not weekly) thing at the Alamo, since Knowles' Hollywood contacts allow him immeasurable access to filmmakers eager to screen their newest work in film-mad Austin. "As soon as a filmmaker, producer, actor, whomever, contacts me about anything having to do with the site," explains Knowles, "I instantly pitch them an idea about doing something locally. Because of my relationship with Tim, we can show films either at the Drafthouse or on the big outdoor screen as part of the Rolling Roadshow. And given the state of the economy these days, I know that a lot of local charity groups are coming up short. So something along these lines that isn't going to break either of our backs is just going to bring something cool to Austin, which is why we all live here in the first place." Amen to that. Next up is a sneak of Ed Solomon's Levity, starring Billy Bob Thornton, Holly Hunter, Morgan Freeman, and Kirsten Dunst, at the Alamo on Sunday, with Solomon in attendance; proceeds will benefit women's shelter SafePlace. Upcoming screenings currently in the planning stages include Disney/Pixar's animated Finding Nemo, the Harvey Pekar biopic American Splendor, and possibly the Ronny Yu-directed Freddy Vs. Jason (benefiting, what, the Center for Young Psychopaths?). More on these blessed events as they arise... Shameless Plug Dept.: Flicker Austin head Cory Ryan has finally assembled a nifty compilation of highlights from that minifilm fest's past couple of years. The Best of Flicker Austin, Vol. 1 showcases 14 Super-8 and 16mm micromasterpieces that range across the entire stylistic spectrum and encompass virtually every aspect of Austin's thriving small-gauge filmmaking community. Tapes are available at Flicker screenings for $15 or $18 from Flicker Tapes, 7907 Doncaster, Austin, TX 78745 (make checks out to Cory Ryan). Check out for more info or send e-mail to Congratulations to local musician-filmmaker-hyphenate Dutch Rall whose "Just in Case" video took first place in the music category of the World's Smallest Film Festival in New Orleans last week. FYI, the WSFF "showcases a variety of digital film content specifically designed for presentation on next-generation wireless phones." Ahhh ... now we get it.

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