Short Cuts

SXSW comes up fast on the outside, and the ascent of one Keun-Pyo Park

We're No. 6, So We Try Harder: Film Threat's Chris Gore has unleashed the third edition of his popular Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide, which ranks South by Southwest the sixth best film fest in the world, bookended by Berlin (No. 5) and Telluride (No. 7). In addition, SXSW nabbed the No. 2 spot for American independents. Speaking of SXSW, which, by the way, will run March 11-19, 2005, some of the most popular short films every year are the official SXSW promo trailers that precede every screening. This year's should be no different, especially since the fest has given the honors to Mr. Show's Emmy-winning Bob Odenkirk.

"There Is No 'Try,' There Is Only 'Do'": University of Texas Radio-Television-Film grad student Keun-Pyo Park has won the Kodak Student Filmmaker grand prize (and a check for $2,500 from Eastman Kodak) for his Super 16mm short film "Wake." Park and his film are next headed to Cannes this spring to participate in the Kodak Emerging Filmmaker Showcase. Park's win is the second in two years for UT, after last year's win by John Fiege for his film "Bebe."

Palm Pictures Picks Up Van Zandt Doc: Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt has been acquired by Palm Pictures in the wake of its successful screening at the Toronto Film Festival two weeks ago. The doc, by Margaret Brown, traces the life and times of countrified folk singer-songwriter Van Zandt, who died in 1997, and features interviews from friends and fans Willie Nelson, Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley, Lyle Lovett, Steve Earle, and Guy Clarke, among others. Palm plans to release the film to theatres in the summer of 2005.

Women and Their Work Gallery's (1710 Lavaca St.) upcoming series of screenings and lectures by educator/consultant Dr. Sabrina Barton, titled Transformations: Female Identity Through the Lens of Hollywood Movies, pairs Dr. Barton's lectures and commentary with film clips from the likes of Thelma & Louise, Pretty Woman, and Thirteen, among others. The series kicks off Thursday, Oct. 14, 7-8:30pm, with "Cinderalla Stories: From Rags to Riches," at the gallery. The series continues discussing both gender and film techniques on Thursdays through Nov. 4 and beyond. The cost is $20/entire series, $7/individual sessions. More info at

Arbor Notes: The Regal's Arbor Theatre at Great Hills (9828 Great Hills Trail) is hosting another one of their "Arbor Reel Talks," in which local film scholars and like-minded academes drop in to discuss a current film – this time out it's John Brown, professor of Argentine history at the Univesity of Texas, who will be speaking on the Ernesto "Che" Guevara film/travelogue The Motorcycle Diaries, directed by Walter Salles and starring Gael García Bernal. Admission for the Wednesday, Oct. 13, event is $5.75. Call 231-0427 for more info. The Arbor is also playing up David O. Russell's new "existential comedy" I Heart Huckabees, with a Huckabees poetry contest, free tree saplings, and more. The madness commences this Friday, Oct. 8, and continues through Saturday, Oct. 9.

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Marc Savlov, Sept. 17, 2004

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Invest in the fests!

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