About to Rock: Give a big salute to Bob Ray, who has signed a deal to release Rock Opera on DVD in March via the tag team of Go-Kart Films, Hoverground, and KOCH Entertainment. As if the film itself weren't good enough, extras will include short films "The Adventures of Donald Starkland" and "Night of the Kung Fu Zombie Bastards From Hell!" And that's not all: You can also play the Rock Opera drinking game along with eight cast members, bongs not optional. Ray and his CrashCam Films compadres are also in post production for Hell on Wheels, a documentary about the Texas women who are single-handedly reviving Roller Derby.
Austin Attacks New Mexico: Two Austin short films have been selected for the Santa Fe Film Festival, which runs Dec. 1-5. Deepa Donde's "Echoes From Juniper Canyon" is slated for Dec. 3 and 5, and Rommel Eclarinal's border story "North of Ojinaga" unreels Dec. 4... The third annual Austin Jewish Film Festival is seeking entries for its first ever trailer competition. Winners get four passes to the fest, which runs Jan. 27 to Feb. 6, and will see their no-more-than-90-second masterpieces on the big screen. Details at www.austinjff.org/trailer.html... Three true Texas tales that may or may not film here: Oscar winner Halle Berry has signed to portray a defense attorney in Tulia, about the 1999 arrests of 10% of the town's black population on drug charges. Gov. Rick Perry later pardoned most of the accused... Denzel Washington will soon direct The Great Debaters, about Melvin Tolson, the professor at historically black Wiley College who started a debate team that defeated Harvard for the national championship... TNT has slated 14 Hours, the story of Houston's Memorial Hermann Hospital under siege after flooding from Tropical Storm Allison in 2001. The film stars Rick Schroder and JoBeth Williams but looks doubtful to film in Space City.
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