Film News

Look no further than this alt-weekly's SXSW coverage for proof that Austin is the film capital of Texas, but don't forget some of the stuff going on 'Between the Scenes'

• Look no further than this alternative weekly's South by Southwest coverage and the festival insert for proof that Austin is the film capital of Texas. Locally made features abound, including opening night's The Wendell Baker Story, as well as Drop Dead Sexy. Then there's University of Texas film prof Ellen Spiro's intriguing doc Troop 1500, Dwight Adair's Bob Wills doc "Faded Love," and the long-awaited Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt from Margaret Brown. But visitors to our fair city should also take note of current projects that have Austin Studios, the nonprofit facility of the Austin Film Society, full to overflowing: Truman Capote biopic Every Word Is True, starring Sandra Bullock as Capote pal Harper Lee, is in full swing there, and is about to be joined by Revolver, a thriller starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. And don't forget Roller Girls, the A&E reality show following the badass ladies of the Lonestar Rollergirls. Hmm ... all this and not a single mention of Austin auteurs Richard Linklater or Robert Rodriguez? Of course, you might want to check out the final poster for Rodriguez's much anticipated Sin City at The film opens April 1, but, you know, we wouldn't be surprised if somebody around town might be showing it before then. No kidding.

Oil's Well for TV: Austin screenwriter Mike Murphy sold Chameleon Entertainment on a reality TV show concept in November during the Screenwriting Expo in Hollywood, and Chameleon looks poised to sell Gusher, which is being described as The Apprentice for the red states. Murphy, who grew up in Refugio and has worked both in the oil business and on the rodeo circuit, conceived of the show in which teams work toward drilling for black gold, Texas tea, oil, that is. "I've been on drilling rigs and know how exciting it is," he says. "I just thought it would make a great show."

Demon Loving: Warner Bros. has optioned Georgetown author Julie Kenner's upcoming novel Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom for Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan's 1492 Pictures, the same folks who brought us the Harry Potter films. Kevin and Dan Hageman, newcomers who are also penning Steven Spielberg's pet project Charlie Dills, have been brought on to write the screenplay. The book, to be released in July by Berkeley, is about a former demon-hunter turned professional mom who is forced back into her old biz. Kenner, an attorney who turned to full-time writing, was Julie Beck when she attended Austin's LBJ High.

TV on Film; Film on TV: Look for Between the Scenes on Time Warner Channel 16 at 8:30pm this Sunday and every Sunday in the near future. The show looks at area film productions and filmmakers, including Kat Candler (Cicadas), Bryan Poyser and Jake Vaughan (Dear Pillow), and the Mr. Sinus gang of toughs. Show producers Justin Johnson and Erik Mauck are also negotiating for a spot on the Austin Music Network. Are these the guys to fill the shoes of the late, great Show With No Name? Only time will tell.

And the Rest: TLC is scouting Austin-area small towns for the reality show Town Haul, in which an entire community gets a makeover. Buda and Coupland are on the list... Houston filmmaker Joe Grisaffi's independent film Laughing Boy is now available on Netflix. The film was named most original feature at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival in 2000.

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South by Southwest Film 05, Mike Murphy, Julie Kenner, Joe Grisaffi, Between the Scenes

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