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Film News

By Joe O'Connell, March 10, 2006, Screens


'Room' with viewers

Kyle Henry's Room is coming to a theatre near you in a limited Texas release in April. Then it heads to both the Sundance Channel, in a pay-TV deal, and Netflix for DVD distribution. No surprise for a flick that rated showings at both the Sundance and Cannes festivals and garnered nominations for the John Cassavetes Award and best lead actress (Cyndi Williams) at the Independent Spirit Awards last weekend, at which Henry showed his hometown pride by sporting a T-shirt reading AUSTIN.


'Letters' Subjects Denied Visa Stamp

The Mexican women interviewed in Heather Courtney's documentary Letters From the Other Side (see p.52) won't be there when the film screens at South by Southwest (following good buzz at Slamdance). They were denied visas despite assurances from Courtney that she would pay for their travel and expenses and assistance from Rep. Lloyd Doggett's office. At press time, the U.S. Consulate in Mexico City had not responded to her requests for an official reason, but she believes it's because they're poor. "If you are a Mexican," she says, "to get a visitors' or any other kind of visa to the U.S., you have to have a lot of money, plain and simple."


Pierson's Kingmakers

Call it the Midas touch. Legendary indie producer and rep. John Pierson's advanced producing class at the University of Texas championed Cavite at last year's SXSW, and filmmakers Ian Gamazon and Neill Dela Llana claimed the Someone to Watch Award and $25,000 grant at the Independent Spirit Awards (and would thank Pierson and producer wife, Janet, in their acceptance speech). The next lucky recipients of the Pierson-class treatment is Jam, a documentary by music-video director Mark Woollen about a group of quirky former stars of roller derby during its heyday in the Sixties and Seventies. It premieres as part of this year's SXSW Competition program.


Biting Cinema

Homicidal toddlers and a woman with a set of choppers, uh, down in her nether regions highlight two indies looking to shoot in Austin soon. Teeth is a horror flick about a teen who is raped then discovers she suffers from the mythical vagina dentate and sets out to get revenge. Meanwhile, in the comedy Kabluey, a guy whose day job involves wearing a blue costume faces the wrath of his sister-in-law's children when he comes to help take care of them while their dad is stationed in Iraq.


And the Rest ...

The soap opera behind computer animation pro Bob Sabiston's departure from Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly is the subject of a Wired article you can read at www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.03/scanner.html. At the recent ComicCon, Linklater loyalists pointed out the article contains no direct quotations from anyone involved in the film... Ain't It Cool News' Harry Knowles lets slip the actor slated to play the fictional Harry Knowles in Fan Boys, a comedy from the Weinstein Co. about Star Wars fans intent on having their dying friend watch the classic at Skywalker Ranch: It's Jorge Garcia of TV's Lost.

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