The Austin Chronicle

Film News

By Joe O'Connell, August 11, 2006, Screens

Here's your mystery date

OK, my biggest joy is ferreting out the truth about local film productions and presenting it to you, dear reader. But sometimes the lips of my sources are sealed tighter than an anorexic's at a chili cook-off. This is one of those times. I can tell you there's a casting call Sunday from 9am to 6pm at the Delco Center (4601 Pecan Brook). I can tell you that it's for a high-profile Hollywood family film and that it's totally legit. I can tell you they're looking for a playful boy between ages 8 and 11 and a soulful woman between ages 35 and 45, both of the Caucasian persuasion. I can't tell you the film's name. Could it be The Highwaymen, a film about the Texas Rangers who took down Bonnie and Clyde? It's been scouting a lot lately. How about Gary the Tennis Coach? The BlueCat Screenplay Competition-winning comedy by Andy Stock and Rick Stempson does indeed look to be headed for an Austin shoot by GreenStreet Films. But that's a bit low-budget for all this silence. Meat in the Freezer, which looks to be Mike Judge's next film to shoot in the Austin area, doesn't sound all that family-oriented, what with the deer-shooting and all. Richard Linklater is said to have a film brewing as well, but it's a smaller project. I'm stymied, and your loyal "Film News" messenger accepts tips (hint, hint).

Indies Alive and Well

Keith Maitland's documentary Keep Your Ear on the Ball has been accepted into the Independent Feature Project Market in New York City in September. He'll be able to introduce the film, about a year in the life of a group of blind Austin teenagers who play goalball, to more than 1,500 industry execs. Go to, and check out the trailer (there's an audio-assisted version for the visually impaired)... Leave it to an engineer turned filmmaker to make an animated film about geometry. That's up-and-comer Jeffrey Travis for you. He's even signed Martin Sheen for Flatland: The Movie, a 30-minute film shooting this fall and aimed for use by teachers in the classroom. It will be completed this fall... Austin actress Shasta Lusk has moved behind the camera for her directing debut, Riding With the Wind, which has just been selected to show at Girl Fest Hawaii in September. She learned the camera ropes at Austin public-access television, then shot the short with funds she earned waiting tables at the Alamo Drafthouse. The film features local child actress Kristen Devine... Jim Bruno's 2001 film beyond words! boasts a huge Austin-based cast and more than 30 locations. Now you can see the full-length feature for free at Bruno is now at work on a script for a musical.

Fellini Fun for Fort Worth

Film purists, rejoice. A complete retrospective of Federico Fellini's films in immaculate prints from Italy's Cinecittà International is slated at the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth. Screenings begin Aug. 18 and run Tuesdays through Sundays through Sept. 3. A complete schedule is available at In conjunction with the fest, an exhibition of rare movie posters from the Don Young Felliniana Archive is yours for the viewing through the end of the month at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center.

SXSW raises its pretty head

The 2007 Web site is up for the South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival, and it's already time to send in your entries for next March's celluloid spectacular. The early deadline is Nov. 17, and the final, no-fooling deadline is Dec. 8. So get to procrastinating! Categories include narrative, documentary, animation, music video, and experimental. More at

Hollywood Hill

Which director who likes to show his personal archive of movies here recently purchased a very recognizable West Austin house that's fit for a king? For now, we're keeping it on the QT.

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