Film News

Dallas continues to dominate the Texas Motion Picture Alliance

TXMPA retains its Big D look

The Texas film industry may be united through the Texas Motion Picture Alliance, but it seems the Dallas membership understands something that is foreign to Austin filmies: Rule No. 1 is to show up. Some 55 people boarded a bus in the Metroplex to attend the recent annual TXMPA meeting in Austin. Another 40 or so drove down by themselves. Austin's total representation was in the range of 20. The result? Meet new TXMPA Prez Don Stokes of Dallas, who replaces Meredith Stephens of Dallas, who replaced Hector Garcia of Dallas. Austin entertainment attorney Clark Richards is vice president. Geographic rivalry aside, the TXMPA sets course at a crucial time, with an unofficial goal of convincing the Texas Legislature to up the state's 5% incentives approved in 2007 to 15% in the 2009 session. Louisiana and New Mexico offer 25%, and those crazy (and I mean that literally) Michiganders offer up to 42%.

Forget the rumors: Where's 'Red Sonja' shooting?

Are secretive director Robert Rodriguez and actress Rose McGowan kaput as a couple? The New York Post says yes; People magazine says no. Are they engaged to be married? I, frankly, couldn't care less about film folks' personal lives. But I do care about the movies they make, and McGowan has been rumored as the lead in not one, not two, but three upcoming Rodriguez projects: the delayed Barbarella remake, possible television series Women in Chains, and the remake of Red Sonja. If you're wanting to sift the gossip-filled tea leaves, note that Rodriguez will only serve as the producer on the latter, which will indeed star McGowan and is slated for an October start, according to Variety. Look instead for longtime Rodriguez assistant director (dating back to The Faculty) Douglas Aarniokoski to direct. And, no, it likely won't be filmed in Austin. Early reports had incentive-happy Michigan as a likely landing spot, but apparently they don't have the film's requisite forest. I'm just as interested to see that Rodriguez's co-producer on the film is Boaz Davidson. Maybe he can talk Rodriguez into an Austin-shot reimagining of his teen comedy Lemon Popsicle (or its American remake The Last American Virgin). I can dream, can't I?

And the rest ...

Bid farewell to Waterloo Video, which will exit the rental biz on Aug. 16. No worries; the venerated Waterloo Records will continue in a spruced-up state with a remodel planned this summer. Rush down for a major sale of rental DVDs... Will Moore received the Action on Film International Film Festival's award for Best Director for his work on Cowboy Smoke. The film is also up for Best Western and Best Fight Choreography at the fest... The Austin Film Society has announced panelists for this year's Texas Filmmakers' Production Fund. They are Sean Baker (Take Out), Cheryl Dunye (The Watermelon Woman), and Juan Carlos Zaldívar (90 Miles). Grants will be announced Aug. 25.

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TXMPA, Don Stokes, Robert Rodriguez, Rose McGowan, Waterloo Video

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