Film News

An Oscar, a zombie, and a film incentive walk into a bar ...

An Oscar, a zombie, and a film incentive walk into a bar... Did somebody say three-dot column?... What does a new Texas House speaker mean to a push to increase funding for the Texas film incentives program? This year's Lobby Day for the Texas Motion Picture Alliance is two days, March 3 and 4. That's when film folk will converge on the Capitol and spread their message. Look for more details on the proposed legislation soon... Congrats once again to PJ Raval, this time for the documentary Oscar nod received by Trouble the Water, the Hurricane Katrina film on which he served as director of photography... The Austin-made documentary Zombie Girl took the Spirit of Slamdance Award at the recently ended fest. The award goes to "film teams that best exhibit passion and talent, commitment to the independent community, and enthusiastically embrace all Slamdance has to offer." Congrats to filmmakers Aaron Marshall, Erik Mauck, and Justin Johnson and their subject, now-16-year-old Pathogen filmmaker Emily Hagins... South by Southwest and IFC are feeling the Joe Swanberg love. The mumblecorps meisterburger's latest film, Alexander the Last, will premiere March 14 simultaneously at the SXSW Film Festival and On Demand nationwide through IFC Festival Direct. Two other films get the same VOD treatment: Javor Gardev's Bulgarian noir Zift and the Australian comedy Three Blind Mice, Matthew Newton's tale of three sailors on shore leave before shipping out to Iraq... Meanwhile, the Austin Film Festival this week is holding its Writer's Ranch at Ranch Studios in Kyle. It's a residence program for aspiring screenwriters, and this year's crop includes Ya'ke Smith (From Here to Nowhere), Sean Corrigan (Confession), Melissa McVeigh (Domesticated), and Ken Pearson (Short Tracker). Their big-time instructors are Shane Black (Lethal Weapon), Dan Petrie Jr. (Beverly Hills Cop), and Herschel Weingrod (Trading Places). If you read this in time on Thursday, Jan. 29, rush to the Alamo Lake Creek where Black will be showing his Kiss Kiss Bang Bang at 7pm and doing a post-screening talk about his career. Tickets are $12. The Austin Film Festival itself is set for Oct. 22-29... Latino Public Broadcasting has awarded grants to both Cristina Ibarra for research and development related to her doc Las Marthas about "bi-cultural teenage debutantes staging their border interpretation of the Mount Vernon colonial pageantry in Laredo" and to Sandra Guardada for Two Trinities, her doc examining televangelists who prey on the poor. Both filmmakers are former Texas Filmmakers Production Fund recipients... Ken Farmer's film adaptation of the play Rockabilly Baby took the Audience Choice Award at the Trail Dance Film Festival, and star Denton Blane Everett was named best actor... San Antonio filmmaker Perla Rivera is holding an open casting call for a feature film Feb. 28 at the Dougherty Arts Center. More info is at

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Austin film, Texas Motion Picture Alliance, PJ Raval, Trouble the Water, Zombie Girl, Justin Johnson, Aaron Marshall, Erik Mauck, Emily Hagins, Joe Swanberg, Alexander the Last, Three Blind Mice, Zift, Matthew Newton, Javor Gardev, Ya'Ke Smith, Sean Corrigan, Melissa McVeigh a, Ken Pearson, Shane Black

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