News from Cannes and nearer climes
Ghosts, David Koresh Do the Cannes Can
The Austin film scene is getting a little promotional boost at the Cannes International Film Festival through Dana Glover and Michele Carter's Midian Films, which is hawking Jollenbach, the Round Rock-based company's first feature, at the Cannes marketplace and passing out info about our fair city for the Austin Film Office. The company has had its short films shown at Cannes every year since 2006. The Austin-shot Jollenbach is a shaky-cam tale of ghost hunters in the vein of The Blair Witch Project and features Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo in a cameo. The cast features lots of familiar Austin names from radio and television past, including Hugh Lewis, David Jarrott, Cathy Conley Swofford, and Michael Coleman. It's no coincidence: Midian's third partner is radio sports guy David Anderson, who is blogging from Cannes (www.am1300thezone.com/pages/davidanderson.html). Meanwhile, announced at Cannes, according to Moving Pictures Magazine, the feature film Waco, which we first told you about last year (see "Film News," July 4, 2008), should begin production later this year. It's co-written by University of Texas grad James Hibberd, whose day job is at The Hollywood Reporter, and Rupert Wainwright (The Fog). It tells the Branch Davidian raid story, which Hibberd spent a year researching. "The enormity of the raid, the assault, and the fire has never been captured because it's expensive to shoot," Hibberd told me of the film, which previously was reported to have a $30 million budget.
Aliens Attack, Roger Corman-Style!
Look for the campy indie feature Killer School Girls From Outer Space to shoot here in July. Inspired by the Roger Corman schlock model, Alexander Shumake wrote and will direct the story of – of course – killer school girls from outer space bent on destroying the planet. Shumake's filmmaking partner/father is producing. The film will go straight to DVD, with the final product also including a "how to" DVD including actual tutorials covering lighting, color correction, and digital effects.
And the Rest …
A film festival largely based on film trailers? That's the Texandance International Film Festival at the Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre in New Braunfels, June 5-7. More, including the schedule, at www.texandance.com ... The Austin Film Society's weeklong summer youth filmmaking camps are gearing up at Austin Studios and will teach "hands-on narrative and experimental techniques using digital video." Students work in teams from idea to screening. The first camp opens June 22. More info at www.austinfilm.org... Further evidence film production in Texas is on the upswing: The team looking to convert the vacant Astrodome into a humongous film studio recently presented its case to the Harris County Sports & Convention Corp.
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