Film Flam

The Austin Studios campus expands, SXSW Film adds venues and a tribute to Ain't It Cool News, and more

Yes, we know, 2011 is but days old, but let's talk 2012. That's when the Austin Film Society acquires the National Guard Building at Mueller – September 2012, to be exact – and the planning is already under way. To that end, AFS hosted a Creative Media Hub Town Hall on Jan. 6 – part pitch session, part fact-finding mission. Ideas and opinions were solicited from the local TV, film, and gaming communities about how exactly AFS should utilize the space – two soundstages, storage, and offices, totaling 73,000 square feet. High on the priority lists of those at the meeting? Sliding-scale rentals, post-production facilities, and common-use areas. Also a hot topic was who exactly the facilities would be geared toward – local mediamakers, out-of-town talent, or a mix of the two. "Incentives," too, was a buzzword there – and everywhere else it seems, as the future of the state incentives seems increasingly dicey, a topic the Chronicle will be tackling in coming weeks... If you weren't glued to the TV on Wednesday, then you probably missed spokesperson Faith Hill on the Today Show and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon talking up "Espwa," a short film about Tide's Loads of Hope program in Haiti, which aimed to overhaul the ravaged laundry facilities at the biggest hospital in Port-au-Prince, where the medical linens and scrubs were all being cleaned by hand. The company behind the film is the Austin-based Flow Nonfiction, a collective founded by documentarian David Modigliani and his Crawford collaborators David Rice and Matt Naylor with the objective of making "branded content for socially conscious companies." The film will have a special screening during the Sundance Film Festival, but you can watch it now at And speaking of film fests, the South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival's schedule has gone live. Included is the Ain't It Cool News 15th Anniversary panel that Head Geek Harry Knowles hinted at via Twitter last week; AICN will also host a secret screening that, given HK's hefty Rolodex, will be a must-attend. Other new developments include the addition of four new screening venues this year: the historic State Theatre on Congress, the Long Center's Rollins Theatre**, and single screens at the Regal Arbor and Westgate theatres, with the last two intended to help ease Downtown congestion and better cater to native Austinites. Expect more SXSW news to come down the pike soon. In fact, you might want to mosey on over to the Screens blog, Picture in Picture (, right now.

**This article has been amended since publication.

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Austin Film Society, Austin Studios, National Guard Building, Espwa, Flow Nonfiction, Tide Loads of Hope, David Modigliani, David Rice, Matt Naylor, Harry Knowles, Ain't It Cool News, SXSW venues

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