Texas' tradition as an indie cinema hub is second to none, but it's easy for smaller films to be forgotten over time. Now AFS Cinema is bringing some of the best underseen movies to its virtual cinema service with the Lone Star Slate. The first round of titles available for VOD, and benefiting Austin Film Society during its coronavirus pandemic closure, highlights 11 films that made it to the screen with AFS Grant support over the last decade.
The Texas programming on AFS's virtual marquee was already strong, with Annie Silverstein's verité drama Bull, and two immersive documentaries about small-town life – Ben and Bo Powell's Nothin' No Better and Patrick Bresnan and Ivete Lucas' Pahokee. The new list goes into the archives for films by Texas moviemakers that either never found a wide audience at their original release or are simply too good to be ignored. It's a wide selection, from Kelly Daniela Norris' 2013 story of immigration and mourning, Sombras de Azul, to PJ Raval's lauded look at modern imperialism in Call Her Ganda, and a more quizzical journey into the world of mycophagists (that's mushroom eaters to you and me) in Jason Cortlund and Julia Halperin's 2012 Now, Forager.
Here's the opening slate:
Above All Else (D: John Fiege, 2014)
Bull (D: Annie Silverstein, 2019)
Caballerango (D: Juan Pablo González, 2018)
Call Her Ganda (D: PJ Raval, 2018)
Canine Soldiers (D: Nancy Schiesari, 2016)
Nothin' No Better (D: Ben & Bo Powell, 2020)
Now, Forager (D: Jason Cortlund & Julia Halperin, 2012)
Pahokee (D: Patrick Bresnan & Ivete Lucas, 2019)
Petting Zoo (D: Micah Magee, 2015)
Slash (D: Clay Liford, 2016)
Sombras de Azul (D: Kelly Daniela Norris, 2013)
All titles are available starting May 21 at www.austinfilm.org/the-lone-star-slate/.
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