ATX Film News

Austin at the Oscars, and cinemas move towards reopening

Matthew McConaughey asks if you'd like to go to the cinema (it would be a lot cooler if you did ...)

The Oscars may have gone out with a fizzle, but they started with a very Austin bang starring both Matthew McConaughey and the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar. The pre-awards section of the evening featured a video celebrating the film industry's #TheBigScreenIsBack campaign encouraging audiences to head back to theatres as they reopen and build back to full post-pandemic hours over the summer. Featured front and center were the putative future candidate for governor of Texas and the Drafthouse's mother ship location itself.

More Austin Oscar kudos with the announcement that "Colette" won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short. Anthony Giacchino's story of a French woman who finally visits the Nazi death camp in which her brother was murdered in World War II was filmed by cinematographer and UT RTF grad Rose Bush (director of AFS Grant recipient "Vultures of Tibet") and produced by another Austin regular, Annie Small (The Honor Farm, Tower, Becoming Leslie). Congrats to both.

The Alamo's future seems a lot more secure after the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware canceled a bankruptcy auction scheduled for April 28. This left a consortium consisting of Fortress Investment Group, current investors Altamont Capital, and founder/Executive Chairman Tim League as the sole bidders. The Drafthouse filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March, and the debt restructuring and new ownership, as well as new investment, are intended to keep the 41-cinema, Austin-based chain afloat while business recovers.

Wanna work at AFS Cinema? The theatre owned and operated by the Austin Film Society has been closed since the beginning of the pandemic, but in a good sign for lovers of the local arthouse and international cinema specialists, AFS is now advertising to fill three positions: cinema manager, cinema coordinator, and projection manager. Can reopening be far away? Apply for these posts at

Time to Panic! Well, nearly. Amazon Prime's Austin-shot drama series, adapted by Lauren Oliver from her 2014 novel, arrives on the streaming platform on May 28.

Other Worlds, Austin's celebration of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, is set to be the first local film festival to return in person with the announcement of Return to the Galaxy, a one-day event drawing on the Under Worlds horror strand at the Galaxy Highland on May 22. A $60 pass will include access to all four films (including the Texas premieres of The Stylist and Vicious Fun, the North American premiere of The Clearing, and the Southwest debut of The Old Ways) plus filmmaker Q&As and a $10 voucher for the concessions stand. Snap up your socially distanced pass now at

Still feel safest seeing your horror at home? Attack of the Demons, the cutout animation chiller by Austin's own Eric Power, is now on streaming platform Shudder.

Paper Street Pictures is going international. The Austin production house behind breakout anthology horror Scare Package has just started work on its ninth, so-far-untitled picture in Canada, adding to an already packed 2021 slate that includes Lucky McKee's Old Man and Alicia Silverstone-versus-a-shark survival thriller The Requin.

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