Thursday, December 21, 2006
Writer/Director Audrey Wells had been confirmed as a panelist for the 2007 Austin Film Festival and Conference. Audrey is the writer and director of Under the Tuscan Sun and Guinevere. Some of her writing credits include The Kid, George of the Jungle, The Truth about Cats & Dogs, and Shall We Dance.
The 2007 AFF takes place October 11-18.
Recently stumbled across this earlier short by AFF filmmaker Marc Potts on YouTube. We screened Marc's very funny short For the Love of Family at the 2006 AFF where it received a special mention from the Narrative Student Short Jury. Marc is a student at the University of Oklahoma and part of Singletree Productions along with For the Love of Family co-writer Cole Selix.
The Toronto International Film Festival Group (clearly the people that bring you the Toronto International Film Festival) have released their annual top ten list of Canadian films. Hopefully, most of these films will eventually make it to the U.S. Already slated for a U.S. premiere at Sundance next month is actress Sarah Polley's directorial debut, Away From Her. One of our programmers, Ryan Williams, caught a screening of the film at Toronto this year and could not say enough good things about it. Also making the list is the big screen version of the popular television show Trailer Park Boys. It is produced by comedy giant Ivan Reitman, and if the trailer is any indication, it should be pretty interesting.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
The Good Shepherd stars Matt Damon (who is in almost every frame of the film) and tells the story of early days of the CIA. The script was penned by Eric Roth (Munich, The Insider) who was recently confirmed as a panelist for the 2007 Austin Film Festival.
The Good Shepard opens nation-wide this Friday, December 22nd.
Monday, December 18, 2006
AFF filmmaker Maggie Carey - Dance Club (AFF 2002 Audience Award Winner) and Jenny Clone (AFF 2006) has launched Head in the Oven, a new comedy web series.
Head in the Oven follows the adventures of three women who work nine-to-five at a suicide hotline for the wrist-cutters, pill-poppers, and gas-inhalers of
The Writers Guild of America, West announced their nominations for best television writing last week. There were a few suprises, including two nominations for Tina Fey's struggling comedy, 30 Rock, in both the best Comedy Series and best New Series categories. A few nominations went to great shows that are no longer with us including The West Wing, Deadwood and Arrested Development. The compelete list of nominees can be found on the WGAw website.
The screen award nominees will not be announced until Janurary 11, 2007.
Friday, December 15, 2006
AFF is proud to announce that acclaimed screenwriter Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, Munich, The Good Shepherd) will be appearing as a panelist at the 2007 Austin Film Festival.
Winning the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Forrest Gump and nominated for two more Oscars, Roth is one of the top screenwriters working in Hollywood today. His script for The Insider helped make it, in my opinion, one of the best films of the 90s.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Grady Hendrix gushes that NIGHTMARE was, "the best movie I saw at Pusan." He also reports that Tsukamoto is already working on NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE 2 and 3 and speculates about the inevitable US remake.
Read the full post here
Golden Globe Nominations were announced this morning, a few surprises, including the rare double nominations for Clint Eastwood and Leonardo DiCaprio (something the Academy prohibits). The ceremony will be telecast on NBC on Jan. 15th and one can only hope that Alec Baldwin will be the presenter for the best musical or comedy film and we get to hear him read out the entire tile of the Borat film.
Regardless, a big congratulations goes out to friend of the festival, America Ferrera for being nominated for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy (Television) for her work on Ugly Betty, The show was also nominated for Best Musical or Comedy (Television). America attended the festival this year in support of her film Steel City, which was in the narrative feature competition.
Other AFF screened films nominated for Golden Globes include...
Helen Mirren - "The Queen"
MUSICAL OR COMEDY
"Little Miss Sunshine" *
ACTRESS (MUSICAL OR COMEDY)
Toni Collette - "Little Miss Sunshine"*
Adriana Barraza - "Babel"*
Rinko Kikuchi - "Babel"*
Brad Pitt - "Babel"*
DIRECTOR SCREENPLAY *screened as part of our year-around AFF Membership Screening program
Stephen Frears - "The Queen"
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu - "Babel"*
"Babel"- Guillermo Arriaga*
"The Queen" - Peter Morgan
*screened as part of our year-around AFF Membership Screening program
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
You might recall the AFF trailers from 04 and 05 involving an animated Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway, they were both animated by Austin animator, Dano Johnson. Since then, he has gone on to form Collection Agency Films with producer Troy Campbell where they have done animated ads for Kinky Friedman's campaign and an award-winning short called Tall Tales and Other Big Lies (based on a story by musician Ray Wylie Hubbard). Tall Tales can now be seen on the Frederator podcast and has also been recently adapted into a comic book.
Dano is also animating a new adaptation of Edwin A. Abbott's novel, Flatland.
Below is the "official" word on the big win....
Austin's Collection Agency Films Collects UK Animation Award
“Dance Like a Monkey” brings home
Best Animated Music Video Award from 2006 Bradford Animation Festival
Austin animation house Collection Agency Films won best animated music video at the 2006 Bradford Animation Festival in England on Saturday, November 18th. Their film, “Dance Like a Monkey”, is a music video for the New York Dolls' new album “One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This.”
Producer Troy Campbell accepted the award in Bradford, where he took a break from his European concert tour. “Everyone at the festival was so nice. I felt treated like a star!” The annual celebration of animation is the longest-running and largest animation festival in the UK“Dance Like a Monkey” was one of 5 animated music videos in competition and was the only nominee from the United States. “A brilliant visual interpretation of the spirit of the music,” said the BAF webpage.
Director and animator Dano Johnson received a text message from Campbell Saturday night that simply read, “we won! we won! you are a star here!” Johnson couldn't believe the good news. “I was pretty surprised, especially since we were up against great videos for the Gorillaz, Wolf Parade, and Smog. But this validates all the late nights of hard work. I'm incredibly proud of our talented team and I can't thank the New York Dolls enough for giving us this chance!”
The video came about when Troy Campbell's friend Darren Hill, manager of the Dolls, approached Collection Agency Films about doing an animated music video. After phone conferences with David Johansen, lead singer of the New York Dolls, Dano and Troy won their confidence with a humorous and satirical concept. Dano recalls, “When listening to the song, which has lots of clever references to the evolution/creationism/intellige
The video was animated early in the summer of 2006. Cameron Petri illustrated the main sets and characters, while Maura Murnane provided illustrations for the video's montage sequence. Dano Johnson animated and composited the video, while 'Heart of Texas' animator R. Don Smith animated David Johansen's simian likeness. Despite fatal computer crashes and sleep-deprivation, the video was a resounding success, eliciting approval from the label, the band, and fans.
“We're big fans of the Dolls, so it was incredible to be a part of their first album in 30 years,” Campbell remarked. “This video was so much fun to make. Who doesn't like dancing monkeys? And you won't see another music video featuring Charles Darwin, Pat Robertson, Dick Cheney, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster for a long, long time, I reckon,” says Johnson.
This is the first international award for Collection Agency Films. They won previous awards for their short film “Tall Tales & Other Big Lies” (Runner-up Animated Short, SXSW 2006 Film Festival) and their political cartoons for Kinky Friedman (2006 Telly Awards for Best Online Political Ad). Currently Troy Campbell is promoting his acclaimed album, 'Long in the Sun'. Dano Johnson is furiously animating an adaptation of the classic novel 'Flatland', which stars Martin Sheen, Kristen Bell, and various talented Austinites. Collection Agency Films is about to release a comic book, 'Tall Tales & Other Big Lies: the Stories of Ray Wylie Hubbard.' “Dance Like a Monkey” can be seen at various sites online, as well as on Austin's MeTV.
AFI and LA Film Critics have also released their end of the year film lists.
Three films made the AFI list that we screened as part of our 06 AFF Memberships Screening series, including Little Miss Sunshine, United 93 and Babel.
The LA Film Critics list also gave nods to a some AFF films, including The Queen (runner-up for best picture, as well as best actress and best supporting actor), Paul Greengrass (best director for United 93), and of course, the best screenplay went to Peter Morgan for The Queen and the runner-up went to Little Miss Sunshine writer Michael Arndt.
To find out more about the AFF membership program and year-around screening series, click here.
Monday, December 11, 2006
United 93 took best picture honors on Monday. I first saw Paul Greengrass’ drama which focuses on the eponymous flight at our AFF Member Screening days before flying to Toronto for Hot Docs. It definitely took at least 2 hours for the knots in my stomach to untie themselves after seeing the tense, but brilliant drama.
Read more here.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Shut Up and Sing is currently in theaters, and The Dixie Chicks performed in Austin this last Monday.
Pictured: Barbara Kopple (middle) and Cecilia Peck with AFF programmer Ryan Williams during the festival.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
from the left: Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter, David Wain, Bob Fisher, Steve Faber and Jake Kasdan.
(photo credit: Jack Plunkett/Austin Film Festival)
Recently came across Michael Showalter's blog and noticed a section by him and Michael Ian Black about their recent tour and the time they spent in Austin, which included the two of them (along with fellow Stella member David Wain) being panelists at AFF. They had this to say...
(Sho) So we drove in to Austin from our degenerate casino jaunt. The Austin Film Festival is in Austin this week and we're on a bunch of panels. The first one is "Making An R Rated Comedy." David Wain has flown in from New York to join us for the weekend. Tonight there are two screenings of The Stella Shorts at a really cool art house theater in Austin called the Alamo Drafthouse. We're hosting the screenings and doing Q & A and stuff. So anyway, we get to the panel "Writing An R-Rated Comedy." The other panelists are the guys that wrote "Wedding Crashers" and Jake Kasdan who made the movie "Orange County" and was a director on "Freaks & Geeks" and many other things. The panel was fun. We all talked about how great we were.
(Black) There's not that much to say about writing an R-Rated comedy other than you should put in tits. That's pretty much it. Other than that, they're pretty much like other comedies. The "Wedding Crashers" guys and Jake Kasdan all seemed nice. We didn't hang out afterwards. But we did shake hands, which seemed like the right thing to do.
You can read Michael Showalter's entire blog here.
One Rat Short was the winner of the AFF Audience Award for Animated Short and The Dawn Chorus took home the AFF Narrative Student Short Jury Award.
Hope Dickson Leach (left), with producer Jennifer Westin, accepting the award for The Dawn Chorus during the 2006 Austin Film Festival.
Friday, December 01, 2006
AFF 2006 panelist David Wain filled in for Amy Sedaris' monthy advice column called "Sedaratives" in McSweeney's Believer Magazine. You can find a sample of his "advice" here.
Also, congrats to David whose new film, The Ten, will be screening at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.