Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Austin Stories

We are already gearing up for the 2007 Austin Film Festival and with every confirmed panelist I get more excited about the Conference!

For the past three years, I have been able to attend the festival, typically working for the festival in some capacity and whenever I could spare a few minutes, I would sneak into a panel that I was dying to see, or a movie that I was desperate to watch before I had to get back to work. And every year there is a favorite memory or moment that I end up always thinking of. Here are two personal memories from my past years at AFF.

In 2005 screenwriter/director Judd Apatow was a panelist. He was on several panels two of which I got to see. The first was a screening called “Judd Apatow Presents” and the second being the Up Close and Personal with Harold Ramis panel, which Judd moderated. At the time I was the Production Manager for the Film Festival and usually I was fluttering between venues making sure things were good to go. Friday night of the Festival, “Judd Apatow Presents” a retrospective/interactive screening with dialogue from Judd Apatow about his North Hollywood pilot and unseen dailies and outtakes of 40 Year Old Virgin was happening at the SFA Theater. Once I got to the SFA Theater Judd Apatow was there with a bottle of wine and three glasses – one for him, one for our Film Program Director, Kelly Williams, and one for me. I typically don’t drink red wine but I was offered a glass a wine from Judd Apatow! How could I turn it down? Needless to say once the theater was set and the Theater Manager was ready to let guests in- I ended up moving on to the next theater to check in with staff and volunteers.

Another one of those unforgettable memories was last year the night before the Film Festival started at our Film and Food fundraiser. A retrospective screening of The Black Stallion had just finished at the Paramount and it was raining pretty hard. I was standing outside the Driskill when Steve Faber, co-writer of Wedding Crashers, stopped and started to talk to me before heading inside. We some how got onto the topic of documentaries - the best documentaries, the must see of all time documentary, etc. As we chatted we were interrupted by a film print being hand delivered to me. We continued to talk, but now with two film canisters at my feet. Before I realized what was going on Steve Faber picked up a film canister and asked me where we were taking it. Steve and I then carried the film to the Film Festival’s Tech Center a couple blocks away and continued our documentary conversation. From then on out at the festival, if I randomly ran into Steve – a new documentary film title was blurted out between the two of us – “Hey Steve, Hoop Dreams!” would be met with, “Thin Blue Line!”

AFF is interested in hearing your story. Please feel free to email them to me at linnea (@) and we will post them on the AFF blog!

Register Now during Early Registration for a Producers Badge and get entered into a raffle for a One Night Free stay at the Stephen F. Austin Hotel during the 2007 Austin Film Festival. Winner will be announced June 1st.

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