Thursday, October 27, 2005

Last day of the Festival: final screenings and closing night party!

This is it: the last night of the Austin Film Festival, concluding eight days of film, food, and fun!

• Join us at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum IMAX Theater at 9:15 p.m. for an advance screening of Sorry, Haters with writer/director Jeff Stanzler in attendance. Stanzler will hold a Q&A after the screening of his film, which Entertainment Weekly called "an incendiary, artistic response to September 11th."

• Before Sorry, Haters, catch the local film that has everyone talking! The Austin-filmed Severance has been scheduled for a special encore performance at the IMAX at 7:00 p.m.

• At the historic Paramount Theatre, the festival ends with an advance screening of The Squid and the Whale with star Jeff Daniels in attendance! Daniels and Laura Linney star in the latest film from Noah Baumbach (writer, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou).

• At the Hideout (8 p.m.), the final screening of The Special: the Story of an American Anthem.

• The Regal Arbor hosts an advance screening of Bruce and Me at 7:00 p.m. and the final screening of narrative feature competition winner Runaway at 9:00.

• Documentary Favela Rising starts the night at the Landmark Dobie at 7:00 p.m., followed by the latest Pang Brothers flick, Abnormal Beauty.

After your screening of choice, Producer's Badge holders are invited to join us at 10 p.m. for the Festival Closing Night Party at McCormick & Schmick's at 401 Congress Avenue!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

All about "Muskrat Lovely" with Amy Nicholson

Amy Nicholson, director of one of the 2005 AFF documentary features Muskrat Lovely, answers questions over at Blue Glow about her film, the girls in it, and the tradition of muskrat skinning and beauty pageants.

Read the full interview at Blue Glow.

Austin Film Festival: Last chance to see - Wednesday edition

Just two days left in the Festival! Tonight's lineup has something for everyone, so check it out and we'll see you in the aisles.

• At 7:00 p.m. at the Paramount, Felicity Huffman (a personal favorite from Sports Night) makes what has been described as a "career performance" in our advance screening of Transamerica. If you delight in learning about how a film was made (and this certainly seems like one of those movies that should have fascinating behind-the-scenes stories), you'll want to be there for the Q&A session afterwards with director Duncan Tucker.

• Following Transamerica the AFF is proud to present an advance screening of Manderlay, the latest film from Lars von Trier, director of Dogville (to which Manderlay is a sequel) and Dancer in the Dark. That's at 9:15 p.m. at the Paramount.

• Tonight at the Regal Arbor we have the second screening of the competition documentary Walking the Line at 7:00 p.m., followed by narrative feature competition film The Civilization of Maxwell Bright at 9:00 p.m.

• The Landmark Dobie will screen Shorts Program 5 (which contains shorts such as The Braggart and Easter Sunday) at 7:10 p.m., followed by the second screening of Backseat at 9:30 p.m.

• The Bob Bullock IMAX will screen documentary feature competition winner Dirt at 7:15 p.m. (this ought to be amazing on the big screen!) and Americano with Josh Jackson at 9:15 p.m.

• If you're a short films fan you'll want to be at the Hideout Theater tonight, where the AFF will have back-to-back shorts programs beginning at 7:00 p.m. with Shorts Program 3 (includes Wake, the student shorts winner, and The Faith of Joey Rail) followed by The Houston Film Commission Presents the Texas Filmmaker's Showcase (including Young Mutt and Separated By Light).

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Austin Film Festival: Last Chance to See - Tuesday edition

Another day down, but there are still three days of great movies left in the Austin Film Festival. Let's get right into it:

• The Paramount Theatre will have an advance screening of Prime, the new comedy with Uma Thurman and Meryl Streep, with the writer & director Ben Younger in attendance. (See the official web site for the film.) Also at the Paramount: Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story at 9:00 p.m.

• The Landmark Dobie will screen Shorts Program 4 at 7:15 p.m., which includes The Tao of Pong with Jake Busey and The Big Empty. Afterwards stick around for Stomp! Shout! Scream! , the new rock-n-roll beach party monster movie from Jay Edwards, editor/producer of Aqua Teen Hunger Force on the Cartoon Network. (Read an interview with Edwards here.)

• At 7:00 p.m. the Regal Arbor will show Halfway Decent, a comedy in the narrative features competition starring Ernie Hudson, followed by an advance screening of Resurrection: The J.R. Richard Story at 9:30 p.m.

• Over at the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum IMAX you can see Winter Passing, starring Ed Harris, Zooey Deschanel, and Will Ferrell at 7:15 p.m. The second showing at the IMAX (9:30 p.m.) is the competition documentary The Outdoorsmen: Blood, Sweat & Beers, which must be seen to be believed. (Read a profile of the director here.)

• The Hideout's tradition of comedy continues at 7:00 p.m. with another installment of the Second City Shorts. The Second City Shorts program features several comic shorts created by the actors, employees, and students of the legendary Chicago comedy theater, the Second City. The program also includes clips from the classic Emmy-Award winning television series SCTV starring John Candy, Dave Thomas, Eugene Levy, Joe Flaherty, Catherine O'Hara, Andrea Martin and more. The comedy continues at 9:00 with narrative competition feature Life on the Ledge.

AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE fans take note!

This Tuesday (Oct 25) at the Dobie Theater, the Austin Film Festival presents STOMP! SHOUT! SCREAM!, the feature film debut of Jay Edwards, editor and producer of AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE and other Adult Swim programs.
"Edwards’ loving homage to the short-lived beach-party-by-way-of-horror-film genre of the mid-Sixties does it better than American International Pictures ever did… As much fun as an episode of Hullabaloo-- snappy bouffants, earnest braniacs, hippy-hippy-shake, and all." -- Austin Chronicle
Edwards was present at the first screening of the film earlier this week, but had to return to Atlanta to work on an ATHF project. However, we now have a special AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE-related video presentation to play in his absence. Don't miss STOMP! SHOUT! SCREAM! at the Austin Film Festival!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Special encore presentation of "Severance" at Austin Film Festival on Thursday!

The Austin Film Festival is proud to announce the encore presentation of Severance, an Austin-made comedy about the film noir fantasy world of a modern-day internet developer. Severance will screen on Thursday night at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum IMAX theater at 7:00 p.m. with writer/director Troy Miller in attendance!

Austin Film Festival: Last Chance to See - Monday edition

We're into the last four days of the Austin Film Festival, which means that the second screenings have already begun and you probably have only one chance left to see some of the amazing movies in this year's event.

The Hideout is hosting the last showing of the Documentary Shorts program including the winner (Still, Life) and others. I'd like to give a special shout-out to Brett and Keith of Run to Jay's; they graciously answered a bunch of interview questions yesterday but I haven't had the time to transcribe them from the audio file. Go see all of the amazing doc shorts tonight at the Hideout at 9:00 p.m., following the second showing of the documentary Clear Cut: The Story of Philomath, Oregon. You won't regret it.

Also showing tonight:

• The aforementioned advanced screening of The Sisters with Mary Stuart Masterson in attendance (Q&A afterwards), followed by Special Thanks to Roy London at the Regal Arbor.

• Our IMAX Asian Horror Double Feature with the Pang Brothers' Abnormal Beauty (filling in for the previously scheduled R-Point) and Three... Extremes. This is going to be awesome on that giant IMAX screen at the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum. The fun begins at 7 – please be aware that you must purchase tickets to both shows if you want to see them both (unless you have a conference badge or film pass, in which case admission is as usual).

• Finally, tonight at the Dobie the narrative feature film winners will be shown, beginning at 7:30 p.m. They are: Runaway (Narrative Feature Jury Winner), Wake ( Narrative Student Short Winner), and Goodnight Bill (Narrative Short Winner).

Mary Stuart Masterson to attend "Sisters" screening, Ben Younger with "Prime" at the Paramount, and other changes

Some late additions and changes at the Austin Film Festival:

• Mary Stuart Masterson (Fried Green Tomatoes, Some Kind of Wonderful) will be in attendance, along with director Arthur Allan Seidelman, for Monday's screening of The Sisters at the Regal Arbor Theater at 7:00pm.

• Tuesday night (7:00 p.m.) at the historic Paramount theatre: an advance screening of the new comedy Prime starring Uma Thurman and Meryl Streep! (Visit the web site for this film, Writer/director Ben Younger will be in attendance and hold a Q&A after the film, so don't miss it.

• The movie R-Point has been removed from the Festival due to logistical difficulties and has been replaced in the schedule with Hong Kong horror film Abnormal Beauty. The Austin Film Festival and distributor Tartan Films apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Schedule correction for second showing of "Backseat"

The AFF web site currently lists Backseat as playing on Wednesday night at the Regal Arbor. However, this film is actually playing at the Landmark Dobie. We will correct this on the film's individual page as quickly as possible.

Share your photos of the Austin Film Festival with our Flickr group!

James Franco and Judd ApatowJack Plunkett and Andrea Turner, the Festival photographers, have taken some fantastic pictures for the Festival, which we will continue to share with you. In the photo at right we have "Freaks and Geeks" producer and "40 Year Old Virgin" director Judd Apatow, right, and actor James Franco at the Friday night Austin Film Festival screening of Franco's new film, "The Ape."(Photo/Jack Plunkett - click the photo for a larger view.) If you'd like to see more photos of the Festival visit our group on Flickr, an excellent sharing service that allows you to comment on photos you like. You can even add your own photos to the group so that other attendees can see and comment on your pictures of the Festival.

Congratulations to the 2005 AFF Screenplay and Film Winners!

The winners of the Austin Film Festival screenplay/teleplay and film competitions have been announced! They are as follows:

Screenplay Competition

Adult/Family Category Winner
The Education of Kady
by Connie O'Donahue

Comedy Category Winner
by Karl Williams

Sci-Fi Category Winner
by Karl Williams

Burnt Orange Category Winner
by Karl Williams

Sitcom Teleplay Category Winner
Bernie Mac: "To Kill a Mockingbird"
by Alessia Costantini

Drama Teleplay Category Winner
Lost: "Darkest Before Dawn"
by Rebecca Kirsch

Film Competition

Narrative Feature Winner
Written by Bill True
Directed by TIm McCann

Narrative Shorts Winner
Goodnight Bill
Written by John Mitchell
Directed by Jeremy Kipp Walker

Narrative Student Short Winner
Written by Kuen-Pyo Park

Documentary Feature Winner
Directed by Jeff Bowden

Documentary Shorts Winner
Still, life.
Directed by Meta Newhouse and Tania Khalaf

Saturday, October 22, 2005

R-POINT replaced with ABNORMAL BEAUTY at the Austin Film Festival

Due to forces outside of our control, the movie R-POINT will not be shown at this year's festival. Instead, we will screen the Hong Kong horror film ABNORMAL BEAUTY, written and directed by Oxide Pang and produced by the Pang Brothers (The Eye, Bangkok Dangerous).

Thanks for your understanding,

Austin Film Festival and Tartan Films

Warm Texas welcome for "The Ice Harvest" - "Ghostbusters" Saturday night at the Paramount

Eager movie lovers lined the block in front of the historic Paramount Theatre last night for the advance screening of The Ice Harvest, the newest film from director Harold Ramis. Ramis, who was in attendance, took questions after the screening and then indulged in some movie appreciation himself by heading over to the Stephen F. Austin Hotel ballroom to ask Judd Apatow (The 40 Yr Old Virgin) about his love of dogs.

Tonight Ramis returns to the Paramount for a special retrospective screening of Ghostbusters, one of his most beloved stories and performances. He'll be joined at the screening by fellow Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson for Q&A after the movie. Hudson will also attend the AFF premiere of Halfway Decent at the Stephen F. Austin, a comedic competition film in which he stars.

Be sure to check out the schedule for all of the Austin Film Festival's amazing screenings!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Astros headed to the Series, Astros fans headed to Austin Film Festival

Everyone in Austin knows that the Houston Astros are World Series bound, but not everyone knows that the Austin Film Festival is where Astros fans want to be tonight before the Series stars tomorrow.

That's because the AFF will be playing Resurrection: The J.R. Richard story at the Regal Arbor tonight at 7:10 p.m. Resurrection is the true story of Houston Astros great J.R. Richard and his climb from a small town baseball player in Louisiana to the big leagues and back down again. The film's director, Greg Carter, will be at the screening for a Q&A after the film. Get psyched for the Series with a great Astros movie and a personal look into how it was made!

Click here for more information on Resurrection: The J.R. Richard Story.

"Shopgirl" a smash, "The Ice Harvest" and other films play tonight

ShopgirlAnand Tucker's Shopgirl played to a full house at the Paramount Theatre last night, with the director and stars Claire Danes and Jason Schwartzman (pictured, right) in attendance. (Photo credit: Jack Plunkett.) All three took the stage after the film for a Q&A session afterwards, providing some insight into the film's lush cinematography and the story's ruminative characters. One of the Festival's best nights yet, but we're just getting started!

Tonight's big event is the screening of Harold Ramis' new film The Ice Harvest, which stars John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton. Ramis will be in attendance. Afterwards the Paramount will screen The Dying Gaul, which stars Campbell Scott, Patricia Clarkson, and Peter Sarsgaard.

If you're itching to see some indie film tonight, here's what we're playing at our other fantastic venues.

At the Bob Bullock IMAX: The Sisters and Americano
At the Landmark Dobie: Shorts Program 5 and Stomp! Shout! Scream!
At the Hideout: Shorts Program 2 and Two Harbors
At the Regal Arbor: Resurrection: The J.R. Richard Story (this one's for you Astros fans) and Dirt
At the Stephen F Austin Hotel ballroom: The Ape and (for badge holders) Judd Apatow Presents . . .

Remember to check back here on the blog for further Festival updates (including some last minute celeb guest announcements) and coverage of more magnificent events!

User review features now available!

The complete set of features in the My Festival section of our website is now available!

My Festival allows you to do the following:

• The "My Calendar" section lets you create a customized screening schedule
• You can create a Festival blog, rate the movies you see, and leave reviews of the films on the site
• You can find out what other moviegoers think about the films at the Festival

You can even rate films by text messaging from your cell phone right after you see the movie! Check out My Festival now and make the Austin Film Festival even better.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Eleven courses with Scott Allen Perry of "The Outdoorsmen"

Blue Glow has another filmmaker profile. This time it's Scott Allen Perry, director of The Outdoorsmen: Blood, Sweat and Beers. Perry shares inside info about beer-chugging, log-chucking manly men while demanding a fine port to go with his Gruyere. Perry will be in attendance at the Festival, where he'll be answering questions after tonight's screening of his film at the Hideout. (Stop by after Shopgirl!) Perry will also do a Q&A after The Outdoorsmen shows at the Bob Bullock IMAX on Tuesday night at 9:30.

Read the full profile at Blue Glow.

More AFF press coverage, notes from the blogosphere

The Austin Film Festival was featured in The Austin Statesman's XL section and The Austin Chronicle today; you can check out their coverage of the films showing and interviews with some of the visiting guests for an idea of what to see and do at the Festival this weekend. (Did we mention that film passes are just $35 for all screenings? Buy them at the Driskill Hotel.)

On top of that there are a number of people out there blogging as they attend the festival, including Sammy, dmann11, and kinslerbot. You can add your own blog to the AFF web site by signing up for a My Festival account and clicking the "blogs" tab for instructions. Even if you don't want to blog, the My Festival section is a great way to create your own calendar of screenings, track what films are popular, and read reviews from other Festival attendees.

Photos from Film and Food!

Donal Logue at Film & Food (Austin Film Festival)Festival photographers Andrea Turner and Jack Plunkett turned in a couple of great photos from last night's Film & Food event, where Donal Logue (writer - director - star of Tennis Anyone?), along with everyone who came to see his movie, enjoyed sustenance and spirits from some of Austin's best restaurants and our sponsors, Bombay Sapphire, Sterling Vitner's Collection, and Dos Equis.

Click Logue's handsome mug to see it in a larger view over at the AFF Flickr group, where you can share your own pix of the event.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Press roundup plus Film & Food recap

If you weren't there for Film & Food tonight you missed one of Austin's swankiest parties. We'll share more about the event when we have photos available. For now let's just say that the movie in question (Tennis Anyone? with Donal Logue) won new admirers for its writer/director/star and charmed existing fans, who made sure he didn't want for attention during the "food" portion of the evening at the Driskill Hotel. Tennis Anyone? screens again on Saturday.

Film & Food is a unique event at the AFF in that, unlike the other parties, you can purchase tickets to it independently of the Screenwriters' Conference. It's a fantastic way to get a taste of that film festival glitz if your interest in screenwriting is limited.

Let's wrap things up for this entry with a couple of mentions of the AFF in the press:

» Donal Logue in town for the Austin Film Festival (KUT, includes a picture of Logue and our own John Merriman)
» Don't mess with ET in Texas (City Pages)
» Film & Food Festival (KXAN)

How to crash the AFF parties

Steven Devadanam of the Houston Press enlisted the help of AFF Screenwriters Conference Panelists Steve Faber and Bob Fisher (The Wedding Crashers) to compile a list of ideas that just might get you into an Austin Film Festival party this week. (Here's a list of all of the official AFF parties, which doesn't include the parties held by individual filmmakers.) Of course, an idea guaranteed to work is to buy an AFF Conference Badge at the Driskill Hotel, but you're welcome to read the article and see if you think the tricks will get you rubbing elbows with other partigoers. Be warned, however: now we know these tricks too.

The first party of the Festival is Film and Food during which Tennis Anyone? will be screening (at 6:30 p.m.) and star Donal Logue will be in attendance. Tickets are still available tonight at the Driskill; the party starts after the film at 8 p.m.

Director Mitsuru Meike to appear at AFF screening of "Sachiko Hanai"

Mitsuru Meike, director of The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai, will appear for a question and answer session after the Austin Film Festival screening of his movie. (This appearance was scheduled after our program guide went to print, so we wanted to bring some extra attention to it here on the blog.)

You can read more about The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai on the AFF page for the film.

James Vculek on "Two Harbors"

Over on Blue Glow, Two Harbors director James Vculek talks about antique malls, shooting in Minnesota, and what's really important in a movie. Vculek will be in attendance at the Festival, where Two Harbors will be showing on Friday and Sunday.

Also, stop by the Two Harbors page here on the AFF site where you'll find more info about the film, Vculek's filmmaker blog, and more.

AFF Flickr Group for photo sharing

Kelly & Linnea at AFFWe've created a Flickr group for the Austin Film Festival where we'll be sharing our own snapshots of the 2005 Festival, and where you can upload your photos as well. Right now you can see pictures we took today of some of the staff. If you see them around the Festival, be sure to tell them you saw their picture on the Internet.

Flickr is one of the best photo sharing services on the web, with free memberships available (though you can upgrade to a "Pro" membership if you want to share lots of pictures). Once you upload your pix, just add them to the Austin Film Festival group photo pool so everyone else can see them! While there you can also use Flickr's discussion features to leave comments and converse with other attendees about the Festival.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Eleven Questions with Jay Edwards

Jay Edwards is an editor and producer for Aqua Teen Hunger Force on the Cartoon Network. The world premiere of his first feature film, Stomp! Shout! Scream! will take place at the Austin Film Festival on Friday.

Read about the movie and whether a gorilla suit makes you a better dancer in this Eleven Questions profile of Jay Edwards at Blue Glow.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Festival preview coverage

Here's a quick roundup of Austin Film Festival preview coverage around the web, including news articles about films in competition. If you have tips about coverage of the Festival, please e-mail film at austinfilmfestival dot com.

Austin Film Festival boasts 100 movies in 8 days (News 8 Austin)

Austin Film Festival Begins Thursday (Austinist)

Inside Movies (Austin360)

Austin Film Festival Preview (Blue Glow - this is my personal blog and my opinions do not reflect those of the Austin Film Festival staff, nor should they be viewed as endorsement of one competition film over another.)

Message in the Madness (Daily Advertiser preview of The Outdoorsmen)

Lunch with Jay Edwards (Film Threat preview of Stomp! Shout! Scream!)

Austin Film Festival 2005 starts this week!

The Austin Film Festival is a mere 2 days away and the atmosphere at Festival HQ might be laughingly described as "hectic." There are innumerable details to attend to and that sense of being in the trenches has intensified. In short, we're all having one hell of a time, and the meaning of that phrase varies from minute to minute. No one doubts, however, that when the panels in the Screenwriter's Conference begin and the first film begins to roll, it will all have been worth it.

This blog will be a companion to the official Festival web site. Here you'll find links to news coverage about the event, discussion of various aspects of the Festival, and announcements as we need to make them. Stay tuned here (you can subscribe to the Atom feed in your newsreader if you like) and we'll see you at the Festival!