Thursday, November 30, 2006

Chalk finds distribution

It was announced that AFF 2006 Narrative Feature Jury and audience Award winning film, CHALK, will be distributed theatrically through a Hart Sharp Entertainment. The film will be presented under the Morgan Spurlock presents banner which will also feature two documentaries. All this comes on the heels of Chalk's Independent Spirit Award nomination for the John Cassavetes award.

More information and a review of the film can be found here on Cinematical's site.

Is Christian Bale the most exciting actor of his generation?

The Austin American-Statesman's film writer Chris Garcia may have the answer to the question in his new piece on the actor.

Garcia also discusses Bale's latest, Rescue Dawn, which AFF screened this last October.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Jon Dabach interview

A 2005 festival favorite was Jon Dabach's The Birthday Gift - a short loved by audiences and one that the Narrative Short Jury (this was before our Animated Short competition started in 2006) gave a Special Mention to. This very well written and very funny film can now be see on G4's Peep Show. To promote the short on the show, Peep Show did a great interview with Jon that can be found here.

Gotham Awards Nominees

The nominees were announced last month, but congratulations to the AFF selected films that are nominated...

Breakthrough Actor:

Channing Tatum, A Guide to Recognizing your Saints

Melinda Page Hamilton, Sleeping Dogs Lie

Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You:

Colma: The Musical

The winners will be announced tonight in New York City.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Independent Spirit Awards honor AFF selections!

The 2007 Spirit Awards Nominees were announced today in Los Angeles and several Austin Film Festival selections made the cut.

Congratulations to Mike Akel and the gang from CHALK which was nominated for the John Cassevetes Award! CHALK won the Jury and Audience Awards at this year's festival.

Raymond J. Barry's memorable performance in STEEL CITY, another AFF competition film, garnered a nomination in the Best Supporting Actor category.

As Austin Film Festival is known as one of the only festivals in the world to shine a spotlight on the screenwriter, we are pleased to announce that two films we screened received nominations in the screenwriting categories.

Dito Montiel was nominated for Best First Screenplay for his film A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS.

Additionally, SORRY HATERS, a 2005 AFF favorite, pulled a Best Screenplay nod for writer/director Jeff Stanzler and a Best Female Lead nom for star Robin Wright Penn. Mr Stanzler attended the festival in 2005 where he answered questions about his complicated and controversial drama.

Congrats to COLMA: THE MUSICAL director Richard Wong who was nominated for the IFC/Acura Someone to Watch Award. Wong not only directed the film, but served as director of photograpy, editor, and producer.

Lastly, Argentina's CHRONICLE OF AN ESCAPE, directed by Israel Adrián Caetano, was nominated for Best Foreign Film beating out some tough competition.

Congratulations to all of our nominees and best of luck in February!

Complete list of nominees available here.

Finally! - Tears of the Black Tiger

On a slow afternoon as the 2002 Sundance Film Festival was winding down, I slipped into the Egyptian Theater mainly because the line was not long and there was plenty of room at the screening. (This was an unusually slow year). What I saw was Wisit Sasanatieng's Tears of the Black Tiger - one of the most stunning and visual films I had ever seen. Already a cult film around the world, it was the first ever Thai film to make it into the Cannes Film Festival. When I saw the film at Sundance Miramax had already grabbed the rights, but it sat on the shelf since then. However, it was reported today in IndieWire that Magnolia picked up the US rights and it will finally be released in the US (outside of film festivals and bootlegs). It will open in New York this January.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Give the gift of membership

This holiday season we ask for your support in raising funds essential for our organization. With a donation of $50 or more ($35 for students), we will grant you a complimentary membership to our Friends of the Festival Membership Program, and welcome you to events throughout the year.

Your support funds our Young Filmmakers Program and allows us to bring more independent films to Austin and promote film development and production in Texas. The Austin Film Festival is one of the most important resources in the United States for screenwriters and filmmakers as well as an important part of Austin ’s growing filmmaking community.

A membership with the Festival allows you access to advance screenings, film premieres and other special events throughout the year. You'll also receive discounts on film passes and badges this October. The Austin Film Festival is a 501©3 organization and your donation is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by the law.

Past Membership screenings include: About a Boy, The Aviator, A Beautiful Mind, Bowling for Columbine, The Big Lebowski, Bottle Rocket, Cast Away, Crash, Grizzly Man, Jesus’ Son, Little Miss Sunshine, Magnolia, Munich, Sexy Beast, Sketches of Frank Gehry, The Station Agent, The Usual Suspects and most recently Babel with director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu in attendance.

This January, we'll kick off the year with a script reading of Doublewide, the latest comedy from screenwriter Anne Rapp (Cookie's Fortune, Dr. T and the Women).

A perfect holiday gift for your friends and family that keeps giving all year long!

Buy now!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Tony Kushner doc opens in Austin!

If you missed it at the Austin Film Festival or want to catch it again and bring your friends, Freida Lee Mock's audience favorite WRESTLING WITH ANGELS is playing the Landmark Dobie theater this week. Don't miss the film that Time Magazine calls "top-notch" and Filmmaker Magazine calls the "favorite film of the festival.” Help AFF friend Freida Lee Mock get the word out about this inspiring work that chronicles the life and work of Angels in America director Tony Kushner. A great way to ring in the holiday season.

Watch trailer and clips from the film

Friday, November 17, 2006

Funniest Filmmaker in Austin: Excessive Force

Funniest Filmmaker in Austin - winning short

Excessive Force, the winning film from the first annual Funniest Filmmaker in Austin competition is now on line. Austin filmmaker Patrick Neese beat out over 30 other films to win the contest this last September. Patrick won two all-access producers badges and his film screened during the festival as part of popular Shorts Program 1.

The Funniest Filmmaker competition is held at Cap City Comedy Club in September - watch our website for details on the next FFA!

Brett Morgen's Chicago 10

Congrats to filmmaker Brett Morgen whose latest film, Chicago 10, will open the Sundance Film Festival this January. The film tells the story of the anti-war protest at the '68 Democratic Convention in Chicago and the trial that followed. It features animated segments with the voices of Hank Azaria, Mark Ruffalo, Dylan Baker, Liev Schreiber, Nick Nolte and others.

Brett was in Austin in 2002 for an AFF Membership screening of his last film, The Kid Stays in the Picture, which he co-directed with Nanette Burstein.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Doc Feature Oscar Short List Announced

Congratulations to the AFF 2006 film Shut Up and Sing for making the Oscar Short list this year - as well as AFF sponsored Docuweek films The Trials of Darryl Hunt and An Unreasonable Man.

The short list of only 15 films will now be taken down to five nomniated films and will be announced with all the Oscar nominees on on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 and the Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, February 25, 2007.

The Complete List of documentary films short listed can be found on the Academy's site here.

AFF film Beyond the Call opens

The Austin Film Festival 2006 documentary BEYOND THE CALL is opening theatrical in Chicago and San Francisco soon. If you don't live in either city, the film will premiere on PBS, as part of Independent Lens, on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 (check your local listings for times). The film screened as part of our Special Presentations section during the festival and you can find more information about the film (where it scored 4 & 1/2 stars out of five from our audience) on our website.

The following is the official release from the filmmakers...

From the filmmakers who brought you the ACADEMY AWARD nominated GENGHIS BLUES, comes the next great adventure...

The multi-award winning BEYOND THE CALL opens nationally at
Landmark Theatres in Chicago and San Francisco:

Chicago: Friday, November 24th at Landmark Century Center Cinema.

2828 North Clark St. at Diversey, inside the Century Shopping Center.'sCenturyCentreCinema.htm

San Francisco: Friday, December 1st at Landmark Embarcadero Center Cinema.

One Embarcadero Center, Promenade Level, San Francisco.


In an Indiana Jones meets Mother Teresa adventure, three middle-aged men – former

soldiers and modern-day knights - travel the world delivering life-saving humanitarian aid

directly into the hands of civilians and doctors; in some of the most dangerous yet beautiful

places on Earth, the front lines of war.

"An extremely inspiring film that is also hilarious, exciting and heart-wrenching. Not only are the three men unbelievably good willed, they are enjoyable characters filled with lovable quirks and wonderful stories to tell." - Christopher Campbell, Cinematical

Trailer and info at: and

The director / producer / cinematographer, Adrian Belic, and the star, Ed Artis, will be in

Chicago and San Francisco for the opening weekends doing Q&A after each screening

and press. This is a rare opportunity to meet these global adventurers in person.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

AFF Alum Paul Feig on a Roll

2003 Austin Film Festival Audience Award winner Paul Feig (I Am David) is on a roll with the release of his latest film, Unaccompanied Minors, on December 8th and just today, The Hollywood Reporter mentioned that Paul has been hired to write and direct "Smooth Operator." Weintraub Productions is making the film with hopes "to make the movie in the spring, with plans to swiftly move into casting when Feig is done with the rewrite, which also will include beefing up the roles of the supporting cast. The aim is to populate the roles with comedy actors Feig has worked with in the past or has always wanted to work with.

"Paul did it with 'Unaccompanied Minors,' " Jerry Weintraub Prods. president Robert Guralnick said. "Even the smallest role had funny people in it, and that's one thing that Paul does better than anyone else. True comedy writer-directors are rare and in our estimation, Paul is one of the best."

Paul is the creator of late, great television show Freaks & Geeks and the writer of the books Kick Me: Adventures in Adolescence and Superstud: Or How I Became a 24-Year-Old Virgin.

aGLIFF's mgm 07 challenge

Call for Entries for My Gay Movie 2007

10-Minute Short Film Competition Aimed at Novice Filmmakers!

Submission Deadline: December 22 (postmark or drop-off)

MGM Screening: Thursday, January 25 (7:30PM)

For more info:

(Austin, TX)---Since 2000, The Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival (aGLIFF) has inspired novice filmmakers to create 10-minute shorts with a “queer sensibility,” with the best being sent to film festivals across the globe. This year, aGLIFF and Public Access Community Television (PACT) are teaming up to provide filmmaking workshops and access to cameras, computers and editing software.

aGLIFF is now accepting submissions for the MGM 2007 Challenge. Entries must be on mini-DV or DVD; be no longer than 10 min; and have lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender subject matter. We are seeking short films from first-time, amateur and budding filmmakers. All types of media are welcome, including live action and animation. A preliminary judging committee will make selections from all works accepted. Awards will be doled out, including a grand prize for “Best My Gay Movie 2007!”

Because MGM is aimed at amateur filmmakers, aGLIFF is teaming up with PACT to provide workshops on basic camera and editing software. You DO NOT have to take a PACT training to submit your MGM Film, but attending a PACT Orientation and becoming certified as a Producer will provide you access to professional camera equipment, editing software and give you the skills to become a first-rate filmmaker.

To submit a film or video please download a Submission Form and include a synopsis of the entry in 50 words or less. Film submissions should be postmarked by December 22, 2006. Films should be mailed to: aGLIFF c/o MGM; 1216 E. 51st Street; Austin, TX 78723.

An exhibition of the films will be held on Thursday, January 25 at 7:00PM at the Regal Arbor Cinema, located at 9828 Great Hills Trail.

aGLIFF hosts is the oldest and largest film festival of its kind in the Southwest and cultivates gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender filmmaking. For more information, you may call 512.302.9889 or visit

Thursday, November 09, 2006

AFF 05 Short available on ITunes

Boy-Next-Door, a comedy short from the 2005 Austin Film Festival, has found a home on ITunes. Be sure to check out this hilarious short starring Richard Moll (that's right, Bull from Night Court) and support AFF filmmaker Travis Davis!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Lauren Greenfield on "The Today Show" today

Ms. Greenfield presented her powerful film THIN at the 2006 festival. In the clip she talks about the film and her recently released book also based on her experiences at Renfrew, a residential facility for the treatment of eating disorders.
Watch the segment