Though the month has just begun, we’ve already got lots to look forward to in Austin! Read on and remember to mark your calendars for some of the exciting events the city will see in the coming months.
SXSW Film is opening its 25th year with a scare. A Quiet Place, from director, co-writer, and star John Krasinski, will open the festival for the 132 other films that were announced so far. Of Krasinski’s film, SXSW Director of Film Janet Pierson said, “Not only do we love its originality, suspense, and amazing cast, we love seeing artists stretch and explore.” Among some of the other features, shorts, documentaries, and episodics announced in the lineup were the premiere of Kate McKinnon’s Family, a screening of John Cena’s R-rated comedy Blockers, Christopher Plummer as a pot-dealing grandpa in Boundaries, Bill Hader’s new HBO series Barry, and Syfy’s Krypton. SXSW is taking place March 9-18.
In other Texas festival announcements, the ATX Television festival announced selections for their 3rd annual television program, an event that is in partnership with the Black List. The fifteen scripts that have been selected will be sent to the participating network and studio partners for staffing season consideration. The partners this year include HBO, Carlton Cuse Productions, Bad Robot, Amblin TV, Okay Goodnight, Kilter Films and Annapurna Pictures. From there, they will move on to the next round of competition in which ten writers will get the chance to pitch their shows live at the festival. The winner will get the opportunity to work with a mentor to perfect the script and begin shopping it to networks for sale. The fifteen scripts selected include one comedy and fourteen dramas telling a wide range of stories, from one about Native Americans in the 800s to the story of a woman infiltrating a tech startup. This year’s ATX Television Festival is taking place June 7-10.
Texas State University will be host to a new collection of archival footage and materials from the Austin Film Festival beginning in September of this year. The Texas State Library & Archives Commission and the Wittliff Collections will have on hand an assortment of panels, interviews, and Q&As from the Austin Film Festival ranging from 1992 to 2002. The collection will be open for free to the public at the San Marcos campus along with an option to view the materials online. Some of the highlights from the collection include a deep dive into MTV’s Beavis and Butthead with Mike Judge, a conversation with Richard Linklater and Steven Sonderberg, a Q&A with Dennis Hopper and Oliver Stone, a panel with James L. Brooks and Buck Henry, and other events with filmmakers, writers, and actors.
Texas is still one of the best places to live and work as a filmmaker, according to MovieMaker Magazine. The publication recently put out their list of the best locations for a filmmaker, based on the community, the work happening, and its history in the business. The Lone Star State was the most represented of any state with Austin, Houston, and San Antonio making the list. Austin was placed at number 9, being lauded for the upcoming James Cameron/Robert Rodriguez film Alita: Battle Angel, AMC’s The Son, Rooster Teeth’s local home base, and the general film-friendly nature of the city that is home to Austin Film Festival, SXSW, and Fantastic Fest. Houston closed out the list at number 15 for films such as Boyhood, Rushmore, and Urban Cowboy. The city is always looking for ways to draw new projects with its low cost of living and incentives. San Antonio was listed as one of their “On the Cusp” picks, noting the longest-running Latino Film Festival in CineFestival (which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year), and the best incentives in the state with their local rebate.