AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES THE 2013 CAPITAL ONE BANK AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS Five AFF Films Purchased for Distribution at 2013 Festival AFF ANNOUNCES DATES FOR 21st ANNUAL FESTIVAL & CONFERENCE: OCTOBER 23-30, 2014 AUSTIN, TEXAS (October 31, 2013) Austin Film Festival (AFF) is proud to announce the 2013 Audience Award winners presented by Capital One Bank. Throughout the week of the Festival and Conference …
AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES
THE 2013 CAPITAL ONE BANK AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS
Five AFF Films Purchased for Distribution at 2013 Festival
AFF ANNOUNCES DATES FOR 21st ANNUAL FESTIVAL & CONFERENCE: OCTOBER 23-30, 2014
AUSTIN, TEXAS (October 31, 2013) Austin Film Festival (AFF) is proud to announce the 2013 Audience Award winners presented by Capital One Bank. Throughout the week of the Festival and Conference (Oct. 24-31) audience members were invited to numerically rate films by ballot following each film’s screening. The winners are as follows:
Marquee Feature Audience Award:
Writer/ Director: Tommy Oliver
Narrative Feature Audience Award:
BESIDE STILL WATERS
Writers: Chris Lowell, Mohit Narang
Director: Chris Lowell
Documentary Feature Audience Award: (tie)
(tie) ALL OF ME
Director: Alexandra Lescaze
(tie) THE LIFE AND CRIMES OF DORIS PAYNE
Directors: Kirk Marcolina, Matthew Pond
Comedy Vanguard Audience Award:
THE GOLDEN SCALLOP
Writer: Kevin Harrigan
Director: Joseph Laraja
Dark Matters Audience Award:
Writer: Eddie Guzelian
Director: Madellaine Paxson
Texas Independents Audience Award:
SOMBRAS DE AZUL
Writer/Director: Kelly Daniela Norris
Write/Rec Audience Award:
Writer: Erin Cardillo
Director: Noah Harald
Narrative Short Audience Award:
Writer: Richard Sainsbury
Director: Greg Ash
Narrative Student Short Audience Award:
Writer/Director: Josh Smooha
Animated Short Audience Award:
Writers: Wouter Bongaerts, Bert Vandecasteele
Director: Wouter Bongaerts
Documentary Short Audience Award:
Director: Jessica Yu
The 2013 Film Jury Award Winners and Screenplay/Teleplay winners have already been announced, and are available here.
The 2012 Audience Awards included Silver Linings Playbook, Asad and Head over Heels, all of which were nominated for Academy Awards. 2012’s Feature Audience Awards Winners Spinning Plates, Rising From Ashes, The Muslims Are Coming, and Saturday Morning Massacre (aka Saturday Morning Mystery) all went on to (or are currently making) theatrical runs. The 2011 Audience Award Winner The Artist won five Academy Awards and was nominated for five others.
The AFF Audience Award Film Series is sponsored by Capital One Bank. “Capital One Bank’s support of the 2013 Austin Film Festival is one of the many ways our company is ‘Investing for Good’ in Austin,” said Mike Perrine, Capital One Bank’s Austin Area President. “The 2013 festival welcomed visitors from across the country to Austin and showcased more than 120 features and 100 shorts. In a city that welcomes, values, and inspires originality and creativity, Capital One Bank salutes the featured participants and congratulates each of the winners.”
Five AFF Films were purchased for distribution at this year’s Festival & Conference. The Brightest Star (formerly Light Years), NSFW, Scrapper, and Favor were picked up by Gravitas Ventures, a Festival sponsor. Well Go USA acquired the North American rights to Cavemen. The Brightest Star, NSFW and Cavemen had their World Premieres at this year’s Austin Film Festival.
AFF has announced its dates for the 21st Annual Austin Film Festival and Conference, October 23-30, 2014. For information or to purchase a Badge, please call 1-800-310-FEST (3378) or visit the website at www.austinfilmfestival.com.
ABOUT AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL
Austin Film Festival (AFF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the art, craft, and business of filmmakers and screenwriters. In addition to a robust list of year-round events, AFF is producing its 20th Annual Film Festival & Conference in 2013. AFF is known as a uniquely pro-artist and interactive idea exchange. Its uncommonly loyal following is due to the fact that the organization has spotlighted the minds and imaginations behind projects for two decades—a trend now picking up steam in the industry. As director and producer Ron Howard said, Austin Film Festival “is really about creativity, about trying to help people find their voice. You sense it. There’s a spirit of camaraderie that’s palpable.” AFF is a greenhouse for projects and a clubhouse for legendary and emerging artists.
Austin Film Festival is funded and supported in part by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts, City of Austin Economic Growth & Redevelopment Services Office/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future. Additional support is provided by KUT, KVUE, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences®, Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation, and Shweiki Media.
ABOUT CAPITAL ONE BANK:
Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company whose subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A., and Capital One Bank (USA), N. A., had $209.9 billion in deposits and $296.5 billion in total assets as of June 30, 2013. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients through a variety of channels. Capital One, N.A. has more than 900 branch locations primarily in Texas, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 100 index.
10.26.13 | KELSEY HOCKMULLER With all the fantastic marquee films at the festival, it can be hard to remember that there are lots of smaller films playing that will not be widely released right after the festival (I’m looking at you 12 Years A Slave). So, to hopefully distract you from the glamour of movie stars and famous names, here’s a selection of quirky, …
10.26.13 | KELSEY HOCKMULLER
With all the fantastic marquee films at the festival, it can be hard to remember that there are lots of smaller films playing that will not be widely released right after the festival (I’m looking at you 12 Years A Slave). So, to hopefully distract you from the glamour of movie stars and famous names, here’s a selection of quirky, cult, and “arthouse” films playing each night (basically all the weird stuff), including several of my personal favorites at the festival.
Kick off the festival opening night with Putzel at 7:30pm at the State. The story of Walter, known affectionately as Putzel, whose aspirations of taking over his uncle’s smoked fish emporium interrupted by Sally, who begins an affair with his married uncle just before he plans to retire. The cast features familiar faces such as Up In The Air’s Melanie Lynsky and Much Ado’s Fran Kranz, but lead John Carpenter carries the film with awkward self-deprecating charm. Putzel is writer Rick Moore (in attendance)’s first feature, but has already won the Jury Award for Best Screenplay at the Prescott Film Festival. Thursday night will be the only chance to see this film at AFF, so take it!
The first Friday night, venture into the weird world of underground art (i.e. hipster) culture with Hellaware at 10:45pm at the Alamo Village. Hellaware follows a New York photographer who travels down to rural Delaware to shoot a possibly psychotic rock-rap band. A commentary on exploitation and the art world, Hellaware is dark and hilarious, twisting unpredictably to its conclusion. UT grad Writer/director Michael M. Bilandic (Happy Life) is responsible for this socially questionable film.
To lighten up your Saturday evening, check out A Birder’s Guide To Everything at 6pm at the IMAX. A quirky coming of age film about bird-watchers, Birder’s Guide follows David Portnoy, a high school sophomore who blows off his dad’s wedding to locate what he thinks is an extinct duck. Touching, tongue-in-cheek, and ultimately heart-warming, Birder’s Guide successfully avoids clichés and embraces the relative oddity of its birder protagonists without mocking them. Director Rob Meyer and his co-writer Luke Matheny will be in attendance – if you’ve ever wanted to know what working with featured actor Ben Kingsley is like, now’s the chance to ask!
Sunday night, go support an AFF alumnus by seeing How To Follow Strangers at 8pm at the Alamo Village. Here last year as part of the hilarious documentary The Exquisite Corpse Project (my favorite film at the festival last year, just saying), writer/director Chioke Nassor returns to AFF with his debut feature. The film follows a young man who, after hearing about the discovery of woman’s body two years after her death, disappears to see if anyone will notice, and the young woman who does. Zany, fun, and often poignant, How To Follow Strangers will charm you and make you smile.
Anyone who has talked to me in the past month has probably heard me raving about Living Dolls, which plays Monday evening at the Galaxy Highland at 7pm and is one of my favorite films at AFF. This fantastic documentary follows the lives of several doll collectors and enthusiasts. This sounds rather ordinary until you realize that “dolls” encompasses everything from limited edition Barbies, to 19th century antiques, to life-sized sex dolls, to anatomically correct robots made from chopped up Barbie dolls, and that the collections span hundreds of dolls and are worth thousands of dollars. The film explores humanity’s fascination with the inanimate and the affects of doll obsession on its subjects’ lives without any hint of ridicule or judgment.
Continuing with the weird, The Fable of Shannon Cable plays at 9:30pm Tuesday night at the Galaxy Highland. Written and directed by Austin filmmaker Vinnie Hogan (in attendance), this comedic take on haunted houses follows Shannon’s fateful weekend house-sitting at a very old house inhabited by a trio of singing ghosts. All over the place in the best way possible, this film keeps the Austin film scene weird in a big way.
Also from an Austin filmmaker, but considerably darker in tone, Polish-language film The Bloc plays Wednesday night at the State Theater at 9:45pm. A modern film noir set in an eerily Soviet-influenced totalitarian state, The Bloc explores the harsh realities of a decaying “perfect society” through the story of Ajek Lynx, an alcoholic private detective who investigates through the urban wasteland and corrupt government on the disappearances of several children. Engrossing, disturbing, and featuring hauntingly beautiful cinematography, Wednesday’s screening is the film’s world premiere and only screening at AFF. See it while you have the chance, there are few films like it.
If you need to recover from the general bleakness of The Bloc, consider closing out the festival with Handy, the story of a hand who detaches from its human body to find itself. Though its intentions are innocent enough, the consequences of Handy’s actions dramatically change the lives of all other hands in the world. Playing at 7pm at the Alamo Village with director/writer Vincent Cosentino in attendance, a film this absurd in concept seems like the perfect way to close out 8 days celebrating inventive filmmaking and radically new stories.
10.25.13 | HUNTER ROWE Hunter Rowe is an intern in the film department and an aspiring documentarian himself. We asked Hunter to preview the short documentary films playing both in and out of competition. BLINDE LIEFDE (Blind Love) Writer/Director: Jenny van den Broeke Is it possible to love someone you’ve never seen? Does that matter if you’re blind? If there’s one thing to be …
10.25.13 | HUNTER ROWE
Hunter Rowe is an intern in the film department and an aspiring documentarian himself. We asked Hunter to preview the short documentary films playing both in and out of competition.
BLINDE LIEFDE (Blind Love)
Writer/Director: Jenny van den Broeke
Is it possible to love someone you’ve never seen? Does that matter if you’re blind? If there’s one thing to be learned from BLINDE LIEFDE, it’s that love is complicated—whether you’re blind or you can see. Florian, Merel, and llse, show us that sometimes looks do matter; sometimes relationships don’t work out; and sometimes the future of one’s love life is just plain scary. Come watch these three inspiring individuals navigate their way through the confusing world of love at the Hideout Theater on Friday October 25th at 2:15 p.m. and Tuesday October 29th at 5:30 p.m.
Director: Ira Chute
After facing discrimination at a cattle sale, one man decides that instead of quitting, he’ll simply build his own cattle town. The world needs more people like Ed Keeylocko. He’s essentially someone who laughed in the face of adversity, built his own popular western cattle town, and yet still somehow retains humility and humor. Director Ira Chute provides a captivating look into the life of Ed Keeylocko and his conception of the western Cowtown Keeylocko. Come check it out Friday October 25th at 2:15 p.m. and Tuesday October 29th at 5:30 p.m.
Director: Jessica Yu
As children, almost all of us dream of our future professions. For Tonga Torcida, the dream was to be a tour guide for his beloved Gorongosa National Park in war-torn Mozambique. When biologist E.O. Wilson arrives at the park to conduct several studies, Tonga is presented with a rare opportunity to study under one of the world’s most famous biologists. Wilson provides Tonga with a renewed outlook on his childhood home and the gravity of the measures that must be taken to save it. Tonga must decide between pursuing the simpler path of his dreams, or pursuing the more difficult path that could help save the park. Come watch Tonga’s journey at the Hideout Theater on Friday October 25th at 12:00 p.m. or Tuesday October 29th at 3:00 p.m.
THE KING OF SIZE
Director: Peter Dowd
In THE KING OF SIZE, director Peter Dowd provides a personal look into the life of a man who defies the limits of his own body. Tony Natalie has been bodybuilding since the early 90’s, and continues to do so today, despite several serious injuries that would cause most people to abandon their pursuits. Natalie shows us that pursuing your dreams, being the best—or the biggest—doesn’t come without sacrifice. Check it out at the Hideout Theatre on Friday October 25th at 2:15 or Tuesday October 25th at 5:30 p.m.
Directors: Steve Abruzzese, Jennifer Suwak
Equestrian dentist John Baker has worked on horses’ teeth for over forty years. Still unimpressed? Baker has never once used sedation to subdue even the most troublesome of horses. PULLING TEETH demonstrates that empathy, patience, and building trust are qualities that both animals and humans equally value. Come watch John work his magic in the doc shorts program 13 at the Hideout Theater on Friday October 25th at 12:00 p.m. or Tuesday October 29th at 3:00 p.m.
Director: Jacqueline Christy
Have you ever found yourself so deeply in concentration that you lose focus of the world around you? Director Jacqueline Christy provides an observational look into the mind of a man completely focused on perfecting his One Minute Magic Act. At only seven minutes long, this short documentary manages to fit in the madness, humor, and intense dedication that go into one of Scot Baker’s rehearsals. Come watch the inception of the One Minute Magic Act at the State Theater on Friday, October 25th at 12:00 p.m. and the Alamo Drafthouse Village on Monday, October 28th at 1:00 p.m.
THE RIDER AND THE STORM
Directors: David Darg, Bryn Mooser
For New Yorker Timmy Brennan, the ocean is more than just a daily respite from the city; it’s the one thing that grounds him—that allows him to interact with the natural world that the city masks. Ironically, that same ocean is what destroyed his family home when Hurricane Sandy provoked fires that burned down his entire neighborhood. Timmy and his family search through the ashes to find what’s left of their lives—and in the process Timmy is provided with a new chance to connect with the same ocean that almost destroyed everything. THE RIDER AND THE STORM screens at the Hideout Theater on Friday October 25th at 2:15 p.m. and Tuesday October 29th at 5:30 p.m.
WIN OR LOSE
Director: Daniel Koehler
WIN OR LOSE is a documentary that brings into question what it really means to win or lose when fighting for equality. Photographer Curtis Brown sets out on a monumental task to show that a discriminatory amendment in North Carolina affects real families in a devastating way. Who’s really winning when an entire group of people are discriminated against for who they love? Come watch Brown use his talent to show that every vote for amendment fifteen is a vote against a real person from his photos. WIN OR LOSE screens at the Hideout Theater on Friday October 25th at 2:15 p.m. and Tuesday October 29th at 5:30 p.m.
Out of Competition Doc Shorts
It’s safe to say bugs of every variety are on the shortlist of people’s top fears—often without any concrete explanation. Both budding entomologists and people with arachnophobia alike should definitely check out this documentary short that sheds light on the misunderstood nature of bugs. Perhaps afterward you may even want to try one of the many tasty recipes found in this playful, yet educational doc short. BUG PEOPLE screens at the hideout theater on Friday October 25th at 12:00 p.m. and Tuesday October 29th at 3 p.m.
PAST THEIR PRIME
It’s Colo the gorilla’s 55th birthday—a landmark date that celebrates her reign as the oldest living gorilla in captivity. Coco is one of many elderly animals in the zoo that require specialized care to combat the effects of aging we all face: arthritis, dental and heart issues, etc. PAST THEIR PRIME is a heartwarming doc short that provides a look into the compassion that zookeepers share for these animals. It’s an important lesson that demonstrates whether you’re human or animal, we can all use a little help as we age. PAST THEIR PRIME screens at the Hideout Theater on Friday October 25th at 12:00 p.m. and Tuesday October 29th at 3 p.m.
HOW TO SHARPEN PENCILS
If you thought you knew how to sharpen a pencil, think again. Ex political cartoonist David Rees takes us through the delicate process of artisanal pencil sharpening in this witty, yet dead-serious do-it-yourself doc short. If you still find yourself overwhelmed by the process after watching, no need to worry. David offers a pencil sharpening service that provides one personally sharpened pencil, the shavings, and a signed certificate of authentication. As David’s website states: “No, this is not a joke. You pay David Rees money and he sharpens your pencils. It actually happens.” Come watch the chief expert on pencil sharpening at the Hideout Theater on Friday October 25th at 6:45 p.m. and Sunday October 27th at 6:45 p.m.
Writing a letter to someone you haven’t seen in a while is difficult enough. Writing a letter to someone who ruined your life? That takes some time. DEC 25 is a prime example of how a powerful story can be told in an exceptionally short amount of time. Come watch this difficult letter unfold at the Hideout Theater October 27th at 4:30 p.m. and Monday October 28th at 5:30 p.m.
10.25.2013 | 8 Days of Movies: ACTION/THRILLER Greetings and salutations! I’m Jordan, a film programming apprentice with AFF. When I’m not busy acclimating my Minnesota self to this city of the South (eating tacos for breakfast, trying to work “ya’ll” into my vocabulary, etc) I’m here watching movies. Want to discover some fresh and exciting films at the festival? Be sure to check out some …
8 Days of Movies: ACTION/THRILLER
Greetings and salutations! I’m Jordan, a film programming apprentice with AFF. When I’m not busy acclimating my Minnesota self to this city of the South (eating tacos for breakfast, trying to work “ya’ll” into my vocabulary, etc) I’m here watching movies. Want to discover some fresh and exciting films at the festival? Be sure to check out some of these action flicks:
Thurs 10/24: The Art of the Steal at Paramount Theatre, 9:45pm
An ensemble heist movie in the vein of Ocean’s 11 and The Italian Job, this film features Matt Dillon, Terrence Stamp, Jay Baruchel and Kurt Russell, whose campy motorcycle-riding character definitely reminded me of his turn in Tarantino’s Death Proof a few years ago (although his zaniness doesn’t translate into a murderous rampage this time around). This hilarious take on the “one last score” trope features sibling rivalry, high-speed chases, and useful lessons about “the art of the steal.” For example, don’t use fishnets to cover your face during a robbery; you’ll only look like a waffle. To see if they get away with it, you’ll just have to watch and see!
Fri 10/25: The Project at State Theatre, 2:30pm
“For the last 10 years, Somalia has been…a continuously looped Mad Max movie.” If that doesn’t put a picture into your mind, I don’t know what does. THE PROJECT is an eye-opening documentary profile of the Puntland Maritime Police Force, a secret group of mercenary pirate hunters bent on curbing the reign of Somali piracy that’s been rapidly spreading throughout the past decade. It’s a disturbingly real-life thriller with mutiny, death, and political confusion. Want to understand what’s really going on with Somali piracy today? Watch this film and see for yourself.
Sat 10/26: Cold Comes the Night at Galaxy Theatre, 9:45pm
This thriller features British actress Alice Eve and Breaking Bad’s Brian Cranston, who lately can do no wrong (hey, for every Total Recall remake and Rock of Ages, he gives us an Argo and a Drive). Here Cranston is a nearly-blind Polish criminal who takes Eve, a struggling single mom, hostage to help him retrieve some loot. She fights to take matters into her own hands, but it’s tricky when you’re dealing with a desperate blind hitman, a crooked cop with a crush, and a big chunk of missing money. What’s a woman to do when she’s been dragged into a crime hellhole? Start climbing out, however she can.
Sun 10/27: Dug Up at Alamo Village, 10:30pm
Written and directed by Dustin Rikert (a busy guy – he’s been juggling several film releases), this horror-action-comedy hybrid finds an unlikely protagonist in Trevor Bo Chesney. Flanked by two sexy Southern ladies (his girlfriend Chelsea and his sister Amber), Trevor begins an ill-advised treasure hunt in the local cemetery. Naturally, it turns into a war between humans and an army of angry zombies. Think Shaun of the Dead or Zombieland but with lots of sex, drugs, and a grizzled zombie hunter named ZZ West.
Mon 10/28: Number 10 Blues/Goodbye, Saigon at State Theatre, 7:00pm
First, the incredible back-story of this feature: filmed in 1975 in the midst of Vietnam warfare, it was recently found in the vault of the National Film Centre of Japan and edited together into the feature we have now. After accidentally killing a Vietnamese, a wealthy Japanese businessman is forced to go on the run with his lover and a new young companion. He falls from being a privileged “number 1” to a destitute “number 10” at an alarming rate. The film captures the race relations and war-weary sentiments of the era. Don’t wait to see this film- it’s been a quarter century in the making!
Tues 10/29: Mystery Road at State Theatre, 9:45pm
This gritty, ambitious Australian Western shoots for the stylistic moon and makes it (take for example the brutal but beautifully shot gunfight scene at the end). Our hero is an Indigenous cop assigned the murder case of a local Indigenous girl. Aside from being a satisfying thriller with its finger on the pulse of current race relations in Australia, MYSTERY ROAD’s production story is also a sign of increasing self-reliance within country’s filmmaking industry. Ivan Sen wrote, directed, edited, AND composed this feature. On top of that, he’s distributing it himself through his own production company. If filmmakers can buck the Hollywood system and give us top-quality films like this, I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Wed 10/30: Yuma at State Theatre, 7:15pm
Come see the bad influence of Western capitalism and cowboys on young Poles in the 1990s! Communism has just fallen in Poland and across the German border lies wealth and opportunities galore. What to do? If you’re Zyga (rising young Polish actor Jakub Gierszel – look for him in years to come), you become king of the petty thieves. Unfortunately he learns that the higher you climb, the harder you fall. A stylish ode to Western films (hard to miss the 3:10 to Yuma nod in the title) YUMA is also a cautionary tale that’ll make you think twice about becoming a gun-slinging gangster.
Thurs 10/31: Blood Punch at Rollins Theatre, 9:30pm
A Groundhog Day with meth and murder, I’m betting you haven’t seen anything quite like BLOOD PUNCH. A mysterious femme fatale, a meth cooker, and a crooked cop get tangled up in a half-baked drug scheme, but nothing goes right. Loyalties are tested, lines are crossed, but each morning puts everyone back at square one. Get ready to do the time warp over and over again (or can you figure out how to make it to tomorrow?)