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A fun and informative look at what's happening locally and nationally in film, including interviews with area and Hollywood filmmakers and industry figures such as festival programmers, authors, and other behind-the-scenes people. Also featuring an events roundup, reviews, news, and analysis.
Robert Sims has written for Hollywood.com, Miami New Times, the Palm Beach Daily News, Shock Till You Drop, Total Film Magazine, and What's On in London.
Email: lightscameraaus firstname.lastname@example.org
November 20, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jette Kernion, AFCA President, email@example.com
AUSTIN FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES AUSTIN FILM AWARD FINALISTS
Austin, Texas -- The Austin Film Critics Association is pleased to announce its selection of seven finalists for the 2013 Austin Film Award: Before Midnight, Before You Know It, Mud, Prince Avalanche, The Retrieval, Somebody Up There Likes Me, and Zero Charisma.
The finalists were selected by a committee of AFCA members from 28 eligible contenders that were released theatrically or screened at an Austin film festival in 2013. The AFCA defines an eligible film as one that is made in Austin, or has a credited director and/or screenwriter whose primary residence is Austin during the time of filming.
The AFCA's full membership will vote for the Austin Film Award along with its other annual awards, and will announce all winners onDecember 17.
ABOUT THE AFCA 2013 AUSTIN FILM AWARD FINALISTS
Director: Richard Linklater
Genre: Narrative feature
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Web site: www.sonyclassics.com/beforemidnight/
Official Synopsis: An American father, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) is seeing off his son Hank (Seamus Davey–Fitzpatrick) at the Kalamata Airport in Greece. Hank’s returning to his mother and life in the U.S. after spending the “best summer ever” with Jesse and his family. The middle–schooler is more composed than his fortyish father, who hovers anxiously as their separation draws near. Geography weighs heavily on Jesse. Outside the airport, he rejoins his family: Celine (Julie Delpy) and their young twin daughters Ella and Nina (Jennifer and Charlotte Prior). As they drive through the austerely beautiful rocky hillsides of Messinia, Jesse and Celine talk—about living so far from Hank, about her career as an environmentalist and hopes for a new job, about the swirl of ancient and modern Greece around them. Jesse hints at wanting to move back to America from their home in Paris, but Celine has done her U.S. time—they lived in New York for a spell—and has no wish to return. Their long history together bubbles between them. Jesse and Celine first met in their twenties in Before Sunrise (1995), reunited in their thirties in Before Sunset (2004), and now, in Before Midnight, they face the past, present and future; family, romance, and love. Before the clock strikes midnight, their story again unfolds.
BEFORE YOU KNOW IT
Director: PJ Raval
Web site: beforeyouknowitfilm.com/
Official Synopsis: The subjects of Before You Know It are no ordinary senior citizens. They are go-go booted bar-hoppers, love struck activists, troublemaking baton twirlers, late night Internet cruisers, seasoned renegades and bold adventurers. They are also among the estimated 2.4 million lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans over the age of 55 in the United States, many of whom face heightened levels of discrimination, neglect and exclusion. But Before is not a film about cold statistics and gloomy realities, it’s a film about generational trailblazers who have surmounted prejudice and defied expectation to form communities of strength, renewal and camaraderie—whether these communities be affable senior living facilities, lively activist enclaves or wacky queer bars brimming with glittered trinkets and colorful drag queens.
Director: Jeff Nichols
Genre: Narrative feature
Distributor: Roadside Attractions
Web site: http://mud-themovie.com/
Official Synopsis: Mud is an adventure about two boys, Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and his friend Neckbone (Jacob Lofland), who find a man named Mud (Matthew McConaughey) hiding out on an island in the Mississippi. Mud describes fantastic scenarios—he killed a man in Texas and vengeful bounty hunters are coming to get him. He says he is planning to meet and escape with the love of his life, Juniper (Reese Witherspoon), who is waiting for him in town. Skeptical but intrigued, Ellis and Neckbone agree to help him. It isn’t long until Mud’s visions come true and their small town is besieged by a beautiful girl with a line of bounty hunters in tow.
Director: David Gordon Green
Genre: Narrative feature
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
Web site: www.magpictures.com/princeavalanche/
Official Synopsis: An odd couple of sorts, introspective and stern Alvin (Paul Rudd) and his girlfriend’s brother, Lance (Emile Hirsch), dopey and insecure, leave the city behind to spend the summer of 1988 repainting the traffic lines on a desolate country highway where the surrounding areas have been ravaged by wildfire. In this solitary backdrop, the two bicker and joke with each other as they reflect on their relationships with women, resulting in a clumsy fall headfirst into an unlikely friendship.
Director: Chris Eska
Genre: Narrative feature
Web site: www.theretrieval.com/
Official Synopsis: Set during the Civil War, The Retrieval follows a fatherless 13-year-old boy (Ashton Sanders) sent north by his bounty hunter gang on a dangerous mission to retrieve a wanted man (Tishaun Scott) under false pretense. During their journey towards the unwitting wanted man’s reckoning, the initially distant pair develops unexpected emotional bonds, forming a surrogate father-son relationship. As his feelings grow, the boy is consumed by conflicting emotions and a gut-wrenching ultimate decision: betray the father figure he’s finally found or risk being killed by his gang for insubordination.
SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME
Director: Bob Byington
Genre: Narrative feature
Distributor: Tribeca Film
Web site: www.somebodythemovie.com/
Official Synopsis: Bob Byington’s smart, subversive comedy skips through 35 years in the life of Max Youngman (Keith Poulson), his best (and only) friend Sal (Nick Offerman) and the woman they both adore (Jess Weixler). As they stumble in and out of hilariously misguided relationships — strung together with animated vignettes by Bob Sabiston (A Scanner Darkly) and an original score by Vampire Weekend’s Chris Baio — Max never ages, holding on to a mysterious briefcase that may or may not contain the secret to life.
Directors: Katie Graham, Andrew Matthews
Genre: Narrative feature
Distributor: Tribeca Film
Web site: tribecafilm.com/tribecafilm/filmguide/zerocharisma
Official Synopsis: As the strict Game Master of a fantasy role-playing game, Scott (Sam Eidson) leads his friends in a weekly quest through mysterious lands from the safety of his grandmother’s kitchen. But his mastery of his own domain starts to slip — along with everything else in his life — when neo-nerd hipster Miles (Garrett Graham) joins the game, winning over the group with his confident charm and dethroning Scott with an unexpected coup. Caught in delusions of grandeur, Scott must roll the dice and risk everything to expose Miles as the fraud he believes him to be. A darkly comedic fable of epic proportions, Zero Charisma is an ode to nerds from every realm.
ABOUT THE AUSTIN FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION
Founded in 2005 by Cole Dabney and Bobby McCurdy, the AFCA has seen its membership grow to over two dozen members with a diverse roster of professional film critics who regularly review movies for national television stations, daily newspapers, weekly alternatives, local radio, monthly magazines, and websites with international prominence. Each December, AFCA members vote on the year's best in film, celebrating excellence on both sides of the camera.
The outlets AFCA members represent include Ain't It Cool News, the Austin American-Statesman, the Austin Chronicle, Badass Digest, The Daily Texan, DVDActive, Fandango, Film.com, Film School Rejects, Hill Country News, Horror's Not Dead, KOOP Radio, Movies.com, Paste, ScreenCrush, Slackerwood, Smells Like Screen Spirit, Spill.com, Twitch, and YNN Austin.
More information about the AFCA may be found at http://austinfilmcritics.org/ and on Twitter at @ATXFilmCritics.
Lights Camera Austin and KOOP 91.7 FM has 25 passes, each good for 2 people, to see the new Danny Boyle thriller "Trance." Passes may be used Monday through Thursday, beginning April 15, at any Austin-area Regal Theatre showing "Trance."
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a pass. You must pick up your pass from KOOP Radio, 3823 Airport Blvd, Suite B Austin, during regular business hours.
Passes will be available after 3 p.m. Thursday, April 9.
Academy Award® winning director Danny Boyle crafts a wildly twisting mind puzzle exploringidentity, madness and perception via the altered state of hypnotic trance. Between the razor-thin lines of our dreams, desires and darkest impulses, our everyday realities vanish, leaving only the question of who or what can be trusted.
In "Trance," Simon (James McAvoy), a fine art auctioneer, teams up with a criminal gang to steal a Goya painting worth millions of dollars. After suffering a blow to the head during the heist, he awakens to discover he has no memory of where he hid the painting. When physical threats and torture fail to produce answers, the gang’s leader Franck (Vincent Cassel) hireshypnotherapist Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson) to delve into the darkest recesses of Simon’s psyche. As Elizabeth begins to unravel Simon’s broken subconscious, the line between truth, suggestion, and deceit begin to blur.
"Trance" opens Friday, April 12 in Austin. More information is available at http://www.trancethemovie.com/
Here is the guest list for Lights Camera Austin's SXSW Film Festival 2013 preview coverage:
Feb. 21, 2013
SXSW Film Festival producer Janet Pierson
A Teacher director Hannah Fidell
Feb. 28, 2013
Loves Her Gun director Geoff Marslett and co-writer Lauren Modery
Pit Stop director Yen Tan
Before You Know It director PJ Ravel
March 4, 2013
The Retreival director Chris Eska
All the Labor director Doug Hawes-Davis
Prince Avalanche co-producer Berndt Mader
Rewind This! director Josh Johnson
March 7, 2013
Wiley Wiggins, Computer Chess
Grow Up, Tony Phillips director Emily Hagins
Zero Charisma co-director Katie Graham and writer/co-director Andrew Matthews
March 14, 2013
The Bounceback director Bryan Poyser
Good Night director Sean Gallagher
Note: Lights Camera Austin host Robert Sims serves as vice president of the Austin Film Critics Association.
December 18, 2012 (Austin, TX) – The Austin Film Critics Association announced its 2012 awards today, naming Zero Dark Thirty as Best Film. The drama about the search for Osama bin Laden also led the group's Top Ten list. AFCA named director Kathryn Bigelow's previous film, The Hurt Locker, Best Film in 2009.
The Master took home three AFCA awards this year. Paul Thomas Anderson was named Best Director, Joaquin Phoenix won Best Actor, and Mihai Malaimare, Jr. was honored with Best Cinematography. Anderson previously won the AFCA Best Director award in 2007 for There Will Be Blood.
The magical-realism film Beasts of the Southern Wild also won multiple awards. Best First Film went to director Benh Zeitlin, and young star Quvenzhané Wallis was awarded the Robert R. "Bobby" McCurdy Memorial Breakthrough Artist Award.
AFCA also decided to recognize actor and Austin native Matthew McConaughey with a Special Honorary Award, in light of his strong performances this year in four films: Bernie, Killer Joe, Magic Mike, and The Paperboy.
The dark comedy Bernie, directed by Austin filmmaker Richard Linklater, was named Best Austin Film. Linklater won Best Austin Film twice before: for Me and Orson Welles in 2009, and for A Scanner Darkly in 2006.
Looper, the time-travel drama written and directed by Rian Johnson, was named Best Original Screenplay, while Chris Terrio's script for Argo took home Best Adapted Screenplay.
Jennifer Lawrence was named Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook. Best Supporting Actor went to Christoph Waltz for his role in Quentin Tarantino's action/Western Django Unchained. Waltz previously won the award in 2009 for Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. Anne Hathaway won Best Supporting Actress for her role in the musical Les Misérables. She won the AFCA Best Actress award in 2008 for Rachel Getting Married.
AFCA members chose Holy Motors, from French filmmaker Leos Carax, as Best Foreign Language Film. Best Animated Film went to Disney's Wreck-It Ralph, and the suspenseful The Imposter was named Best Documentary.
The full list of winners, plus the AFCA Top Ten Films of 2012 list, is detailed below. You can also find details at the AFCA website, www.austinfilmcritics.org.
The Austin Film Critics Association is a group dedicated to supporting the best in film, whether at the international, national, or local level. AFCA members contribute to publications and outlets as diverse as Ain't It Cool News, the Austin American-Statesman, the Austin Chronicle, DVDActive, Film.com, Film School Rejects, KOOP Radio, MSN Movies, Movies.com, ScreenCrush, Slackerwood, Smells Like Screen Spirit, Spill.com, Twitch, and YNN Austin, among others.
Best Film: Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow)
Best Director: Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master
Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
Best Original Screenplay: Rian Johnson, Looper
Best Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio, Argo
Best Cinematography: Mihai Malaimare, Jr., The Master
Best Score: Reinhold Heil, Johnny Klimek, and Tom Tykwer, Cloud Atlas
Best Foreign Language Film: Holy Motors (Leos Carax)
Best Documentary: The Imposter (Bart Layton)
Best Animated Film: Wreck-It Ralph (Rich Moore)
Best First Film: Beasts of the Southern Wild (Benh Zeitlin)
Best Austin Film: Bernie (Richard Linklater)
Robert R. "Bobby" McCurdy Memorial Breakthrough Artist Award:
Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Special Honorary Award: Matthew McConaughey, for his exceptional work in four films this year (Bernie, Killer Joe, Magic Mike, and The Paperboy)
AFCA 2012 Top Ten Films:
1. Zero Dark Thirty
3. Moonrise Kingdom
4. Django Unchained
5. Cloud Atlas
6. Holy Motors
7. Beasts of the Southern Wild
8. The Master
9. Silver Linings Playbook
Lights, Camera, Austin talks with former Friday Night Lights star Zach Gilford about his new film, In Our Nature, which opens Friday. Alamo Drafthouse programmer and Trailer War curator Lars Nilsen discusses the compilation of coming attractions for vintage genre films, which is available Dec. 18 on DVD. The Collection director Marcus Dunstan and screenwriter Patrick Melton talk about the sequel to 2009's The Collector. Also, host Robert Sims reviews The Hobbit. Thursday, 12/13, 2-3 p.m.
Lights, Camera, Austin talks with director Mark Potts about the Austin-made workplace comedy Cinema Six, which will screen Friday at the Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In. Also, director John Hyams discusses Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, which reunites Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren. Shot in 3-D, this fourth entry in the Universal Soldier franchise opens Friday after debuting at Fantastic Fest. Finally, host Robert Sims reviews Killing Them Softly. Thursday, 11/29, 2-3 p.m.
Lights Camera Austin talks with director James Christopher about his locally shot thriller Abram's Hand, which is now on DVD. Director Scooter Downey and actor/writer Sean Elliot discuss their Austin-made chiller It's In the Blood, which stars Lance Henriksen and is now available on VOD. Plus host Robert Sims reviews The Sessions and Smashed. Thursday, 11/8, 2-3 p.m.
Lights Camera Austin talks with director Maria Sadowska and actress Katarzyna Kwiatkowska about Women's Day, which opens the 7th annual Austin Polish Film Festival (Nov. 1-4). Director Scooter Downey and actor/writer Sean Elliot discuss their locally shot chiller It's In the Blood, which stars Lance Henriksen and is now available on VOD. Writer/director Stephen R. Reynolds talks about his drama Triggered, which screens Nov. 3 at the Alamo South Lamar. Plus host Robert Sims reviews Wreck-It Ralph. Thursday, 11/1, 2-3 p.m.
Lights Camera Austin previews the Austin Film Festival (10/18-10/25) with the directors of four films with local ties: Pictures of Superheroes' Don Swaynos, Last Day at Lambeau's Michael Neelsen, Satellite of Love's Will James Moore, and Flatland 2: Sphereland's Dano Johnson. Thursday, 10/18, 2-3 p.m.
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