Random notes from an Austin film scene…
– So we’ve got our five finalists for the first-ever SXSWeb Media Festival. We’ve got some work ahead of us, but we should have the list of shorts announced on our site next week, and then we will be hosting the complete shorts on the site soon after that.
I’m really happy with what we got this year. It’s always a weird risk/gamble when you try a new endeavor at a festival. You never know if it’ll sink or swim, but in this case, I think we’ll keeping swimming for a while. The finalists are a nice mix of different genres, animated pieces, music pieces, fiction pieces, and nonfiction pieces. I hope everyone with a computer digs what they see.
– This weekend is the much-anticipated Before Sunrise/Sunset event hosted by the Austin Film Society. On Saturday, Rick Linklater and stars Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy will host special screenings of both Before Sunrise and its upcoming sequel Before Sunset. In-between the two is a cocktail party, and I’m sure some kind of party afterwards. If not, I’ll have to create one…
– Speaking of the Austin Film Society, I’m hosting a workshop for them on July 7. It’s called “How To Get Your Film Seen.” Basically, this was born from the frustration of many local filmmakers that they can learn all they want about how to make a film, but they’re still in the dark about what to do after it’s made. So, AFS’s Rebecca Campbell and I decided we should throw together a workshop to help address these issues. Basically, I plan to discuss with filmmakers certain issues like festival strategies, publicity, producer’s reps, and distribution options. I’m going to attack it from the point-of-view of someone who has seen many great films go on to great things, while many good films seem to have a hard time getting their audience.
– MSNBC called. They wanted information on our SXSW 2004 premiere Bush’s Brain, the Karl Rove documentary that went on to play Tribeca in May. Apparently, they’re following the Michael Moore trail to see what similar films are out there.
– Ran into Alicyn from Burnt Orange Productions and Leah from Aspyr Media at a screening of Napoleon Dynamite the other day. These two friends are part of two very important aspects of the Austin scene. Burnt Orange has had plenty of write-ups in indieWIRE, but Aspyr certainly deserves an extra shout-out. Leah works with Zach and Chad and the great crew of film and music distributors. Check out their site here. Both of these wonderful women do great work for some great companies that are just on the verge of making huge splashes worldwide.