This afternoon, I jumped in my car as soon as I landed in Austin (back from New York and IFP), and headed over to the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar for Day 2 of Fantastic Fest 2006. All seemed well. Crowds were big, screenings seemed successful, and filmmakers appeared as happy as can be. Various screenings were going off with packed crowds, especially in the 6:00 hour, as Tideland, Renaissance, and The Beach Party at the Threshold of Hell all screened within minutes of each other. I introduced Beach Party, a totally fun post-apocalyptic sci-fi/comedy that premiered at the L.A. Film Festival back in June. Some earlier screenings that seemed to play well, from what I heard, included Jeff Mahler’s Inside and Ryan Schifrin’s Abominable. Tomorrow afternoon, we have more screenings and events, as well as the Acquisitions Panel I’m moderating with John Pierson (Grainy Pictures), Dustin Smith (Roadside Attractions), and Jason Beck (First Look). In the meantime, here are some reports from the first 24 hours of the fest:
– Harry Knowles goes crazy for Terry Gilliam’s Tideland, via AICN.
– Also at AICN, Massawyrm reports on Gamerz, Haze, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning.
– On his blog, journalist Tim Basham offers a full recap on the Opening Night festivities surrounding Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning.
– News 8 Austin has video online from their coverage of the Chainsaw premiere.
– Apparently, a new super surprise screening has been added for Saturday night at 9 p.m. I’m one of the programmers, and I don’t even get to know what it is.