Media South Texas Cinema 

News from the greater SA film industry

When we left the South Texas film scene last month, two films, La Tragedia De Macario and El Escape De Los Santos, were accepted to the Sundance and Hollywood DV Film Festival respectively. Happily, both films were picked up for national distribution as a result: Arrival Pictures, which helped Bob Odenkirk’s Melvin Goes To Dinner to a limited release, will bring Tragedia to theaters, while Venevision International will release El Escape on Pay-Per-View this spring and DVD this summer. Congratulations to the local filmmakers behind these projects.

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News from the greater SA film industry

Interested in supporting local film-makers, but don’t particularly want to leave your ergonomic swivel chair? Direct your browser to mycitynow.org for a glimpse of San Antonio through a 16-year-old’s eyes. The six-minute short “Muertitos,” which highlights Día De Los Muertos celebrations around San Antonio, is one of more than 50 films made by high-school students nationwide as part of the My City Now project. Sponsored in part by Cityprojects, Southwest Airlines, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, My City Now educators visited San Antonio in September and October 2005, teaching students video production and encouraging them to turn those newfound skills on the city’s cultural life. In the rich American Idol tradition, 12 films including “Muertitos” were selected from workshop participants and showcased on the project’s website. Users can view the shorts and vote for their favorites through February 17; the winner will be announced February 23.

But enough of other young, talented film professionals, what about yourself? Still struggling to come up with a decent third act for your Larry “Bud” Melman biopic? Do you have a brilliant concept for Lethal Weapon 5, but don’t know to whom you should pitch it, or how? Ask screenwriter John August, filmdom’s own Ann Landers, who will speak Tuesday, February 28, at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity University’s Chapman Auditorium as part of the 2005-06 Stieren Arts Enrichment Series. In the past few years, August collaborated with director Tim Burton on three films: adaptations of Big Fish and Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, and the original screenplay for The Corpse Bride.

In addition to several high-profile credits, (including 1999’s Go, which August wrote and produced) August has made a name for himself as a regular contributor to the Internet Movie Database’s weekly Ask A Filmmaker column (imdb.com/Indie/Ask) where he answers screenwriting queries that cover topics from the stylistic (“Generating ideas that help get the story told”), to the technical (“Differentiating between an homage and an unauthorized remake”), to the maddeningly precise (“Proper format for e-mailing a script”). And while August’s presentation, titled “Professional Writing and the Rise of the Amateur,” is likely to have a broader scope, if you ask politely I’m sure he’ll entertain your vision for Riggs and Murtaugh’s grisly demise ... for as long as geniality permits.

Send your questions or news re: film in South Central Texas to Aaron, at aaron.block@trinity.edu.

Aaron Block


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