Toll-road redemption (for filmmakers, legislators, and me)

Posted by Keli Dailey on May Day, 6 p.m.

I'm doing the deliberate slow clap (most redemptively portrayed in Corey Haim's Lucas) for Truth be Tolled documentary filmmaker and Trinity graduate William Molina and his co-writer Deborah Fazackerley. They picked up the Platinum Remi award at the WorldFest Houston Film Festival after their April 22 screening of Tolled, which followed last year's passionate grassroots movement against Texas Governor Rick Perry's gift to toll-road builders: the Trans-Texas Corridor.

I had given Tolled caustic review back in October when they first rush released it. (Deborah admits they hurried to affect the November elections: Perry still won, becoming Texas longest serving governor and the Tolled team entered a new edit into the festival alongside 4,500 films from 37 countries.)

Look how far the anti-toll movement has come, I say. Not only has the Texas Senate voted unanimously for a two-year moratorium on private toll roads, but, in what the Austin Statesman has called a when-pigs-fly moment, but that pro-tolling gargoyle, Texas House Transportation Committee Chairman Mike Krusee and his entire committee voted for a moratorium this afternoon. This! From the gargoyle who helped craft the funding legislation to allow private companies like San Anto's Zachry and Spain's Cintra to lease and collect tolls from Texans for 50 years! This doesn't mean we'll never get tolled; it just looks like some agreements might be put on hold for a while.

The press release that announced that Tolled was nominated for the WorldFest award credits the film with "fueling the grassroots backlash against the private toll road contracts and `the` TTC" — every state legislator was given a copy! Deborah says she didn't write that part of release; credit her doc's star and tireless toll opponent, Terri Hall. Deborah, I slow clap for your humility, too.
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