A hell of fun time out in ATX for the 18th shindig that is the Austin Film Festival and Conference. Click thru for photos and winners.
This year’s festival had a nice J theme to it. Johnny Depp.
Johnny was honored with the “Extraordinary Contribution to Film – Acting” Award and he responded by doing a red carpet before The Rum Diary screening, a Q & A afterwards, An Intro for Edward Scissorhands with screenwriter Caroline Thompson, award his friend Caroline the Distinguished Screenwriter Award, and then show up for a hell of a set with Texas legend Bill Carter. We’ll get to that in a sec. Rounding out the series of J’s, John Lasseter.
The Chief Creative Officer of Pixar was honored with the Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking award. The panels at the Austin Film Festival seem to out do all others, especially with their award winners and John’s was no exception. Some moments that stood out to me:
“Quality is the business plan”, when talking about the strive for excellence at Walt Disney and now with Pixar. The moment that really made the conversation was John talking about being in the DFW Airport (yep DALLAS baby!!) and seeing, for the first time, a little boy holding a Toy Story Woody doll. John was with his family and was elated in telling us how amazing it is to still see the impact the films have on children.
Rounding out our J’s is that lovable stoner turned serious writer/director James Franco, who was showing his film SAL.
James continues to mold his career in interesting avenues as he showcased his chronicle of Sal Mineo’s, the teen star of REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, final hours, in a Franco penned and Directed film. Even for an early noon screening James brought out the fans!
As usual though the thing that continues to shine for the Austin Film Festival are those awesome panels and I wanted to share two of my favorites from this year. A Conversation with 2011 Outstanding Television Writer Awardee Hart Hanson. Hart sat down with his friend and fellow talented writer Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars). The two discussed Hart’s Canadian roots, the pivotal role a showrunner has on a TV show, the ageism that is in LA, and both told some fun personal stories. Hart joked about testing shows, “Testing is like temple, they split them up.”. Hart had the most fun talking about the differences between Canada and America. “To be an American is like ‘I’m an AMERICAN’, and to be a Canadian is like ‘I’m not an American’.”. He would also drop this nugget, “when we moved down to LA, it had become the 3rd largest Canadian city”. Overall a wonderful conversation.
Endings: The Good, the Bad, and the Insanely Great, with Michael Arndt. This panel has made its way to both coasts and is a repeat from last year’s AFF. Its something magical to witness Michael break down 3 minutes of movie gold with the ending of Star Wars and then he does his analysis over the Graduate and your mind finally just caves in to the greatness. Quite easily one of the best panels to be a part of for any film festival.
Here is a few shots from the another awesome staple of the Austin Film Festival, Staged Readings of upcoming projects. This year’s reading was for Writer/Director Shane Black’s new script, The Nice Guys.
Check out the PSD Facebook for more photos from AFF.
Before we get to the fun Johnny Depp photos here are the winners from this year’s festival.
2011 Austin Film Festival Film Competition Jury Winners
Narrative Feature: Harold’s Going Stiff, written by Keith Wright
Documentary Feature: Darwin, directed by Nick Brandestini
Documentary Feature Special Jury Mention: Goold’s Gold, directed by Tucker Capps and Ryan Sevy
Narrative Short: Salar, written by Nicholas Greene
Narrative Student Short: Little Horses, written by Levi Abrino and Luke Matheny
Animated Short: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, written by William Joyce
Animated Short Special Jury Mention: Who Lasts Longer, written by Gregorio Muro
Documentary Short: Abuelas, directed by Afarin Eghbal
Documentary Short Special Jury Mention: Day at the Pool, directed by Eric Fulford and Ian Douglass
Young Filmmakers Competition: Behind the Sun, written by Konstantinos Chaliasas
My good buddy Pat was able to attend Bill Carter’s (Texas music legend and godfather to Johnny’s kiddos) show with Johnny Depp and Billy Gibbons. All photos by Jim Chapin.
Here’s Johnny with Billy G.
How about a wonderful montage about Johnny’s visit to the AFF?
Thanks to all the folks that make the AFF possible! Great year with great memories.
Check out Bill Carter’s beautiful video for his song PARIS. Video shot and edited by Pat Kondelis!