The Texas Film Awards were created by Evan Smith and Louis Black in 2001 to create a Texas Film Hall of Fame.
Now in its 19th year, the Texas Film Awards bring together legends of the cinema and television and induct industry icons into the Texas Film Hall of Fame.
Honorees this night included Writer/Director John Lee Hancock (“The Blind Side”), Brooklyn Decker (“Grace & Frankie” TV show), David Herman (“Office Space”), Gary Cole (“Office Space,” “Veep,” “The Good Wife”), Mike Judge (“Office Space”) and a host of presenters, including Marc Maron (television’s “Glow”), renowned actress Kathy Bates (“Misery,” “American Horror Story”) and June Diane Raphael (“Grace & Frankie”).
The Austin Film Society itself was founded in 1985 by filmmaker Richard Linklater. The Austin Film Society’s mission is to empower our community to make, watch and love creative media. AFS curates and screens hundreds of repertory, international, and art house films, annually at the AFS Cinema. It also delivers financial support to Texas filmmakers through AFS Grants.
AFS operates the Austin Studios, a 20-acre production facility, and Austin Public, a space for the city’s diverse media types to train and collaborate. Through the award-winning after-school classes, intern training and the Ed Lowry Student Film program, AFS encourages media literacy and provides a place for youth of all backgrounds to learn the craft of filmmaking and to gain access to tools for media production.
By hosting premieres, special events, and local and international industry events, as well as the Texas Film Awards, AFS shines the national spotlight on Texas filmmakers while connecting Austin and Texas to the wider film community.
To learn more about the AFS Cinema or about the Austin Film Society’s mission, visit www.austinfilm.org.
The AFS Cinema is north of Austin on I35. It is not easy to find. I know, because I left to find it at 3:30 and I was still looking for it at 5:30 p.m. In fact, my GPS kept saying, “ARRIVED!” There was nothing that looked like a theater or a auditorium space visible when this occurred.
Funny true story: when I finally turned into what I had decided MUST be where the theater was and still couldn’t find it, I rolled down my window to ask an elderly man who was standing in front of a building that said something about Medical Health. He tottered over to my car with his cane, as I had rolled the window down to ask what I thought was a local resident, “Where is the AFS Theater?” The stranger opened the back door of my Prius and got in. He thought I was an Uber driver! He apologized profusely when I told him I was NOT an Uber drive and said, “I’m new at this.”
Inside—although I was 15 minutes late for check-in—nothing much was going on. I glanced into the banquet room where waiters were putting the finishing touches on the tables.
At this point, I found my way to the check-in desk and then to the auditorium, where approximately 50 photographers were on a raised stage. Some had even brought their own step-ladders, although that looked particularly dangerous. The girl next to me was due to have her second baby (a boy) July 14th and we stood around so long, waiting for something to happen (typical) that she had to be seated several times to rest.
I’m always placed behind 6′ 4″ Gary, who was working for AFS, the Austin “Chronicle,” and Getty images. Gary barely stopped working on the text to accompany the images he was shooting. He kept moving between the stage and the seating area, working on the prose to accompany the images, much as I am working on this at 1:00 a.m. and worked until 3:00 a.m. to prepare this article, plus one for my own blog (WeeklyWilson.com) and one for the home town blog (www.QuadCities.com). My goal: to have each by at least slightly different. Last night’s for my blog and The Movie Blog were completely different, as I repeated humorous shooting stories told us by the stars and creator of “Office Space” at their Reunion showing of that film last night at the 1200 seat Paramount Theater downtown.
Tomorrow, SXSW officially kicks off, with Jordan Peele’s “Us” the opening film. My SXSW GO app didn’t work correctly, so I didn’t get an Express Pass. Without it, getting in will be a major accomplishment. On the other hand, I’ve been given Red Carpet status for Matthew McConaughy’s new film “Beach Bum” with Isla Fisher on Saturday, March 9th, and I’ll be reporting on any and all films I make it to in the next week or so both here and on WeeklyWilson.com and on QuadCities.com. Stay tuned! (And wish me luck!)