News Karlovy Vary Festival to honour The Austin Film Society

Published: April 17, 2018| 11:55 AM

Richard Linklater will be a guest at this year’s festival​

This year’s 53rd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will dedicate one of its sections to the non-profit Austin Film Society (AFS). Founded in 1985, the AFS is an important cinema institution in the USA. The section, Made in Texas: An Homage to the Austin Film Society, will show nine feature-length films and two blocks of short films.

On this occasion, the festival will welcome the Austin Film Society’s founder and artistic director, director and producer Richard Linklater, as one of its guests. The programme includes a screening of his cult debut Slacker, which follows various local residents and eccentrics through the streets of Austin over the course of one ordinary, hot Texas day. KVIFF previously showed this film in 1991 as part of its Forum of Independents. Indeed, our festival’s audiences have had numerous chances to see Linklater’s work in person – we have also shown his remarkable portrait of young people, subUrbia, Before Sunset from his successful trilogy (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight) with Julie Delphy and Ethan Hawke, and in 2014 the Horizons section showed Boyhood to great acclaim. This unique film project followed the childhood and adolescence of a boy called Mason from his first days at school all the way to college. The film, which took twelve years to make, surprised and captivated audiences by its uncommon authenticity.

The section Made in Texas: An Homage to the Austin Film Society will also show Robert Rodriguez’s feature-film debut El Mariachi, a contemporary action western that tells the story of a good-hearted musician who becomes mistakenly wrapped up in a web of violence.

The Slow Business of Going, an unusual film by Greek director Athina Rachel Tsangari, is an example of the more experimental side of the Austin film scene. Documentary film will be represented by Laura Dunn’s The Unforeseen, a remarkable and profoundly poetic look at the conflict between ruthless developers and a local community seeking to protect a recreational area in the Barton Springs area of Austin.

Among more recent Texas-made films are Jeff Nichols’s award-winning psychological thriller Take Shelter (a favourite at Cannes), David Zellner’s minimalist drama Kid-Thing, Bob Byington’s witty comedy Somebody Up There Likes Me, and Andrew Bujalski’s retro drama Computer Chess, which is set among a community of software programmers. There will also be a selection of contemporary short films by promising Texas filmmakers.

Another film shown as part of this section is Last Night at the Alamo, shot by the pioneer of independent Texas filmmaking Eagle Penell two years before the founding of the Austin Film Society. Other early works will be shown at a screening of six short films originally put together by Jonathan Demme as a look at the Austin punk scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s. 


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