Last year was an exciting year for Texas-made films at the Sundance Film Festival. More than a dozen were made by Texans —many shot in Austin or directed by Austin-based filmmakers — or had a Lone Star theme, including a German-made drama set in and called Houston and a well-received documentary on Houston Rockets star Jeremy Lin.
Though this year's Sundance lineup has a lighter Texas load, there are still a number of films with Austin ties to keep an eye on.
Announced as part of the Sundance lineup at the last minute, this Richard Linklater film, shot over a 12-year period, stars Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Lorelei Linklater (the director's daughter) and Ellar Salmon. Shot in and around Austin every year since 2002, this innovative film, which was and still remains somewhat shrouded in secrecy, follows the story of a divorced family and the "emotional and transcendent journey of childhood to adulthood."
Linklater, who was born in Houston and attended high schools in Bellaire and Hunstville, received the Houston Cinema Arts Festival’s Levantine Cinema Arts Award last fall for his contributions to cinema. At the festival his classic indie film, Dazed and Confused, was shown to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
Ping Pong Summer
Written and directed by Michael Tully, a recent Austin transplant and husband of Austin Film Society director Holly Herrick, this film, set in 1985, follows the story of Rad Miracle, a "shy, 13-year-old white kid obsessed with two things: Ping-Pong and hip-hop." This coming-of-age story features a diverse cast including Susan Sarandon, Lea Thompson, Amy Sedaris and Robert Longstreet.
No No: A Dockumentary
This documentary about pitcher and LSD-lover Dock Ellis features an array of Austin talent including first-time director Jeffrey Radice, filmmaker and Austin Film Society board member Mike Blizzard and filmmaker Sam Douglas. Promising to be an entertaining and heartwarming doc, No No tells the story of the man known for pitching a no-hitter while high on acid.