Texas Filmmakers Showcase 2003

Every year we have the privilege of presenting a two hour collection of the Best of Texas-made short films to the industry in Hollywood, and 2003 is no exception. Studio Representatives, Talent Agencies, Production Companies, and members of the film industry are invited to join us for a screening and reception with the filmmakers in attendance. There is something for everyone among these films made by Texas' most promising new filmmakers. Please see the film synopsis' and filmmaker Bio's below:

Sponsors: Continental Airlines, Origin Design, Vision Wise Inc., Le Montrose Suite Hotel, Deca, Inc., Duplium 

A Nice Day (30:00 min., Mini-DV)

A Nice Day explores a thirty-year old woman's head-on search for love and romance in the face of her crippling cerebral palsy.

David Haynes - Dallas
David Haynes, a University of Texas-Austin graduate, has written, directed, edited and photographed four short films since 2002. The Hitman was selected Best Comedy Short at the DIY Film Festival, won the Audience Choice Award at the Long On Shorts Film Festival and was an Official Selection at The Deep Ellum Film Festival, all in 2002. Agave was an Official Selection at the Los Angeles Film Festival, The Deep Ellum Film Festival and The Long On Shorts Festival, also in 2002. A Nice Day, was honored as a Finalist at the USA Film Festival 2003. Bob 3:13 (editor only) and Bear Essentials won First Place in the Dallas Video Association's 24 Hour Video Race and the EDOC 7 Day Race respectively. www.tanglewoodfilms. com.

Bikes Across Borders (9:00 min., Mini-DV)

A group of Austin volunteers come together to take bikes out of "the waste stream," fix them, and deliver them to the Maquiladora workers just over the Mexican border.  

David Tillman & Ryan Williams
Austin David Tillman will be a senior film major at the University of Texas-Austin this coming fall. He had been making movies for seven years when he and Ryan joined forces to produce Bikes Across Borders in December of 2002. Bikes has since played at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin and the Bicycle Film Festival in New York City. David's most recent work, a narrative short called Elephant Steps, is in post-production and he has also recently completed his first feature length screenplay. Ryan Williams just earned his B.S. in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas-Austin. Never seeing himself involved in films before, Ryan discovered filmmaking as a result of working to earn his degree and his first documentary class truly opened his eyes to the beauty and relevance of this high art. Ryan continues to fine-tune his talents in screenwriting, storytelling and directing and is working to unify his love of making music with that of making films to create a meaningful scope on life. Raised in Houston, he now resides in Austin, Texas where he gives tours at the Texas State Capitol and interns at Austin Music Network. Ryan's primary love is for music and he hopes to one day make a living as a guitarist.

Growin' A Beard (29:55 min., Hi-8/Mini-DV/Super 8)

Growin' A Beard follows the men of Shamrock, Texas as they grow beards from New Years Day to St. Patricks Day. They are competing in the annual Donegal Beard Growing Contest. We follow this small town cast of characters - and a hairy "outsider" - right up to the judging on Main Street.

Mike Woolf - Austin
Mike Woolf moved to Austin, Texas eight years ago to be a writer at GSD&M Advertising where he wrote and produced over 70 commercials. Two years agao he left the cozy confines of advertising to pursue what was becoming a time consuming hobby - documentary filmmaking. He started Beef and Pie Productions which is an Austin based company where he directs commercials, short films and documentaries. Growin’ A Beard is his third documenatry.

Jason and the High Cost of Electricity (3:35 min., Mini-DV)

Jason must turn to crime in order to afford his ever-escalating electric bill during a hot Texas summer.

Jim Stedman - Austin
A former freelance copywriter for FOX Television and Disney's Buena Vista TV, Jim's award-winning projects have aired on the Independent Film Channel, the Food Network, South By Southwest Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, SAG Indie booth, New York International Independent Film and Video Festival, USA Film Festival, 48 Hours Film Project, DocFest, Slamdunk, and have been screened at the Directors Guild of America Theaters in Los Angeles and New York. His most recent short film, Jason and the High Cost of Electricity, was the only short to be a Finalist in both Project Greenlight and the Chrysler/Hypnotic/Universal Million Dollar Film Festival in 2003. Most recently he has cowritten and line produced the upcoming documentary, Chimfunshi, produced by Flathead Films, and was director, line producer and editor for the children's cooking show KidChef.

Nightstand (22:00 min., Mini-DV)

August, 1985. Lettie Ostrick is the top helicopter mechanic on the US Army base at Ford Hood, Texas. One night, Lettie meets an older woman. They spend the night together at a motel. A few days later, Lettie is summoned to report to her commanding officer, Lt. Col. Hogenberry. Hogenberry offers Lettie a special deal to avoid punishment for a severe violation of the Army's Code of Conduct. Lettie must choose between a duty to country and career, or a responsibility to her personal identity.

JC Cortlund - Austin
JC Cortlund, raised in Oregon, spent a large part of his youth acting in regional theater then went on to the University of Oregon to study writing/media theory under Dr. Julia Lesage. Soon after completing his Masters degree from the film program at the University of Texas- Austin he won a fellowship at the James Michener Center for Writers, received Semi- Finalist nods from the Academy’s Nicholl Fellowship, and Finalist recognition from Disney’s Fellowship program. In 1998, Cortlund formed Bica Productions with Julia Halperin in Austin where the company has produced a number of award-winning films, videos, and installations. They are presently shooting a feature documentary about animal welfare politics, writing a feature narrative screenplay in collaboration with David Barker (Afraid of Everything), and creating an experimental video using footage from a disastrous local game show appearance he made in 1988 titled My Oregon Shame.

The Patchwork Monkey (9:57 min., 35mm)

A babysitters gift of a patchwork monkey begins a disturbing evening for eightyear-old Tommy and his big sister Carol as they suspect the monkey is more than just a toy.

Susan Bell - Ft. Worth
Combining her work as a still photographer and her love of storytelling, Susan Bell began work with an international documentary company upon graduation from Baylor University. She has been an associate producer and first assistant director on independent features, an editor of a History Channel documentary, and a production associate on the PBS series Red Files, winner of the 2000 IDA limited series award. Additionally, for four years Bell served as the director of new media for Fort Worth-based Abamedia, guiding internet operations for a Russian archival film and image licensing project. She is also a 2002 Chesterfield Writer's Film Project Semi-Finalist with her screenplay about her fathers involvement with the murder trial of legendary female impressionist Rae Bourbon. In the Fall of 2003, Bell will enter Florida State University’s Film Conservatory as a MFA candidate. The Patchwork Monkey is Bells first 35mm short film. 

Waiting for Trains (9:00 min., 35mm)

The last memories of an American man facing execution at the hands of his own countrymen. Set amid a fictional civil war in North America.

Alejandro Gomez - Austin
Alejandro Gomez, born and raised in Tampico, Mexico, moved to Austin, Texas in 1994 to pursue a career in film and recently earned his BFA in Film Production from the University of Texas-Austin. His first 16mm film, Bocho, was recognized with various Awards for Excellence in Cinematography by Kodak and, based on his demo reel, Panavision New York awarded him with a sponsorship to shoot his first 35mm short film, Waiting for Trains. "Alejandro Gomez has quite impressed us with his passion and dedication to the film industry. His demo reel proved to us that he is indeed one of tomorrows filmmakers," says Scott Fleischer, Vice President of Panavision N.Y. Alejandro most recently directed The Alchemy of Thieves, a 35mm short, based on a feature script, filmed in Houston, Texas last November and sponsored by Panavision Dallas.

What's Wrong With This Picture? (1:54 min., Mini-DV)

It's a common mistake, yet one that is completely preventable. Millions of children each day are left alone with crayons and paper, the vast majority of whom gleefully animate without loss or injury. They are those precious few, however, who must bear the weight of wax-gone-bad. Three-year-old Aidan may have followed all the rules, but in a moment of carelessness, his own creation will go horribly wrong...

Jeffrey Travis - Austin
Travis, born in Mexico City, was raised in Argentina by his missionary parents until he graduated from high school. From age 13, he immersed himself in creative writing, classical guitar and spent a great deal of time writing, directing and editing short films. He began his college career at the Instituto Tecnol in Buenos Aires, and earned a B.S. from the University of Texas-Austin in 1993. He earned a Master’s degree in engineering in 1995 and worked as a software consultant while he authored his first bestselling textbook on programming, LabVIEW for Everyone. Despite success as a consultant and author, Travis was drawn back to the passion of his childhood ‹ telling visually textured, richly layered stories through film/video. He formed Dos Gringos Productions with creative/business partner David Taylor. They have produced twelve short films in two years. which have been screened domestic and internationally and are continuing to gain new audiences. Travis is developing two feature films and resides in Austin, Texas with his wife and three children.