A recent graduate of the University of Texas, he was the recipient of the Robert Rodriguez/Elizabeth Avellán Award and Warren Skaaren Fellowship. He has also received awards from the Directors’ Guild of America, Panavision’s Emerging Filmmaker program, the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, the Hamptons International Film Festival, and the Texas Filmmakers Production Fund for his previous films, TADPOLES, VETERANS, KID, and Mnemosyne Rising. A native of San Antonio, Texas, he currently resides in Austin where he teaches at the University of Texas at Austin. Miguel has also edited the Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards honoree clip reels for the last 4 years and Miguel garnered two Texas Filmmakers' Production Fund grants in 2006 for VETERANS and 2008 for MNEMOSYNE RISING.
THE Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas
The Alamo Team is made up of the programming office of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, who are a creative partner on this project with Austin Film Society and a long-time Legacy Sponsor of AFS. This team is responsible for the nightly events at the Ritz - including the Music Monday, Terror Tuesday, Weird Wednesday, Cinema Club, and Zzang!!! series. Programmers Daniel Metz, Lars Nilsen, Zack Carlson, Kayla Williams and George Bragdon will be producing their segment. Not a single member of the staff was in Austin when SLACKER was shot, but wish it not be held against them. And AFS is proud that Kayla was also a one-time intern!
AFS Film Club
AFS teaches after school community-based film and new media workshops at eight under-resourced elementary, middle and high schools each year. AFS Film Club students learn to analyze, explore, and create films through focus areas ranging from stop-motion and computer animation to screenwriting and digital film production.
Austin School of Film
The Austin School of Film @ Motion Media Arts Center is a non-profit independent film, art, and technology center that supports every aspect of production from idea to distribution. Our goal is to educate, train, and develop emerging artists of all ages to be active participants in shaping our 21st century culture.
Austin-based filmmaker Bradley Beesley has made a cinematic career documenting oddball Americana, strange sub-cultures and homegrown rock stars. Post art school and somewhat damaged, he began filming with legendary bluesman R.L. Burnside to make his first movie HILL STOMP HOLLAR (SXSW). He has since directed nine feature-length films, including seven documentaries, a concert film and a sci-fi narrative. Bradley is the producer and director of the backwoods cult classic OKIE NOODLING (PBS), which chronicles the lost art of bare-handed catfishing in his home state of Oklahoma. In 2005, Shout! Factory released THE FEARLESS FREAKS, a documentary starring The Flaming Lips. He has collaborated on over ten music videos with the Lips and recently teamed-up with Wayne Coyne to make CHRISTMAS ON MARS (Warner Bros.). His latest film, SWEETHEARTS OF THE PRISON RODEO (HBO), goes behind prison walls to follow convict cowgirls as they compete in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary Rodeo. Other films include THE CREEK RUNS RED (Independent Lens), SUMMERCAMP! (Sundance Channel) and UFO’S AT THE ZOO (Warner Bros.). His TV credits include Roller Girls (A&E), Paranormal State (A&E) and Storm Chasers (Discovery). AFS is proud that Bradley is a 2004 Texas Filmmakers' Production Fund recipient for SUMMERCAMP!
John received a TFPF grant in 2007 for LOVEolution and more recently produced and directed THE OVERBROOK BROTHERS, which played several festivals including SXSW, Woodstock and the Maryland Film Festival before being picked up by IFC Films and later screened on the Sundance Channel.
Bob Byington’s most recent film, HARMONY AND ME, premiered at the New Directors/New Films Series in 2009. Bob’s previous film, RSO [Registered Sex Offender], premiered at the 2008 SXSW Film Festival. At the Traverse City Film Festival in 2009, Bob was honored by filmmaker Michael Moore with the “Stanley Kubrick Award for Bold and Innovative Filmmaking”; Bob was also the recipient of the 2008 Annenberg Film Fellowship from the Sundance Institute. His new film is called SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME starring Nick Offerman. Bob has received TFPF grants in 1996 (OLYMPIA), 2005 (ROMEO), 2009 (travel grants for HARMONY AND ME) and 2010 (SEVEN CHINESE BROTHERS).
Mike Dolan was born in Oklahoma City, but raised in Texas, New Mexico, and Canada. At 17, he dropped out of high school and moved to New York City to pursue acting. As an actor Mike appeared twice on Broadway and has had many leading roles in films, including BILOXI BLUES, HAMBURGER HILL, THE LIGHT OF DAY, NECESSARY ROUGHNESS, and MARS. Mike wrote, produced, and directed the short film, ARROW SHOT. Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, ARROW SHOT played at over 50 festivals worldwide and was broadcast throughout Europe on Canal +, and in the USA and Canada on IFC. In 2004, Mike was awarded a three–year fellowship to the James A. Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas. His first feature film, DANCE WITH THE ONE, premiered at the 2010 SXSW Film Festival.
Sam Wainwright Douglas
Documentary filmmaker Sam Wainwright Douglas's most recent film, CITIZEN ARCHITECT: SAMUEL MOCKBEE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RURAL STUDIO, was nationally broadcast on PBS and has screened internationally at theaters, museums, universities and film festivals since its premiere in 2010 at SXSW and received a Texas Filmmakers' Travel Grant from AFS to attend Hot Docs in Toronto. Sam also directed THE HOLY MODAL ROUNDERS… BOUND TO LOSE, a surreal chronicle of the infamous bad boys of 1960’s folk rock, The Holy Modal Rounders. The film features Sam Shepard and Dennis Hopper among other friends and fans of the band. BOUND TO LOSE played at theaters and festivals worldwide and was released on DVD in 2007. As a producer and editor Sam has done projects for HBO, PBS, BBC, A&E and The Food Network. Sam graduated with honors from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 1998. His company, Big Beard Films, is a Corporate Sustainer of AFS. More about Sam's current project >>
Jay Duplass, along with his brother Mark, first made a name for himself writing and directing several award-winning short films. His first feature film was the Sundance 2005 breakout hit THE PUFFY CHAIR, which went on to win the Audience Award at SXSW and receive two Independent Spirit Award nominations. The film was released theatrically by Roadside Attractions and Netflix in 2006. BAGHEAD, the brothers' second feature film, was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics at Sundance 2008 for theatrical and DVD release. Fox Searchlight recently released the Duplass Brothers' first studio feature, CYRUS, starring John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill and Marisa Tomei, which has garnered rave reviews. Their latest project JEFF, WHO LIVES AT HOME, stars Jason Segal, Ed Helms, and Susan Sarandon. Jay likes stories about real people, and is also a father, husband, runner and documentarian.
Chris was raised in Ottine, Texas (pop. 98) and studied sociology and art at Rice University before attending UCLA's MFA film directing program. His short films have screened on PBS, at the Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmaker's Competition, the Texas Filmmaker's Showcase, and at festivals worldwide. After taking a one-year leave of absence from UCLA to backpack across India and Asia, Chris returned to Japan to produce DOKI-DOKI, his master's thesis film. DOKI-DOKI premiered on the national PBS series Independent Lens with an introduction by Susan Sarandon. AUGUST EVENING is his first feature and was nominated for two 2008 Independent Spirit Awards, where it won the John Cassavetes Award. AFS is proud to have supported AUGUST EVENING with two TFPF grants in 2005 & 2006, as well as a Travel Grant for his trip to Los Angeles for the Spirit Awards. Chris also received a grant in 2010 for another project, SEPTEMBER MORNING.
Paul Gordon has been crafting stories with humor since a young age. While growing up in Illinois, Paul began making short films, and after attending DePaul University in Chicago, worked various jobs—including two years for Habitat for Humanity—and lived in various places before moving to Austin in 2001 to attend the graduate film program at the University of Texas at Austin; he graduated in August 2005. Paul’s feature-length MOTORCYCLE, crafted from his three short film school projects, world premiered at the 2006 Slamdance Film Festival, and went on to play at film festivals around the world, including Thessaloniki, SXSW and Rooftop Films. Paul’s short film GOOD played at the 2001 SXSW and Chicago International film festivals, and aired on PBS’s Image Union. Paul wrote, directed, and plays the lead in THE HAPPY POET, which world premiered at the 2010 SXSW film festival and premiered internationally at the 67th Venice Int’l Film Festival. The POET has played at festivals around the world and has won both audience and jury awards, including the 2011 Florida Film Festival’s Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature. Paul has also acted in some fellow-Austinites’ films, including Geoff Marslett’s MARS, and an upcoming horror film directed by Spencer Parsons and produced by Jason Wheling and Jonny Mars. Paul received TFPF grants in 2007 for NAOMI. NAOMI, and in 2010 for distribution of THE HAPPY POET and a Travel Grant to take the film to Michael Moore's Traverse City Film Festival.
Amy Grappell was born in Brooklyn New York. Her most recent film QUADRANGLE premiered at Sundance (2010) winning an honorable mention jury prize, and won both Best Documentary Short and the Wholphin Best Short Film award at SXSW (2010). The film also screened at Rotterdam International Film Festival, True/False, and New Directors/ New Films (MOMA / Film Society of Lincoln Center). Grappell is currently working on a narrative screenplay based on the group marriage story. QUADRANGLE was initially conceived as a video installation and selected for the national juried art exhibition “New American Talent”-09. Grappell’s documentary LIGHT FROM THE EAST had its European premiere in London, aired on PBS (KLRU) and was released theatrically at the Pioneer Theater in New York City. Grappell also produced, co-wrote, and acted in the indie narrative feature SHADY GROVE, which premiered at SXSW before doing the international film festival circuit. She holds a BFA in film from New York University and is a graduate of the MFA acting program at The North Carolina School of the Arts. She has received grants from: TFPF, Texas Commission for the Arts, Texas Council for the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Grappell currently lives and works in Austin as a producer and casting director for film and television. Amy received a TFPF grant for QUADRANGLE and a Travel Grant to take the film to Sundance. She also received a grant in 2003 for LIGHT FROM THE EAST.
Duane Graves & Justin Meeks
Duane Graves was born and raised in San Antonio. After receiving a degree in TV/Film from Texas A&M - Corpus Christi, he directed the critically-acclaimed documentary UP SYNDROME, an intimate portrait of his childhood friend born with Down Syndrome. The film won several awards at festivals across the country including Slamdance, and is currently available through Netflix. Teaming with college peer Justin Meeks, Graves then co-wrote/directed their debut feature THE WILD MAN OF THE NAVIDAD, a shoestring drive-in horror that premiered at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival and was later released internationally by IFC Films. He is currently in post-production of the pair's sophomore feature, BONEBOYS, a horror film shot in Austin in 2010. Duane received a TFPF grant in 2001 for UP SYNDROME.
Justin Meeks was born and raised in Corpus Christi. After receiving dual degrees in TV/Film and Psychology from Texas A&M - Corpus Christi, he immediately moved to Austin to collaborate with college peer Duane Graves. Their first projects became a trilogy of experimental/horror shorts co-produced by TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE scribe Kim Henkel and later released by Alternative Cinema. Meeks then wrote, co-directed and starred in their short comedy, RIO PELIGROSO: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A LEGENDARY COYOTE, which won the first round of director Kevin Smith's Movies Askew contest in 2006. He is currently in post-production of their sophomore feature BONEBOYS, a horror film written and produced by Henkel. Duane and Justin received a Travel Grant in 2008 to take THE WILD MAN OF THE NAVIDAD to the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
Berndt Mader is a filmmaker and writer living in Austin, Texas. His first feature film, FIVE TIME CHAMPION, premiered at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival, and recently won the MPS Texas Filmmaker Award at the Dallas International Film Festival. For this film Mader was awarded the Panavision New Filmmaker grant, a grant from Eastman Kodak, as well as a 2009 TFPF grant. Mader is also the co-founder of Austin based production company The Bear.
Geoff Marslett is a native Texan who took a circuitous path to filmmaking, studying mathematics, philosophy, art, science, and languages at St. John’s College (1996) before returning to Texas to pursue an MFA in filmmaking at UT (2001). In addition to making films, Geoff teaches in the RTF Department at the UT at Austin. He has directed fourteen short films and a half dozen segments for other directors’ television and film programs, and been fortunate enough to collaborate with a wide variety of artists, filmmakers, and musicians along the way. His critically acclaimed MONKEY VS. ROBOT screened at over 25 festivals worldwide, was distributed theatrically, and ultimately broadcast on HBO, PBS, and Univision. His most recent short, BUBBLECRAFT, premiered in 2006 and served as a laboratory for developing his own unique animation process and style. Geoff wrote software specifically for animating this film and later co-wrote an expanded version for his next project, MARS. MARS is a feature length animated, sci-fi, romantic comedy which he completed in January 2010. Geoff was the writer, co-producer, director, and character animator on MARS—which proved by far the most complex artistic effort he has undertaken and easily the one he is most proud of. Luckily, Geoff works well with others. In 2009 Geoff was named one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine. His teaching was also recognized in 2009 when he was awarded the UT’ Board of Regents’ Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award. Geoff received two TFPF grants in 2001 and 2004 for TRIP TO ROSWELL.
Spencer Parsons is a filmmaker and writer who splits his time between Austin, TX and Evanston, IL, where he is an Assistant Professor in the Radio-TV-Film Dept. at Northwestern University. He served as senior programmer for the Cinematexas International Short Film Festival, worked with the programming committee of SXSW Film Festival, wrote frequently for The Austin Chronicle, taught film production at UT, and directed award-winning short films such as Resolution and Once and Future Asshole. His first feature film, I'LL COME RUNNING, premiered at the 2008 Los Angeles Film Festival and debuts on IFC’s Festival Direct Video On Demand service this fall. His short film CHAINSAW FOUND JESUS played at SXSW 2011 and is currently making the rounds on the festival circuit. His recent feature is available from IFC and SundanceNow and was the recipient of TFPF grants in 2005 and 2007.
Named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s "25 New Faces of Independent Film" in 2006 and Out Magazine’s "100 OUT 2010", PJ Raval discovered film and video after working with photography and media installation art. PJ’s latest film TRINIDAD (co-directed by Jay Hodges) is a feature documentary that uncovers Trinidad, Colorado’s transformation from Wild West outpost to “sex change capital of the world” and follows three influential transgender women who may steer the rural ranching town toward becoming the “transsexual mecca”. Called “a must see” by Ellen Huang (GLAAD), TRINIDAD recently won the Cleveland International Film Festival Documentary Jury Award and currently can been seen on SHOWTIME as well as MTV’s LOGO network. PJ’s previous films have won awards such as Best Narrative Short at the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Int’l Film Festival, Best Screenplay at the Cinematexas Int’l Film Festival, the Betty Nowlin Award for Excellence in Filmmaking, and the Director’s Award at the Santa Cruz Film Festival. PJ’s short film LEAD ROLE: FATHER was nominated for the Golden Reel award at the VC Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and named the “programmer’s pick”. In 2004 PJ’s body of film work screened at the Artists’ Television Access (ATA) in San Francisco sponsored by the Alliance of Emerging Creative Artists (AECA), and then again in 2006 as part of the Austin Gay and Lesbian Film Festival’s Filmmaker Series. PJ has received 6 TFPF and Travel Grants for various projects.
With ass kicking music videos for the likes of Nashville Pussy, Fuckemos and Riverboat Gamblers, a slew of freaky CrashToon cartoons, and three critically acclaimed features: the stoner-comedy ROCK OPERA (SXSW ‘99), the modern era roller derby doc HELL ON WHEELS (SXSW ‘07) and his newest flick, the crazy-fun, touching and extremely out-there documentary TOTAL BADASS, Bob Ray catapults the Austin counterculture onto the big screen, reveling in its inspiring, unique and deliriously offbeat glory. Behold the oddities and awesomeness: CrashCam Films
Reel Women UT Chapter
Reel Women Students is the University of Texas chapter of Austin's Reel Women (local filmmaking non-profit) that provides a support system for student filmmakers at all levels of experience. We aim to provide students with the knowledge, tools and connections that will better enable them to create successful films. For this project, we have Carlyn Hudson directing, Elizabeth “Beth” Chatelain producing, Sara Deuel editing and script supervising, Melodie Irvin and Jordan Harrison as Assistant Producers and Therese Tran as Director of Photography.
Karen Skloss works as a filmmaker and visual artist. Her films and video installations have been shown in festivals internationally including the Cannes Film Festival Market and International Film Festival Rotterdam. Her artwork has been exhibited at nationally juried shows such as “New American Talent,” curated by Dan Cameron senior curator The New Museum New York, and the triennial “22 to Watch” at the Austin Museum of Art. Her short film, SMITTEN, is distributed through Hart Sharp Video. SUNSHINE, which premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival and was nationally broadcast on PBS's Emmy Award winning series, Independent Lens, is her first documentary feature as director. Karen’s work as an editor for documentary film has been released theatrically across the USA and Europe; as well as shown on PBS, HBO, and in the MoMA. Feature titles include ATOMIC ED & THE BLACK HOLE, (dir. Ellen Spiro), BE HERE TO LOVE ME (dir. Margaret Brown), DIRT (dir. Jeff Bowden), WRIT WRITER (dir. Susanne Mason), and TAKEN BY STORM (dir. Roddy Bogawa). She also works in television, commercials and occasionally lectures at The University of Texas. She received an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin in studio art in 2005 and a bachelor’s in radio, television, and film from The University of Texas in 1999.
Ben Steinbauer (Director, Writer, Producer) made his feature directing debut with WINNEBAGO MAN which won awards at festivals around the world before being released theatrically in the summer of 2010. Steinbauer's short films have played at SXSW, the Austin Film Festival and aired nationally on PBS, MTV and Nickelodeon. He is a recipient of the Princess Grace Foundation Award for filmmaking and holds an MFA from the Radio Television and Film Department at the University of Texas. Additionally he is an alumnus of the undergraduate Theater and Film department at the University of Kansas and is the co-founder of the commercial production house, The Bear. Ben received two Travel Grants for WINNEBAGO MAN to take the film to Hot Docs in Toronto and CineVegas.
David & Nathan Zellner
David and Nathan Zellner are Austin-based filmmaking siblings who have written, produced, directed and edited numerous films and music videos that have screened at festivals worldwide. This includes five shorts (FLOTSAM/JETSAM, REDEMPTITUDE, AFTERMATH ON MEADOWLARK LANE, FIDDLESTIXX, and SASQUATCH BIRTH JOURNAL 2) which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival ('05-'11). In 2008 their feature GOLIATH, which also premiered at Sundance, went on to be distributed by IFC Films and aired on The Sundance Channel. That same year they made Filmmaker Magazine's annual "25 New Faces of Independent Film."