Houston Filmmakers Get Some Austin Love

Four Houston films were awarded grants from the Austin Film Society this week, part of a total $111,000 doled out to Texas filmmakers. The Houston projects range from experimental short film to feature-length narrative and documentary, and the awards will go toward post-production and distribution costs.

Rebecca Campbell, executive director of the Austin Film Society, said, "It goes to show how committed our community is to independent, diverse voices in filmmaking."

The Passage (formerly titled Marfa Red), directed by Roberto Minervini, received a $7,000 award for post production and distribution. The film, starring musician Mean Gene Kelton (known to Houston blues fans and the biker-rally set), chronicles an emotional road trip to Marfa, Tx. taken by a terminally ill woman, an ex-con, and a British artist.

Ruth Villatoro's The Cantinera follows three real-life cantineras, women hired to drink in Latin bars with male clients. The women struggle to maintain dignity and sobriety while consuming excessive amounts of alcohol five nights a week. The documentary, filmed in Houston, received $7,000 for production. Check out a clip here. It's pretty heart-wrenching.

Stitched, a documentary by Jenalia Moreno and Nancy Sarnoff, received $1,500 for production. The film follows three art quilters as they race to complete pieces for the largest quilt show in the nation, which takes place anually in Houston. Apparently these three subjects are considered "controversial" in the quilting world--one of them actually used a sewing machine instead of quilting by hand. OMG.

Four Place Setting, by Mary Magsamen and Stephan Hillerbrand, was recently featured on Art Attack. It's a short experimental film of a family having dinner in a haze--literally. It received $2,000 for post production, ditribution and lab services.

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