AFS GRANTS $121,000 TO

(Austin, TX)–The Austin Film Society (AFS) is very proud to announce the recipients of its 2012 Texas Filmmakers’ Production Fund (TFPF), which this year awarded cash grants totalling $89,500 to 16 projects by emerging Texas filmmakers. In addition to cash grants, AFS gave away $10,000 in goods and services from MPS Camera Austin, $6,000 worth of Kodak film stock, and $5,000 in post-production services from Seattle-based Alpha Cine Labs.AFS’s Texas Filmmakers’ Travel Grant program disbursed another $10,500 in travel stipends to 15 Texas filmmakers traveling to prestigious national and international festivals, bringing AFS’s total grant amount to $121,000 for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. AFS has now given out over $1.3 million in cash to 344 film and video projects since the program began in 1996.Funds for the grants are raised through the annual Texas Film Hall of Fame and fundraisers like BERNIE, KILLER JOE and the upcoming EL MARIACHI 20th Anniversary. Filmmakers receiving the grants have completed films that go on to  festivals and receive international recognition. Recent past grant recipients include Heather Courtney’s Independent Spirit Award winner and Emmy-nominated WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM, and Kyle Henry’s FOURPLAY: TAMPA, which was showcased at festivals around the world including Cannes’ Director’s Fortnight.

The Texas Filmmaker’s Production Fund continues to support emerging new voices in independent film. This year, nine of the sixteen projects selected are receiving TFPF funding for the first time. The largest single grant this year went to Jacob Hamilton’s UNTITLED JUMP SHOT PROJECT, which received $15,000 in cash for production. Hamilton’s project is about 91-year old Kenny Sailors, the former NBA basketball player and inventor of the modern jump shot. This is the filmmaker’s first time receiving a TFPF grant.

Another documentary receiving a large grant is Nancy Schiesari’s CANINE SOLDIERS, which explores the relationship between working military dogs and their human handlers. On the narrative side, Andrew Irvine received $5,000 towards his first feature,STAY WITH ME, a comedy about a weekend getaway gone awry in rural Texas.

The final grant decisions were made by a panel of three acclaimed filmmakers from outside of Texas–Matthew Akers, director of the celebrated feature documentary MARINA ABRAMOVIC: THE ARTIST IS PRESENT; Brent Hoff, filmmaker and curator of short film DVD magazine Wholphin, and Paola Mendoza, director of award-winning narrative feature ENTRE NOS.

AFS Associate Artistic Director Holly Herrick administered the 2012 TFPF along with Austin Culp, serving as Interim Artist Services Manager.

2012 Texas Filmmakers’ Production Fund Recipients

Hayden Yates
A biopic of an 89 year-old Icelandic artist living in Texas.
Documentary Feature

$6,500 for production


John Fiege
The story of the Keystone XL pipeline project and of the landowners and activists who set out to stop it.
Documentary Feature
$7,000 in MPS Camera Austin services for production/post-production


Evan Roberts
A hybrid doc/narrative collaboration with an Austin teenager in writing and filming a short film inspired by events in the teenager’s life.
Experimental Narrative Short
$8,000 for production


Nathan Duncan
ASH wanders the abandoned spaces of the Austin State Hospital (formerly the Texas State Lunatic Asylum) using found doctor logs from the late 19th century to light the way.
Experimental Documentary
$2,000 for post-production/distribution


Kat Candler
When a teen murders his teacher in the name of a black metal band, the aging singer will re-evaluate the two things he loves most, his music and his family.
Narrative Short
$3,000 for post-production/distribution


Nancy Schiesari
Explores the intimate bond between Soldier Handlers and their Military Working Dogs, when human survival depends upon the superior instincts of another species.
Documentary Feature
$10,000 for production


Daniel Levin
Kaltag is a small village in the middle Yukon. For centuries it has relied on salmon for its sustenance until the trawling industry decimated most of the stock and replaced it with processed foods. KALTAG, ALASKA explores the changing native ecology in the changing new environment and the new world.
Documentary Feature
$6,000 for production
$3,000 in MPS Camera Austin services for production/post-production


Bennie Klain
Explores the origins and complexity of the Native American Church on Navajo land through the lens of practicing Navajo Roadmen. Young apprentice Lyle gives a human face to these Navajo NAC Roadmen as he makes his first trip to the peyote fields in Texas with his older mentor, and audiences will learn simultaneously alongside him to discover more about these spiritual leaders and the NAC tradition.
Documentary Feature
$10,000 for production


Andrew Irvine
When Vaughn invites his closest friends to a cabin in rural Texas to meet his fiancé, he expects a relaxing weekend reminiscing about the old days. But when his best friend arrives with his ex-girlfriend, long repressed feelings are reawakened and his engagement is suddenly thrown into doubt in this comedy about love, sex, and other failures.
Narrative Feature
$5,000 for production


Patrick Smith
THE LONGEST SUN is a narrative short film inspired by the mythology of the Tewa peoples of northern New Mexico, and is told entirely in the endangered language of Tewa (less than 500 native speakers remain). A blend of fantasy, mystery, and historical fiction, THE LONGEST SUN is a quest story that follows Tahn Pi, a young Tewa boy who sets out on a mythical journey to stop the sun from setting.
narrative short
$1,000 for distribution


Landry Gideon
Every winter, 2000 high school theatre departments in Texas begin a six month elimination style tournament culminating at the state meet in Austin, Texas. This portrait of competitive and educational theatre highlights the devotion, hard work, and personal dramas that happen along the way.
Documentary Feature
$10,000 for production


Russell O. Bush
A documentary film that explores the commercialization of sky burial, a private death ritual where the bodies of Tibetan dead are offered to wild griffon vultures. During this sensitive event, the political, cultural, and spiritual conflicts between ethnic Chinese and Tibetans are exposed, providing an intimate window into a relationship often hidden to outsiders.
Documentary Short
$8,000 for post-production


Scott Stark
Worldly surfaces, shifting shadows and overlooked patterns: a series of 35mm films generated from digital still images and printed onto movie film. The top and bottom half of each image alternate in the projector gate, the images are arranged in a dizzying array of rhythms and patterns. The images also bleed onto the optical soundtrack area of the film, generating their own unexpected sounds.
Experimental Short
$2,500 in Alpha Cine services for post-production
$2,000 in Kodak film stock for production


Monique Walton
Follows grassroots efforts of the Orun Cultural Center to revitalize the dwindling African American Community on the infamous 12th St. and Chicon block in East Austin.
Documentary Feature
$2,500 in Alpha Cine services for post-production
$4,000 in Kodak film stock for production


Jacob Hamilton
Over 60 years have passed since Kenny Sailors, the inventor of the modern day jump shot, has retired from the game of basketball and now at age 91, he is finally receiving the attention many think he deserves for his contribution to the game. Through the eyes of Kenny, former basketball players, and historians of the game, this film will explore the early years of basketball, the development of the jump shot, his journey to the Hall of Fame, and where he finds true meaning in life.
Documentary Short
$15,000 for production


Paul Collins, Dean Brennan & Anlo Sepulveda
A visual journey through the crystal clear waters of the San Marcos river and its headwaters at Spring Lake.  Filmed from the river’s perspective, YAKONA allows the river to tell its story, reveal its beauty and appeal to humanity’s higher nature.
Documentary Feature
$5,000 for post-production

The Austin Film Society promotes cultural vibrancy, educates youth, and supports job creation. Through Austin Studios, which AFS opened in 2000 through a partnership with the City of Austin, AFS attracts film development and production to Austin and Texas. Gala film premieres and the annual Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards raise funds and awareness of the impact of film on economy and community. Austin Film Society is ranked among the top film centers in the country and recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts and Directors Guild of America. For more information on the Austin Film Society, visit

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Share This