Texas Heads to Sundance

Jan 17, 2013

2013 lineup includes nearly a dozen films shot in Texas or by Texas filmmakers

(Still photo from HOUSTON via sundance.org)

The Lone Star will shine especially bright at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, which kicks off January 17 in Park City, Utah.

The prestigious independent film event will include an extra-robust lineup of projects shot in Texas or helmed by Texas filmmakers, including a handful supported by MPS Studios.

“This time of year is always exciting for the Texas film community,” said MPS vice-president Marc Stephens, who is also an officer for the Texas Motion Picture Alliance.

“We believe that Texas offers a wealth of possibilities to the production industry in terms of the richness of our geography, the talent of our labor pool, our production incentive fund and the business-friendly climate,” he said. “And we also believe that Texas filmmakers have a perspective and voice that sets them apart in the global film community.

“So it’s very gratifying to see such a strong Texas representation at this year’s event,” he continued. “We are very proud of all of these artists.”

Texas-tied features on the Sundance marquee this year are:

AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS (U.S. Dramatic Competition). Sundance alum David Lowery is noted as a master of the short film (HELLION, ST. NICK), but this year’s entry for the Texas-based director/screenwriter is a feature-length drama about a pair of Texas hill country outlaws.  Stars include Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck and Ben Foster.

UPSTREAM COLOR (U.S. Dramatic Competition). This romantic thriller from Sundance alum Shane Carruth (PRIMER) was shot in Dallas and stars Andrew Sensenig, Brina
and Carruth himself. David Lowery was the project’s editor.

MUD (Sundance Spotlight). This drama from writer/director/Sundance alum Jeff Nichols (TAKE SHELTER, which was partially funded by an Austin Film Society grant) premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and stars Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon.

BEFORE MIDNIGHT (Sundance Premieres).  Predicted to be a Sundance audience favorite, this romantic drama was directed by legendary Texas filmmaker Richard Linklater (BERNIE, SCHOOL OF ROCK, DAZED AND CONFUSED) and shot in Greece. It’s the sequel to BEFORE SUNRISE and AFTER SUNSET, also directed by Linklater. Stars include Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, who also served as a screenwriter.

PRINCE AVALANCHE (Sundance Premieres).  MPS Studios provided the camera and grip/lighting/electric department for this re-working of a 2011 Icelandic buddy dramedy filmed near Austin by native Texan David Gordon Green (PINEAPPLE EXPRESS). Stars include Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch.

COMPUTER CHESS (Sundance NEXT). Like PRINCE AVALANCHE, this comedy from writer/director Andrew Bujalski (SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME) is set in the 80s and shot in the Austin area. The project was funded in part by a grant from the Austin Film Society.

PIT STOP (Sundance NEXT). Austin-based , Malaysian-born director and graphic designer Yen Tan (CIAO) collaborated with David Lowery on this small town drama shot in Texas.

A TEACHER (Sundance NEXT). Also shot in Austin, this drama from writer/director Hannah Fidell (THE GATHERING SQUALL) examines a suburban high school teacher’s affair with her student.

BLACK METAL (Sundance Shorts).  Another dark tale about an educator-student relationship gone wrong, this offering from prolific shorts writer/director Kat Candler (HELLION) tells the story of the metal-band inspired murder of a math teacher. Like COMPUTER CHESS, the film was partially funded by an Austin Film Society grant.

HOUSTON (World Dramatic Competition). MPS Studios provided camera support for director/writer Bastian Gunther’s (END OF A TRIP) drama about an international headhunter’s alcohol-laced pursuit of an oil exec.  The project was shot in the titular city using anamorphic technology and 35 mm film.

Read more about Texas artists tapped for the 2013 festival.
About MPS Studios

For nearly 40 years, MPS Studios has provided the equipment and support services to production companies making movies, commercials, and television. A staff of highly specialized, factory trained, and industry-savvy technicians provide world-class service to clients around the corner and around the globe. The company offers cameras, lighting/grip/electric, sound stages, and complete post services through deliverables. Contact MPS Camera & Lighting Austin or MPS Studios Dallas location to have a rental package or post service customized for your next project. www.mpsfilm.com