This ain’t Kansas little one, this here’s Texas!

28 03 2011

MPS Studios is back again as sponsors of the highly touted Texas Competition at the Dallas IFF 2011.

This week the Dallas International Film Festival opens up and we being the week by looking at the Texas Competition.

Emerging Texas filmmakers vie for film festival prize

MPS Studios Dallas sponsors DIFF award for fourth consecutive year

MPS Studios Dallas is returning as the underwriter for the Texas Filmmakers Award, which is presented annually at the Dallas International Film Festival. See festival schedule. This is the fourth year for the production facility to serve as title sponsor for the prize, which recognizes excellence in independent films that are shot primarily in Texas.

Nominees for the 2011 Texas Filmmakers Award are: ‘Five Time Champion’ (by Berndt Mader); ‘OK Buckaroos’ (by Patrick Tourville); ‘Legend of Hell’s Gate: An American Conspiracy’ (by Tanner Beard); ‘Rainbows End’ (by Eric Hueber); ‘Traveling’ (by Rachel Shepherd); ‘Wuss’ (by Clay Liford); and ‘Apart’ (by Aaron Rottinghaus).

The award will be announced on Fri., April 8.

We’ll take a little peak into all of these MUST SEE films – get to know the greatness of Texas Film.

I do believe the quality that sums up Texas as a whole is Bold.  Is a word that means so much to what a Texan wants to accomplish.  Lets look at these 7 films from the Lone Star State.

Director/Writer/Editor Eric Hueber and Producer /Writer Andy Cope took part in a fun roundtable where they discussed their film Rainbows End (notice the lack of an ‘ ).  Wild and crazy musical journey of a group of Texas finest is the best way I can put into words what this film is.  I’ll let Eric and Andy explain more.

The fellas talk about how their film is a musical journey that showcases their friendship.

You’re never sure what you’ll find with Eric and the Gang.

We’ll here more from Eric and Andy tomorrow!!

Here are the rest of the talented TEXAS FILMMAKERS.

A PSD Fave, Director/Writer/Cinematographer/Comedian/All Around Nice Guy Clay Liford has his latest film at DIFF 2011!

Mitch Parker in Wuss played by Nate Rubin!


Texas Competition (USA, 2011, 100 mins, HDCAM)

Directed By: Clay Liford

Cast: Nate Rubin, Alicia Anthony, Ryan Anderson

Official Film Website

Mitch Parker is having a tough time with high school. His small stature and weak-mannered personality make him a constant target for the school bullies. Adding more insult to injury is the fact that Mitch is actually one of the teachers.  In order to defend himself and exact revenge on his tormentors, Mitch resorts to extreme measures and teams up with the most feared person in school. That person happens to be Maddie, a young female student. The inappropriate alliance that forms between them is just one of the many facets to this darkly humorous gem from writer/director Clay Liford.  A good-looking film with inspired art direction, WUSS also makes great use of sharp-witted dialogue and on-screen chemistries. This acerbic coming-of-age tale is a piece of work that takes the concept of ‘hilariously disturbing’ to an all new level. — Bridgette Poe


Texas Competition

(USA, 2010, 87 mins, HDCAM)

Directed By: Rachel Shepherd

Producers: Rachel Shepherd, Farah White
Cinematographer: Bret Curry
Editor: David McGinnis
Music: Tyler Phillips
Cast: Reece Rios, Melissa Odom, McKaley Miller, Joanna Bonaro
TRAVELING is the story of three people who have never had a family, but they find that kind of bond on a road trip to Austin. Andrew is hitchhiking from Phoenix to Austin when he meets Jen, who is driving her niece Kaylee to live with her mother. Jen offers Andrew a ride, and what happens to the three of them on this trip changes each in ways they never expected. On the road, Andrew fights to maintain his tough exterior, but eventually succumbs to Kaylee’s unvarnished questions and preteen charm. Jen, who is coming to terms with her brother’s death, stops in to see her own mother and realizes their relationship is beyond repair. Filmed in Arlington, Fort Worth and Weatherford, Texas, TRAVELING digs beneath the emotional baggage to show how everybody needs somebody, no matter how scarred they are.
OK Buckaroos

Texas Competition

(USA, 2010, 79 mins, HDCAM)

Directed By: Patrick Tourville

Editor: Sean Schiavollin
Featuring: Jerry Jeff Walker, Susan Walker, Jimmy Buffet, Kris Kristofferson, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Bruce Robison, Todd Snider

Growing up in Texas I often heard the name Jerry Jeff Walker bandied about. I didn’t know who he was. Then one early-90’s night I was dragged to a concert. Once you hear “Mr. Bojangles” sung by one man with a few hundred back up singers … well let’s just say I was one happy Buckaroo.This is a story of a troubadour’s journey in the last years of the 20th century. Jerry Jeff’s music has led him from the nation’s biggest arenas to 100-year-old honkytonks; from upstate New York to the beaches of Key West; and from the hustling sidewalks of New Orleans to the solace of the Texas Hill Country. He’s been a cog in the wheel of the recording industry’s star making machinery and an involuntary pioneer on the frontier of artistic independence. He wrote one of the biggest mainstream hits of all time and still managed to help jump start a maverick musical movement.

Director Patrick Tourville, takes a fan’s-eye view at an American Legend. OK BUCKAROOS is a wonderful journey through music history that takes the occasional pit stop to wow the audience with wonderful concert footage and intimate reverence from music legends such as Jimmy Buffet and Kris Kristofferson. There will not be one foot not tapping or hand not clapping at the end of this film.

— James Faust
The Legend of Hell’s Gate: An American Conspiracy

Texas Competition

(USA, 2011, 100 mins, HDCAM)
Directed By: Tanner Beard
Cast: Eric Balfour, Lou Taylor Pucci, Henry Thomas, Jenna Dewan, Summer Glau
Surrounded by whisky-fueled outlaws and a treacherous wilderness, how is one to survive? Based on real events, this Texas based tale uncovers the mystery of the events surrounding the legendary Hell’s Gate, a cliff formation that rises out of Possum Kingdom Lake in Texas. When a curious errand boy catches wind of one of America’s most infamous crimes, he falls in with two desperate men on the wrong side of the law. Crossing paths with some of the West’s most notorious figures, these three outlaws fight for their lives in the pursuit of fame and riches. Few are to be trusted, as their interwoven stories prove that everyone has a hidden agenda, and by no means is anyone innocent. Fueled by a talented ensemble cast THE LEGEND OF HELL’S GATE blends legend and history into a Western spectacle that recounts the treacherous existence in post Civil War Texas.
— Andy Anderson
Our good buddy Berndt Mader is also going to have his wonderful film at DIFF 2011 as part of the MPS Studios Texas Competition.
Five Time Champion

Texas Competition

(USA, 2011, 92 mins, HDCAM)

Directed By: Berndt Mader

Cast: Jon Gries, Betty Buckley, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson
While the young scientist, Julius, steadfastly researches the asexual reproduction of worms, his natural curiosity leads him to discover some inconvenient truths about those around him. He witnesses his mother’s infidelity and suspects his grandfather for the same, all while he believes he is losing his best friend Shiley to a rival named Chase. These disappointments are forefront while he also wrestles with his father’s mysterious departure years ago. Julius keeps a diligent eye, but unfortunately, all of his heartbreakingly acute observation seems to prove that no solution will restore the people he cares about to their appropriate roles. How can Julius hold together a family that seems as though none of its parts can stay intact? How can he build his own romantic relationships under the shadow of rumors about his father’s homosexuality?

Texas Competition

(USA, 2011, 110 mins)

Directed By: Aaron Rottinghaus

Cast: Joey Lauren Adams, Bruce McGill, Olesya Rulin, Michael Bowen

Part psychological thriller and part coming-of-age tale, APART tells the story of teenagers Noah and Emily, both inflicted by a psychological disorder, ICD-10 F24.The effects of Induced Delusional Disorder—a rare but real psychological disturbance that causes two people to experience the same fantasies and hallucinations — can be broken only by permanently separating the people afflicted. APART begins when Noah wakes from a coma and struggles to regain his memory. Even as his rehabilitation progresses, he’s nagged by the phantom pain caused by his traumatic separation from Emily.

Director and writer Aaron Rottinghaus unveils his story in a series of flashbacks that reveal how Emily and Noah’s relationship develops from grade-school friends, to high school crushes, to a killing force that disrupts an entire community. The film was shot in the Houston area, and features expressive cinematography from J.P. Lipa and bold acting from Josh Danziger and Olesya Rulin.

— Marc Lee

Previous winners have included 2010 winner ‘American: The Bill Hicks Story’, from filmmakers Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas, which hits U.S. theatres next month; and David Lowery’s ‘St. Nick’, a suspenseful coming-of-age story that made international headlines. ‘Cook County,’ a gritty coming-of-age tale directed by David Pomes, won in 2008.

2009 winner David Lowery used the award proceeds to finance his latest work, ‘Pioneer’, which premiered at Sundance and just won Best Narrative Short at SXSW. It will also screen at DIFF this year.

“We’re very proud to be a part of the festival, and we’re especially proud to have our name on the Texas Filmmakers Award,” said Mark Beasley, president of MPS Studios Dallas.

“Part of the award’s purpose is to promote and encourage the industry in Texas,” he said. “Directors like Richard Linklater and films like ‘True Grit’ are evidence of the amazing products that come out of Texas, and hint at the great promise of Texas filmmaking that is still yet to be fully realized.”

The award includes a prize of $20,000 of cash and in-kind support in the form of cameras, lights and other film equipment. “The fact that MPS equips and supports indie filmmakers so heartily is wonderful,” said David Lowery. “They have helped me at every stage of my career.”

In addition to presenting the award, MPS Studios will introduce several of the film screenings and conduct Q&A sessions with filmmakers.

“MPS Studios has been an integral partner of the DALLAS International Film Festival over the past 5 years,” said James Faust, the festival’s artistic director.

“Being able to offer Texas filmmakers the chance to win an award designated to Texas filmmakers, with such a significant prize attached, has been so important to us, “ he said. “Nurturing local talent is key to the festival, and thanks to MPS Studios, we can do this.”

About MPS:

MPS Studios Dallas is the leading production facility in the southwest U.S., offering more than 65,000 square feet of sound stages, a rental catalog of more than 1,000 items, and a post-production facility. Clients have included ‘Chase’, ‘Friday Night Lights’,‘Oprah’, ESPN, NFL Films, and ‘Spy Kids 4’. Additionally, MPS Studios has provided equipment for commercials for Nike, Hasbro, American Airlines, among other industry leaders, as well as a host of emerging independent film directors. Learn more.

Of Course we’ll have much more from all our Texas Filmmakers!  Only a few more days.  In the meantime remember there’s always more reason to get to know your Texas Filmmakers.  Mainly because, “We’ve howdyed but we ain’t shook.”.  In other words, take the time to “shake” the hands of these fine Texas based filmmakers.



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