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Emerging filmmakers got a kick-start today courtesy of the Austin Film Society’s 2012 Texas Filmmakers’ Production Fund (TFPF). The AFS backed 16 narrative and documentary (short and feature length) projects with over $89,500 in cash grants in addition to $6,000 of Kodak film stock and $15,000 in productions services. Since its inception in 1996, the AFS has granted $1.3 million to 344 projects. Past winners include Heather Courtney for her award-winning Where Soldiers Come From and Kyle Henry for his Cannes entry Fourplay: Tampa.

Here’s a list of this year’s recipients:

A FORCE IN NATURE Hayden Yates A biopic of an 89 year-old Icelandic artist living in Texas.
Documentary Feature
$6,500 for production

ABOVE ALL ELSE 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

ARVIND 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

ASH 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

BLACK METAL 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

CANINE SOLDIERS 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

KALTAG, ALASKA 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

ROADMAN 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

STAY WITH ME 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

THE LONGEST SUN 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

THE SHOW MUST GO ON 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

VULTURES OF TIBET 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

TRACES 7-12 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

UNTITLED GENTRIFICATION PROJECT 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

UNTITLED JUMP SHOT PROJECT 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

YAKONA 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

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