Film screening features Texas filmmakers

By Liz Hitchcock

Texas Independent Film Network will hold a screening of “The Whole Shootin’ Match” at 7 p.m. Thursday in Castellaw Communications Center, Room 101.

The organization was founded to focus on Texas independent film makers and independently produced films from Texas.

Baylor has hosted an independent film once a month since January, with the last one being in May.

“It’s a group that was formed in Austin this year by Ryan Long, program manager for the Austin Film Society, and then Louis Black, one of the founders of the South By Southwest Festival,” James Kendrick, assistant professor of film and digital media, said.

The Texas Independent Film Network chooses the films to be shown at educational institutions and organizations in Texas participating in screenings, Christopher Hansen, assistant professor of film and digital media said.

“We are trying to get Waco audiences to come out,” Hansen said. “I’m hoping that this will be something that will do that, people in the community may just want to come out and see a good film. … Part of why we’re doing this is to bring the community in and make them see what great stuff is going on.”

Previous screenings have included films from well-known film makers such as Wes Anderson, who directed “The Royal Tenenbaums,” Robert Rodriguez, who directed “Sin City,” and Tobe Hooper, who directed the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”

“We have had three screenings so far,” Kendrick said. “The first couple of screenings were designed to showcase older films that established the idea of independent filmmaking in Texas.”

This months’ film, “The Whole Shootin’ Match,” was directed by Eagle Pennell and was first released in 1978.

“Texas son Eagle Pennell’s first feature details the tragi-comic struggles of two small-time schemers, Loyd [Lou Perryman] and Frank [Sonny Carl Davis], desperate to land their big break,” the Texas Independent Film Network website states.

Kendrick said the reason for showing “The Whole Shootin’ Match,” even though it may not be a commonly known movie title.

“The claim to fame with this film is that Robert Redford saw it in the late 70s and was impressed by it and by what Eagle Pennell was able to do with an independent budget and without Hollywood support,” Kendrick said.

“It was part of Redford’s inspiration to creating the Sundance Institute, which has spawned the Sundance Film Festival. Sundance is now one of the preeminent American film festivals.”

Hansen believes through the Texas Independent Film Network, this may be the foot in the door the film and digital media department needs to establish a film society at Baylor.

“We were eager to be a part of this and happy to host it here on Baylor’s campus,” Hansen said.

“We are excited to bring all kinds of filmmaking to our students, the campus in general and the community. … We are hoping that this is the beginning of bringing this kind of event to Baylor’s campus.”

Dallas senior Taylor Lewis recommends that students of any major attend the screenings and said it is beneficial for the community as well.

“It’s important to have independent film screenings here in Waco and at Baylor because it exposes an area that otherwise may not have an opportunity to view screenings of these movies,” Lewis said. “That exposure influences, educates and inspires current film majors, students in general and Waco on a flourishing film industry in Texas that they can relate to, become a part of or support.”