If you like having a wide variety of filmgoing options, Austin is one of the best places in the world to live. We have a lot. At the heart of it for the past few years has been a single screen, part-time pop-up theater called the AFS Cinema (formerly part of the Marchesa Hall & Theatre) supported by AFS members and donors, and some magical angels who have helped keep the doors open and the roof attached. Many thousands of people have attended hundreds of events at this theater and it has been a major cultural milestone for film in Austin.
Then, earlier this year, we at AFS found ourselves at a crossroads.
Our venue partner, with whom our arrangement allowed us to do several screenings a week, decided not to renew the lease on the building. If we chose to pursue our own lease on the property it would mean we would need to make major improvements and expansions to the structure in order to accommodate two full-time screens.
We wondered: would our audience go forward with us? Is there a market for six times as many screenings as we currently offer, and for more festivals and partner opportunities? Do we need more art house and international titles in Austin? More retrospectives and restorations?
We think so, and if you think so too, join our campaign, and give what you can. At heart, it's a quality of life issue. By voting for what you value, you help to make this city a better place, with a rooted and stable home base for the film community.
Naturally there are all kinds of levels you can give at and you will have some combination of our eternal gratitude, decals, T-shirts, tote bags and many other goodies. These are all exciting perks but the one I zoomed in on was the $100 level, which gets you a Criterion Blu-Ray or set: your choice of one from the following: DR. STRANGELOVE, THE DEKALOG, BOYHOOD, THE APU TRILOGY, WILD STRAWBERRIES, MULHOLLAND DRIVE, BLOOD SIMPLE or THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS. Plus the T-shirt, decal and more.
Please give and please come and partake in our many screenings and programs to come. We believe strongly in this campaign. Hear what Richard Linklater and the rest of the AFS creative teams says in the video below.