Skip to Content

Local Love: The Austin Connection

Local Love_March

If Austin is sometimes referred to as the “third coast,” it’s thanks to wide-ranging local talent and resources. From actors and directors to the central Texas backdrop, this town has a lot to offer. Here we zoom in on some of the latest productions and individuals with Austin ties.

Jeff Nichols

With a string of recent critical hits under his belt, including “Mud,” “Midnight Special,” and 2016’s lauded drama “Loving,” about the interracial marriage that affected a Supreme Court decision, Jeff Nichols’ star is on the rise. The writer and director will be honored March 9 at Austin Film Society’s Texas Film Awards.

The Son

Based on Austin writer Philipp Meyer’s best-selling 2013 novel, “The Son” shot in Austin last summer. (Remember those Pierce Brosnan sightings?) Brosnan stars in this 10-episode drama, which gets its world premiere at SXSW, ahead of its debut on AMC on April 8.

Kyle Chandler

While Austinites may always see him as Coach Taylor, actor Kyle Chandler has been exploring new territory — from playing a supporting role in Best Picture nominee “Manchester By The Sea” to embodying John Rayburn on the Netflix thriller “Bloodline.” While he has a house in Dripping Springs, he might most likely be found on set.

Keith Maitland

Gathering acclaim last year for the documentary “Tower” about the 1966 UT Austin shooting, as well as “A Song For You: The Austin City Limits Story,” director Ketih Maitland is now getting to work on a new documentary, produced by Edward R. Pressman and Shep Gordon. With a grant from the Austin Film Society, Maitland will shape the story of “hippie millionaire” Michael Brody Jr.

Song To Song

Selected as the opening night film for the SXSW Film Festival, director Terrence Malick’s (“The Thin Red Line”) music-focused “Song To Song” stars Ryan Gosling, Natalie Portman, Rooney Mara, Christian Bale and Michael Fassbender. The Austin-set drama gets its world premiere March 10.

Photo by Van Redin / Broad Green Pictures

Kat Candler

After making a splash at Sundance with the 2014 film “Hellion,” starring Aaron Paul, Austin-based writer/director Kat Candler is working as a producing director for Ava DuVernay’s series “Queen Sugar” on the OWN Network.

Matt Cook

Labeled a “screenwriter to watch” by the Austin Film Festival, Matt Cook has a number of irons in the fire, including developing projects with Matt Damon and Ed Burns. The UT Austin alum penned the screenplay for 2016’s Mark Wahlberg feature “Patriot’s Day.”

Robert Rodriguez

Earlier this year, punks in leather and dudes with mohawks gathered to fill out scenes for the sci-fi film “Alita: Battle Angel.” Shooting in Austin, Robert Rodriguez’ latest stars Christoph Waltz and Rosa Salazar, and is expected in 2018.

Read more from the Music + Film Issue | February 2017