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Interview: Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League on Horror, South Lamar and Leonard Maltin

Fantastic Fest is underway in Austin. The festival celebrates genre filmmaking – including horror, fantasy and sci-fi. This year is the festival’s 10th – so organizers are literally going hog wild with the lineup and events.

Fantastic Fest Founder and Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League sat down with KUT's Laura Rice to talk about it.

Tim on Fantastic Fest:

“It started out that we just wanted to have a showcase for international genre films in Austin, TX for the community here, and it’s evolved into a decent-size industry event. Right now, we try to make a lot of opportunities happen for young filmmakers.”Tim on the Film 'Tusk':

“I love the origin story of this because it came out of a podcast that Kevin Smith did where they were just joking around about a walrus-obsessed serial killer. Over the course of 15 minutes, they got to love the story so much that they decided to actually make it. It’s so true to that 15-minute brainstorming session that it’s quite uncanny.”

Tim on Horror Films:

“I program most of the festival and I’m fairly bored by traditional horror movies. ‘Tusk’ that I mentioned, even though it’s a quote unquote quote serial killer, it’s really a comedy. So, I don’t think it’s that heavy at all.”

Tim on the South Lamar Alamo Drafthouse:

“We just opened up the theatre again about a month ago and this is technically the grand opening. We didn’t do much fanfare when we opened up knowing that this was around the corner and we’re really going to put this through the paces this week. It’s where Fantastic Fest was born, it’s where it needs to stay.”

Tim on Leonard Maltin:

“This is the last year of the print edition of the Leonard Maltin guide, which is sort of a staple of the industry. So we’re honoring him, but he’s also agreed to play this game…where you take a Leonard Maltin guide, find a movie nobody’s heard of, and you all try to write a review in the style of Leonard Maltin. It’s going to be a poker tournament where the winners of the preliminary tables get to face Leonard Maltin himself… This is our secret moment of most excitement about the festival."

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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