Meet Austin film producer Elizabeth Avellan. As co-owner and vice president of Troublemaker Studios (ex-husband Robert Rodriguez is the other owner) and President of EYA Productions, Avellan has been involved in many big time productions, including Machete, Predators, Grindhouse, Sin City and the Spy Kids franchise.
On March 10, Avellan will walk the SXSW red carpet at the world premiere of her newest film When Angels Sing.
The film is a heartfelt holiday tale. It gives you that same warm and fuzzy feeling you get from those Christmas movies on Lifetime and ABC Family movies.
For what it’s worth, I love those kinds of movies. I also love seeing Austin (Auditorium Shores and Salt Lick are two shooting locations you can’t miss) as well as some local music legends like Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Ray Benson, Dale Watson and Sara Hickman. Bob Schneider is in there for a hot minute too.
Music plays such a role in the film, that at one point, lead actor Harry Connick Jr.’s character says, “Is everyone in this neighborhood a musician?” The reply? “Welcome to Austin!”
Speaking of Harry Connick, the cast is stocked full of familiar faces. Most of them are connected to Austin and to each other.
HCJ was in Hope Floats with Austin business owner and former resident Sandra Bullock. Fionnula Flanagan, who plays the matriarch in the film, also shared the screen with Sandy in the Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood.
Brownsville native Kris Kristofferson plays the patriarch in the film. He was inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame in ’06.
Connie Britton and Dana Wheeler-Nicholson co-starred on Friday Night Lights.
Many supporting roles are played by locals. You’ll see Eloise DeJoria (John Paul Mitchell’s wife), Turk Pipkin (who wrote the novel the film is based on) and former local news reporter Michelle Valles, who left Austin for the sun and sand of California. Who would do such a thing?
In preparation for the red carpet event, which Harry Connick Jr. and Willie Nelson will attend, we asked Elizabeth Avellan these 10 totally Texan questions.
1. What is your favorite movie and/or TV show shot in Texas?
Movie — HUD because it was my introduction to the great Paul Newman. TV – Friday Night Lights – love football and love Texas!!
2. Who is your favorite Texas musician?
Willie Nelson for country and soulfulness talent! Truly brilliant! Dale Watson for Texas swing and Alan Haynes for Texas blues.
3. What actor would you classify as “totally Texan?”
I wish Sam Elliott or Paul Newman were born in Texas… they are not but had that BIG TEXAS PIONEER SPIRIT! So I choose Jamie Foxx!
4. Answer one of the following and tell us why: Cowboys or Texans? Spurs or Mavs? Astros or Rangers?
Texans, Spurs, Rangers — I like spreading my love of sports all over Texas.
5. What is your favorite Texas food item?
Mexican and Barbecue.
6. If you didn’t work in film, what would you be doing?
I would have worked in business as an entrepreneur… (while) doing this on the side.
7. Who would play you in the movie of your life?
Fellow Texan Jennifer Garner. *Editor’s note – while Garner was raised in Wwst Virginia, she was born in Houston.
8. What’s your theme song?
Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds and One Love.
9. What projects will you be working on in 2013?
An English version of a great Spanish language film my biz partner and I saw at Fantastic Fest 2012. VERY EXCITED!
10. What are you most looking forward to at SXSW?
The screenings of my film When Angels Sing on March 10th at 3:30pm, March 11th at 7:00pm and March 15th at 11:45am.
If you’d like to see the film, you’re in luck! SXSW badges are not necessary.