Dazed and Confused, Slacker, School of Rock, Fast Food Nation and Bernie -- it is hard to imagine the independent film world without director Richard Linklater. Most people don’t know it, but he kicked his career off right here in Austin utilizing public access television to edit some of his early films.
Now, in honor of the vibrant 40-year history of public access television and community media, Linklater shares the story of his early days of filmmaking at Austin Community Television (ACTV). Linklater, along with many others who make up the history of this unique venue for free speech are highlighted in the documentary Access THIS.
It’s hard to wrap your head around a place that’s home to shows where atheist rhetoric clashes with Christian dogma, where cooks are kooks are engaged in zany non-sequitur dialog, where local artists, musicians, and creative spirits actually get a spot on television and where conspiracy theorists from both the left and the right battle over their interpretations of truth to rapt audiences.
Access THIS is a feature-length documentary about the vibrant 40-year history of public access television that began in Austin, Texas. This film features the unique voices and visions of people who have shared their stories and lives with the Austin Community though public access television.
This doc will make you laugh, make you cry, and even make you rethink what you experience is with TV. This is just a sampling of the thousands of characters who have over the years been drawn into the light – and onto the screens of community television in Austin, Texas.
Cut from more than 2,000 hours of archived footage, this doc is a must see at SXSW in March 2013. It’s our 40th birthday in 2013 and what better way to celebrate than to share Austin’s Stories with the world.
Who We Are
channelAustin is the "doing business as" (dba) name for Public Access Community Television, Inc., a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit corporation registered with the Texas Secretary of State. Since we are a non-profit, all donations over $50 are tax deductible and will receive a tax letter.
Public Access Television
The film Wayne’s World doesn’t do justice to the entirety of the public access experience. Wayne’s World may have focused national attention on public access television but true indie filmmakers like Richard Linklater and Robert Rodriguez owe the earliest beginnings of their careers to this grassroots community media here in Austin.
Following the turmoil of the Sixties, the public was given access to our First Amendment Right of free speech with the initiation of inclusive, content-neutral and low-cost public airwaves. The disenfranchised were given a way to tell their stories—and the public continues to just that -- at channelAustin.
One famous slogan that captures what Austin is all about is “Keep Austin Weird.” Public access TV is considered the mother ship of all that is weird in Austin.
Operated and managed by nonprofits since 1973, channelAustin’s is the current contractor with the City of Austin and is responsible for managing the resources and three broadcast channels, including channel 10—the longest continually running public access channel in the country.
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Kickstarter is powered by a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands. In other words, if we don’t raise our goal of $15,000, we lose everything.
How You Can Help
Help us spread the word about this film. Pledge and own a piece of free speech history! We want you to be a part of the doc’s success. We need funds to complete this project with professional production sound, musicians and graphic artists.
We need your help to make sure Access THIS is ready by SXSW for its March 2013 worldwide premiere – and in celebration of our birthday. Thank you for your support with your generous donation so that we can continue to share these wonderful stories from the Austin Community.