Lone Star nods honor locally filmed pix

The stars came out in Texas as the Dallas/Fort Worth Film Critics Assn. and Dallas/Fort Worth Regional Film Commission held their annual Lone Star Film and Television Awards Sunday at the Majestic Theatre in Dallas.

Produced and presented for the critics by the film commission — a consortium of 16 cities and member corporations working to attract and assist production — the event is one of the few such galas outside of L.A. or N.Y. It is hosted by the 38-member film critics org and honors the best motion pictures, television productions and performances filmed in Texas and released during the previous year.

Best pic nod went to Castle Rock/Sony Pictures Classics’ “Waiting for Guffman,” directed and co-written by Christopher Guest, who also received best director honors. The chamber of commerce in Lockhart, Texas, site for the pic’s fictional Blaine, Mo., reports being inundated with calls from the cult hit’s fans trying to locate the true site.

Crystal statuettes were also given to Michael Scott Myers (best screenplay) and Vincent D’Onofrio (best actor) for the Kushner-Locke/Sony Pictures Classics feature film “The Whole Wide World.”

Jennifer Lopez and Edward James Olmos received the critics’ vote for best actress and best supporting actor in Warner Bros.’ “Selena.” Best supporting actress went to Ashley Judd for Orion/MGM’s “The Locusts.”

TV honors went to the Turner Network Television miniseries “Rough Riders” for best TV program, best teleplay (Hugh Wilson and John Milius) and best actor (Tom Berenger, who also produced, with Allan Apone). Goldie Hawn earned best director honors for her directorial debut with Cherry Alley Prods., TNT’s movie “Hope.”

Veteran star Ruta Lee presented the 1998 Texas Legend Award to Debbie Reynolds after a film retrospective of the star’s career.

According to Roger Burke, executive director of the D/FW Regional Film Commission, Texas is one of only a handful of states with enough production to support this type of event.

Texas ranks third, after California and New York, in domestic motion picture and TV production. In January, the Texas Film Commission reported 55 major projects shot last year, spending approximately $170 million ($210 million including TV commercials). It reported D/FW led the state with $72 million. Much of that is attributed to CBS’ “Walker, Texas Ranger” and the popular PBS children’s series “Barney and Friends” and “Wishbone” — all shot entirely on location and in soundstages in Dallas/Fort Worth.

In appreciation of the efforts to “sell Texas to the world,” the Lone Star Awards took a moment to honor one of Texas’ own. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison presented Texas film commissioner Tom Copeland with the Leonard Katzman Memorial Award. The award was first presented last year, posthumously, in honor of its namesake, Leonard Katzman, creator of the “Dallas” TV series and a promoter of the Dallas/Fort Worth and Texas film and television production communities.

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