The Austin Film Fest announced the winners of the Hiscox Audience Awards, recognizing film favorites among the 2018 slate as voted on by festival goers.
The awards are separated by category and the winner of the Texas Independent Feature is The Iron Orchard, written by Gerry De Leon and Ty Roberts.
The Iron Orchard is a totally Texan film that paints a picture of West Texas and the oil scene that’s foreign to someone like me, who doesn’t hail from the great Lone Star State (though I got here as quick as I could).
It’s not so foreign to me after watching this picture. And now, it’s even more clear to me why Texans are so proud of where they come from… and how far they’ve come. Not that I ever had any doubt.
Based on the novel by the same name, the story was concocted by a banker from Fort Worth’s prominent Van Zandt family, who used a fake name to write the tell-all story of West Texas oilmen in the 1960s.
Star Lane Garrison, who happens to hail from Dallas and now calls the Austin area home, appeared to be pleased as punch by the experience of making this film.
On the red carpet at the Austin Film Fest, he couldn’t contain his excitement following a photo op with the cast. “Texas forever! Best God damn place,” he declared.
Moments later, he spoke with ATXgossip and our pals Shuffle Online about getting the film from the page to the screen.
“Literally after I read the first page, I called my manager and said, ‘I have to do this project,’” the former Prison Break star told us.
He then flew from LA down to Austin to meet with Director Ty Roberts and, in his words, “basically begged him.”
“I have to play this role,” Garrison told Roberts.
After being attached to the film for two years (and 50 years after the novel was published), The Iron Orchard film was finally put into production, premiering first at the Dallas International Film Festival before making its way to Austin.
And speaking of Austin, while the film was predominantly shot in West Texas, there are scenes that were filmed in Austin. The Driskill Hotel and another historic building downtown were used in scenes as a stand in for Fort Worth, where the film will screen this weekend at the Lone Star Film Festival.
Austinite Austin Nichols also stars in the film, which he calls a “great Texas story.”
But Garrison and Nichols aren’t the film’s only ties to Texas.
“It was made by Texans in Texas, and I think we really captured that on film,” Garrison proudly stated.
You’ll have to wait a few months to check out this ode to old Texas for yourself.
The Iron Orchard will hit theaters in February 2019.
To hear more from Lane Garrison and Austin Nichols talking Texas on the red carpet, check out the Top 9 Austin Celebrity Moments from the Austin Film Fest.