The Violet Crown is hosting a new series that puts the spotlight on Texas movies.

The series, which will feature films directed by Texans or made in Texas, will include new and retrospective screenings.

Dallas director Eric Steele’s "Bob Birdnow’s Remarkable Tale of Human Survival and the Transcendence of Self" will open the series on Tuesday. The movie is based on Steele’s one-man play and focuses on a motivational speaker who’s recounting a horrible event in his life.

On May 13, Austin resident Eric Hueber will present "Flutter," about a mother’s struggle to nurture her son despite the obstacles life has thrown their way. The film recently had its world premiere at Dallas International Film Festival.

Also on the screening list for June 10: a 10th anniversary screening of Bryan Poyser’s "Dear Pillow," a coming-of-age story about a teen who wants to learn how to write pornography.

All ticket sales for the first three screenings will be donated to a support fund for Evan West, a Violet Crown Cinema employee injured during the drunken-driving incident that occurred during this year’s SXSW.

In addition, Austin filmmaker David Gordon Green will present a special benefit screening of his new film "Joe" at 7:30 Sunday at Violet Crown Cinema. Green will be joined by members of the cast and will take part in a Q&A after the film. All ticket proceeds for the screening will be contributed to the Evan West fund.

Each ticket purchased will include screening of the film, post screening Q&A and complimentary drinks. Tickets can be purchased at the cinema or online at www.VioletCrownCinema.com.

Cine Las Americas announces lineup

Cine Las Americas has announced the full list of films that will screen during the 17th Cine Las Americas International Film Festival , which runs Tuesday through April 27, including a retrospective of films by pioneering Mexican-American filmmaker Efraín Gutiérrez.

The Austin Film Society’s new Marchesa Hall and Theater will feature opening and closing night events, international new releases, and ‘Hecho en Tejas,’ which showcases five features and nine short films representing work by directors from Austin, Arlington, Corinth, Edinburg, El Paso, Houston, San Antonio and San Marcos.

Other sections of the festival also feature Texas ties, including films in the Emergencia Youth Film Competition, the Cine Joven: Mundos Diferentes telenovela from Austin School of Film, and a retrospective of early Chicano films directed by San Antonio native Gutiérrez.

All of the "Hecho en Tejas" films were shot and/or produced in Texas and will be screened April 26 and 27 at the Marchesa. The Texas Archive of the Moving Image will present the jury award to the best "Hecho en Tejas" film.

The features include "Chateles del campo" ("Country Kids"), a documentary about youths in Nicaragua, directed by Jason Outenreath; "LaDonna Harris: Indian 101," a biographical documentary directed by Julianna Brannum; "Las Marthas," directed by Cristina Ibarra and documenting the annual debutante ball in Laredo; "Micha," a coming-of-age drama directed by Eugene Martin; and "Waiting for Sandoval," a thriller directed by David B. Carren.

Check out www.cinelasamericas.org for the full lineup.

Texas film at UT

The Department of Radio-Television-Film at UT will host the fourth annual Wofford Denius Longhorn Showcase, which will feature 16 of this year’s best student films, at 6 p.m. April 27 at the UT Austin Student Activity Center Auditorium (1.402), 2201 Speedway.

A Q&A and light reception to follow. The screening is free and open to the public.

Last year, three of the showcase films went on to win regional Student Academy Awards, and one of them, Brian Schwarz’s "Ol’ Daddy," won the national Student Academy Award in the narrative category. One of this year’s showcase films, Elizabeth Chatelain’s "My Sister Sarah," recently won the prestigious International Documentary Association student film award.