2017 Texas Film Awards honor movie industry professionals

The unofficial start of SXSW, The 2017 Texas Film Awards, took place in Austin Thursday.

Big names like Shirley MacLaine and Jeff Nichols received honors during the ceremony.

The awards help financially support the Austin Film Society founded by filmmaker Richard Linklater in 1985.

Actress Shirley MacLaine, producer Sarah Green, actor Tye Sheridan, writer Jeff Nichols and director Hector Galan earned their spot in the Texas Film Hall of Fame this year.

"Texas has been very instrumental in my creative life," MacLaine said.

Several of the industry icons said there is a real need for tax incentives for the film industry in Texas. In fact, they feel the state missed out of some big films because it was cheaper to shoot them in other southwestern states.

"There's a direct connection to the industry, to the vibrancy of that industry being able to stay here in Austin, stay around the state, and it needs to be supported through tax incentives," said Nichols.

Director Hector Galan said creating documentary films in the Lone Star State is even more important now because of the political climate in the state and the country.

"I think it's getting rough out there for Latinos in particular, so there's a lot of stories that need to be told and our country's being, we're in dangerous times right now. I mean, we're going back and it's up to us as documentary filmmakers, particularly in Texas, to do something about it," Galan said.

During the awards show the TFA will also remember Texas actor Bill Paxton who starred in movies like Twister, Titanic and Aliens. Paxton died from a stroke two weeks ago in Los Angeles.

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