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Texas Film Awards Kicks Off SXSW

Updated: Thursday, March 6 2014, 06:35 PM CST

The red carpet is being rolled out in Austin on Thursday night. The Texas Film Awards is the premiere celebration of film artists with ties to Texas. The star-studded event is the unofficial kick off to the 2014 South by Southwest Film Festival. 

The 2014 honorees: 

The Rising Star Award goes to Austin's Amber Heard who starred in Pineapple Express, Zombieland, and The Rum Diary with fiancĂ© Johnny Depp. 

The Soundtrack Award to Lubbock native Mac Davis who was a regular songwriter for Elvis Presley penning In the Ghetto and A Little Less Conversation. 

The Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Louis Black, editor-in-chief of the Austin Chronicle and co-founder of SXSW. 

The final award goes to Texas film director David Gordon Green who directed George Washington and Prince Avalanche and will be premiering the movie Joe at SXSW.   

On Thursday the honorees gathered at the Four Seasons Hotel in Downtown Austin to kick off the all day celebration. While the film industry is thriving in Austin and Texas, rising star Amber Heard says it's a growing challenge for actresses to find meaty rolls.

She says Hollywood is keen to pander to the stereotypes from children's books. 

"The male character, the hero, is always brave, heroic and any number of other admirable qualities that we all aspire to and the girl is at best, beautiful," said Heard. 

Heard is known for playing tough feisty characters and says as she grew up she always identified more with the save-the-day prince than the helpless princess. The actress and many other stars with Texas ties will be at the Austin Studios in Northeast Austin Thursday night to receive their awards.

By Bettie Cross

Texas Film Awards Kicks Off SXSW

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