PePhoto by Nicholas Green on Unsplash

Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. Here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. Go badgeless to the best free music showcases at SXSW 2023. No badge? No wristband? No problem – we’ve got you covered with our running list of SXSW parties that don’t require either. Take a look, and be sure to note which shows require an RSVP.

2. New poll shows Texans’ bipartisan support for improving school safety. The poll examined Texans’ beliefs about guns, gambling, marijuana, immigration, and more.

3. Jonathan Majors joins Texas legends as a 2023 Texas Film Awards honoree. CultureMap caught up with the ascendant Texas-raised actor on the red carpet before the ceremony, asking what Texas has meant to him in his journey.

4. Elizabeth Olsen and Jesse Plemons to attend the SXSW premiere of Love and Death, shot in Austin. Olsen and Plemons are just two of the celebrities we're likely to see around Austin this week and next.

5. Goth rock gods The Cure will tour in summer 2023 with date in Austin. The legendary English rock band will play at Austin's Moody Center on May 14.

Courtesy Austin Film Society

Jonathan Majors joins Texas legends as a 2023 Texas Film Awards honoree

Texas Film Awards

Jonathan Majors has been busy. If you didn't already know him fromThe Last Black Man in San Francisco(2019), you might recognize him as Kang the Conqueror in MCU's latest Ant Man installment. His latest project, Creed III, just released on March 3, the same night Majors graced Austin with his presence at the 2023 Texas Film Awards.

Taking place at Willie Nelson's ranch, Luck, TX — itself a part of film history as the former set of Nelson's Red Headed Stranger (1975) — the 21st Annual Texas Film Awards honored Texas-born, Texas-raised, and Texas-claimed legends who have had a deep impact on the film industry. Among the honorees were past Head of SXSW Janet Pierson, along with her husband John Pierson, as well as Margot Martindale (Cocaine Bear, among many others), and Warner Bros. CEO Mike De Luca.

Majors was there to receive the Rising Star award, following in the footsteps of other Texas greats such as Owen Wilson (2003) and Jessie Plemons (2016). Born in California, Majors grew up in Texas, with stints outside Austin in Georgetown, regular visits to his grandfather's farm in Waco, and high school years in Cedar Hill near Dallas.

CultureMap caught up with the ascendant Texas-raised actor on the red carpet before the ceremony, asking what Texas has meant to him in his journey and how it continues to shape the stories he tells.

"You raised me up," Majors said. "You kept me safe somehow; all my first teachers are here; all my first protectors are here: From teachers to parents, to siblings, this Texas sky holds a lot of memories for me, so it makes sense on a day like this to come back home and celebrate those who helped you get to where you are."

Majors also shared a glimpse of what it means to be a Texan in Hollywood, saying that "everybody in Hollywood knows Texans punch hard. When someone hears you're from Texas, they know stuff's gonna happen."

Beyond that reputation as individual Texans, Majors also praised the work of organizations like Austin Film Society for continuing to attract Hollywood's attention beyond the obvious coastal hubs of Los Angeles and New York. Events like the Texas Film Awards bring artists and producers together, ultimately creating a catalyst for more film work in the Lone Star State.

"We have the space here," he said. "I just started producing ... so I think maybe the first step is getting more artists together and saying 'hey, we want to shoot here; I know you have the space, and we know you’ve got the money, so let’s try to make that happen.'"

Majors first garnered critical attention for his performance in TheLast Black Man in San Francisco, which Barack Obama listed as one of his favorite films in 2019. But his first feature film was starring alongside Christian Bale in Hostiles (2017), directed by Scott Cooper, who also attended the Texas Film Awards to present Majors with the Rising Star award.

Sharing a few words to introduce the award, Cooper called Majors "an exceptional talent from the first moment he stepped on set," noting that Bale shared similar sentiments during and after their work on Hostiles. Cooper went on to say that Majors has not had an easy journey to his current status as one of Hollywood's hottest actors to watch, but that "he's never lost sight of what is truly important" along the way.

Accepting the award, Majors thanked the Austin Film Society for "seeing me, and loving my work, and consequently, loving me ... And the journey continues. I'm leaving here tonight, hitting the road again, but with a tank full of this love with this honor."

Jonathan Majors

Courtesy Austin Film Society

Jonathan Majors receives the 2023 Rising Star award at the Texas Film Awards.

Courtesy Austin Film Society

Austin Film Society announces honorees for 2023 Texas Film Awards

Texas Film Awards

Awards season is in full swing, and not just in Hollywood. On March 3, the Austin Film Society (AFS) brings back its annual Texas Film Awards to honor both rising stars and Texans who have significantly impacted the independent film industry. Fittingly, this year's ceremony takes place on a movie-set-turned venue, Willie Nelson's Luck, TX.

In a release announcing the 2023 honorees, AFS also announced this year's Master of Ceremonies, Texas native and actress Edi Patterson. Known for her roles in films and series including Knives Out, The Righteous Gemstones, Partners, and Vice Principals, Patterson performs in improv and sketch comedy shows for the Groundlings Main Company where she is a member. She is also a member of improvisational theater company Impro Theatre.

Emmy and Critic's Choice Award nominated actor Jonathan Majors will receive this years's Rising Star Award. Majors grew up in Cedar Hill, Texas and has starred in films including Joe Talbot’s The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Jeymes Samuel’s The Harder They Fall, and Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods. Majors also starred in the series Lovecraft Country, for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award, and was most recently in J. D. Dillard’s Devotion. He will next appear in Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, in theaters on February 17, and Ryan Coogler’s Creed III, in theaters on March 3.

Previous Rising Star Award recipients include Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart, Unbelievable), Tye Sheridan (Ready Player One, the X-Men franchise), Jesse Plemons (Fargo, Breaking Bad), among others. The award honors an actor who has made a lasting impact with their work early in their career.

For his impact on global cinema as a creative producer and executive, Warner Bros. Pictures Group Co-Chair and CEO Michael De Luca will be honored. A resident of Fort Worth, de Luca boasts over three decades in the business, three Academy Award® nominatios for Best Picture of the Year (The Social Network, Moneyball, and Captain Phillips), and three Emmy Award nominations (for producing both the 89th and the 90th Academy Awards® and for producing Escape At Dannemora).

Among his many esteemed positions in the industry over thirty years, De Luca served as one of the youngest heads of production in Hollywood history when he was appointed President and COO of New Line Productions at age 27. There, he helped launch lucrative franchises (Friday, Blade, Austin Powers and Rush Hour), release major hits (Seven, Wag the Dog, Pleasantville, Magnolia, I Am Sam and Boogie Nights), and produced the film adaptation of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, which grossed over $1 billion internationally.

The ceremony on March 3 will also see independent cinema’s “first couple”, Janet and John Pierson, inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame. The honor will celebrate their impact on the independent film industry, and especially on the Austin and Texas community in helping to grow the SXSW Film & TV Festival to what it is today. Among their many projects as exhibitors and subsequently producer's reps/financiers for independents in the 1980s and 90s, the Pierson's also created the IFCtv show Split Screen, which involved 100 independent filmmakers and seeded new projects including The Blair Witch Project, American Movie and How’s Your News? The show has a permanent streaming home on the Criterion Channel. T

Moving to Austin in 2004, John Pierson joined the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin Radio-TV-Film Department, influencing a generation of students and offering his famed Master Class, which brought in high-profile industry guests to Austin. From April 2008 to Oct 2022, Janet Pierson was Head of SXSW Film Festival (now SXSW Film & TV Festival), taking the famed festival to new heights with talent discovery and launching major films. For her work at SXSW, Janet made The Guardian’s Film Power 100 list in 2010 and 2013’s Indiewire Influencers and now serves as Director Emeritus of SXSW Film & TV Festival.

Taking place in Luck, TX, the 2023 Texas Film Awards will feature a red carpet and cocktail party, followed by dinner and an awards ceremony. Sponsored by Blue Suitcase and Arts+Labor. annual event directly supports regional filmmakers and sustains AFS’s efforts to catalyze Austin and Texas as creative hubs.

More information about the Texas Film Awards can be found here, and tickets and tables are available for purchase here.

Edi Patterson

Courtesy Austin Film Society

Texas native and actress Edi Patterson will serve as the event’s Master of Ceremonies.

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Dip your toes into these 7 Austin pools with passes, snacks, and summer events; plus more top stories

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Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. From hotel pools, to museums, to a show-stopping Hill Country rental, here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. Dip your toes into these 7 Austin pools with passes, snacks, and summer events. The city is getting unreasonably hot again; It's time to start planning poolside hangs, which are even better with a cocktail.

2. Breathtaking Hill Country hideaway is one of Vrbo's top 10 vacation homes in the country. The retractable floor-to-ceiling glass windows are a nice touch in this $400-a-night house.

3. 6 Austin museums are offering free admission for military families all summer long. These organizations want to help military families spend more time together without breaking the bank.

4. Space-inspired screenings invade Austin Film Society ahead of Wes Anderson's upcoming release. Austinites looking forward to the June 16 release of Asteroid City can soak up the inspirations and watch a sneak peek screening.

5. Texas ranks No. 2 best state to start a small business in new report. The state's tax framework makes the finance side of running a business relatively easy.

4 Austin-inspired cocktail recipes to whisk you away from the Texas heat this summer


Now that summer weather has arrived in Austin, we can tell you’re thirsting for some new drinks to try. And with World Gin Day coming up on June 10, we’re sharing a few recipes from local Austin restaurants (and Austin’s favorite Topo Chico!) we hope you’ll enjoy.

The following recipes feature some of our favorite ingredients or mixers we’re loving at the moment. Whether your drink of choice is a cocktail or mocktail, we’ve gathered four bright and bubbly beverages to help whisk you away from the Texas heat. And if you prefer to drink them rather than make them, three of these lovely libations can be found on the seasonal summer menus at their respective restaurant.

Aba’s Rhubarb Rose Gin and Tonic
This cocktail was created by Senior Beverage Manager Thomas Mizuno-Moore.

½ oz lime juice
¼ oz honey syrup
½ oz Fruitful Mixology rhubarb liqueur
¾ oz Brockmans Gin
¾ oz Hendrick’s Flora Adora
2 oz tonic water
Rosebud tea, for garnish


  • Combine lime juice, honey syrup, Fruitful Mixology rhubarb liqueur, Brockmans Gin and Hendrick’s Flora Adora in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, shake until cold.
  • Add tonic water to the shaker, then strain over fresh ice in a double old fashioned glass.
  • Garnish with rosebud tea and enjoy!

Blueberry Sparkler Mocktail by Topo ChicoBecause everyone needs a good go-to mocktail recipe in their life.Photo courtesy of Topo Chico

Blueberry Sparkler Mocktail by Topo Chico
This beverage might not be gin-themed, but it does make a great refreshing mocktail. If you don’t have Topo Chico Sabores on hand, you can substitute it with sparkling water.

1 Blueberry Topo Chico Sabores
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ cup water
½ oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
Lemon slices and additional blueberries, for garnish

Blueberry Syrup Directions:

  • In a small saucepan, combine the blueberries, sugar, and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the blueberries are soft and the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the blueberry mixture to cool for about 10 minutes.
  • Once cooled, use a fine-mesh strainer to strain the blueberry mixture into a bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the solids and set the blueberry syrup aside.

Mocktail Directions:

  • In a cocktail shaker, combine 1 ounce of the blueberry syrup, and lemon juice. Fill the shaker with ice and shake well until chilled, about 15-20 seconds.
  • Fill a glass with ice and strain the mixture into the glass. Top off the glass with Blueberry Topo Chico Sabores (or sparkling water) and give it a gentle stir to mix.
  • Garnish with lemon slices and additional blueberries, if desired. Enjoy your refreshing Blueberry Sparkler!

Tillie's seasonal summer cocktailThis colorful cocktail is a lively take on a gin martini.Photo courtesy of Tillie's at Camp Lucy

Empress Gin Martini by Tillie’s at Camp Lucy
This martini recipe was developed by Paolo Lazarich, the mixologist for Abbey Row Restaurant at The Old Bell Hotel in the United Kingdom. Fun fact: Camp Lucy owners Kim and White Hanks also own The Old Bell Hotel, which is rumored to be England’s oldest hotel.

3 oz Empress 1908 Gin
1 oz dry vermouth
Splash of lemon juice
Lemon and rosemary for garnish


  • Add the Empress 1908 Gin, dry vermouth, and lemon juice to a glass and stir gently.
  • Garnish with a lemon wedge and a sprig of rosemary. Enjoy.

\u200bSummertime Spritz by Dean's Italian Steakhouse There's nothing like a summer spritz.Photo courtesy of Dean's Italian Steakhouse

Summertime Spritz by Dean's Italian Steakhouse
This recipe is geared toward a mixologist who enjoys the little details that make a cocktail so unique, such as making their own oleo saccharum or curating the perfect flower as a garnish.

½ oz lemon juice
½ oz strawberry oleo saccharum
¼ oz Aperol
¼ oz Giffard Abricot
1.5 oz Zephyr Gin
2 oz Brut champagne
1 each cocktail flower


  • Combine all ingredients except Brut champagne into a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously, about 15-20 seconds.
  • Fill a wine glass with ice and add the Brut. Fine strain the cocktail into the glass.
  • Garnish with the cocktail flower

Extravagant estate in West Austin hits the market for $4.25 million


An imperial estate in the Lost Creek neighborhood of West Austin has become the latest addition to the city's stabilizing real estate market. The property was listed at $4.25 million.

The magnificent three-story home was originally built in 2009, making great use of Austin's Hill Country views that can be seen from every single room. The home spans 8,215 square feet on just over two acres of land, surrounded by lush trees and enclosed with a private gated entrance.

Natural light floods the inside of the home, highlighting intricate details and complimenting the high ceilings. The home boasts five bedrooms, four bathrooms, and three half-baths. The primary suite is reminiscent of an upscale resort, containing its own spa-like bathroom, walk-in closets, and access to a private balcony.

In the kitchen, the 60-inch wolf range is an aspiring chef's dream. The area has plenty of space and storage with its rich brown cabinets, a sub-zero refrigerator, a cabinet-mounted wine rack, two sinks, and more.

8105 Talbot Lane in AustinThe 60-inch wolf range is an aspiring chef's dream.Photo courtesy of JPM Real Estate Photography

A few other highlights of the home include a game room, media room, terraces, and a resort-style pool deck with an accompanying hot tub, kitchen, and fire pit. The two-car garage also includes a guest suite above it, with a single bedroom, kitchenette, and half bath.

Looking into the property's history, it was listed in June 2022 for $4.9 million, which was reduced to $3.9 million by September. The home was reported as sold in October of that year before being re-listed for its current $4.25 million price in 2023.

8105 Talbot Lane in Austin

Photo courtesy of JPM Real Estate Photography

The estate is located at 8105 Talbot Lane in West Austin.

The estate is located at 8105 Talbot Lane, which is a brief 10 minutes from downtown Austin, and is zoned for the highly-esteemed Eanes Independent School District. The listing is held by agent Wade Giles of Douglas Elliman.