Texas-born filmmaker weighs in on future of the industry ahead of Oscars

ByDesiree Cantu KTRK logo
Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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THE WOODLANDS, Texas (KTRK) -- Texas-native filmmaker Abby Tozer spoke with ABC13 about the future of the industry as ABC prepares for Oscars Sunday on March 10.

Tozer recently co-hosted a film festival called "What Should I Do Right Now?" It happened back in November 2023 as a place for independent filmmakers to show their work during the Hollywood actors' strike.

RELATED: Actors talk about the impact of the dual strikes in Hollywood: 'We have to draw a line in the sand'

The Woodlands High School grad said they came up with the name and idea when they realized many creatives around them felt stuck and didn't have a place to showcase their work.

That feeling is one Tozer is familiar with. She pursued an education in neuroscience to better understand her diagnosis of sporadic hemiplegic migraines.

The symptoms are similar to those of having a stroke or epilepsy, which can lead to momentary creative blocks. Tozer said she wanted to learn more about how her brain works in order to be able to conquer those hurdles and eventually help others do the same.

She ended up shifting gears in her career, but ultimately, she continues to achieve those goals in other ways than medicine. Once Tozer decided to pursue her passion in the film industry, she double minored in acting and jazz piano performance at the University of California at Berkeley.

Tozer launched her production company, A2C Entertainment, in February 2023 with her business partner, Connor Angus. Now, she is able to help other filmmakers, writers, and actors with their own hurdles, which tend to be having resources.

Having her own production company, she said she is able to take full control of her projects and maintain her vision in every film. Although, that doesn't mean it doesn't come with its own obstacles.

Being an independent filmmaker means finding investors, studios, landscaping, and a team. But with their ambition and skill sets, they're able to accomplish a lot as a duo.

She and Angus shot four short films and one commercial, organized two film festivals, went to two film markets, and are now shooting their first feature in May, all in a matter of a few years.

The Texan-born filmmaker moved to Los Angeles back in 2021, the home of Hollywood. After traveling to the West Coast, Tozer still makes her way back to Texas for projects.

She believes Texas' landscaping is underrated when it comes to the world of production.

"Texas is a phenomenal hub," Tozer said. "Stick around. If you love Texas and you want to be an actor."

In 2023, bipartisan legislation was passed to encourage filmmaking in the Lone Star State.

Texas officials are hopeful that the grants, which vary by budget levels and types of production, will help create jobs in the film industry in Texas.

Tozer told ABC13 she's looking forward to the future of filmmaking and would like to see a broader range of genres included in future Oscar nominations.

She added that she's happy to see the inclusion of foreign and international cinema, saying that the point of movie-making is to capture the human experience universally.

Tozer said Emma Stone's performance in the Oscar-nominated film "Poor Things" is the type of new age scripts and concepts that spark inspiration in her own projects.

"(Stone) created such an interesting character," Tozer said. "It's pure talent. It's so incredible to see a character like that, that's so out of pocket, and you feel so connected to them because (the performance is) just so human."

A2C Entertainment's first feature film will be shot here in Texas, hopefully, by the end of the year.

March 10 is Oscars Sunday! Watch the 2024 Oscars live on ABC.

Red carpet coverage starts at 1 p.m. ET 10 a.m. PT with "Countdown to Oscars: On The Red Carpet Live." At 4 p.m. ET, 1 p.m. PT, live coverage continues with "On The Red Carpet at the Oscars," hosted by George Pennacchio with Roshumba Williams, Leslie Lopez, and Rachel Brown.

Watch all the action on the red carpet live on ABC, streaming live on OnTheRedCarpet.com and on the On The Red Carpet Facebook and YouTube pages.

The 96th Oscars, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, begins at 7 p.m. ET 4 p.m. PT, an hour earlier than in past years.

The Oscars are followed by an all-new episode of "Abbott Elementary."