Clip | Richard Linklater: Dream is Destiny - Biography

Before Slacker, an experimental narrative revolving around 24 hours in the lives of 100 characters, garnered acclaim in 1991, Richard Linklater had made many shorts and completed a Super 8 feature, It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books (1988).

Linklater’s additional credits include the 70s cult hit Dazed and Confused (1993); Before Sunrise (1995), for which Linklater won the Berlin Film Festival Silver Bear Award for Best Director; Suburbia (1997); The Newton Boys (1998), a western/gangster film set in the 1920s; the animated feature Waking Life (2001); the real-time drama Tape (2001); the hit comedy School Of Rock (2003); $5:15 An Hour (TV) ; Before Sunset (2004), which earned him an Academy Award nomination; Bad News Bears (2005); A Scanner Darkly (2006); Fast Food Nation (2006); Inning By Inning: A Portrait of a Coach (2008); Me And Orson Welles (2009); Bernie (2012); Up to Speed (2012, Hulu); Before Midnight (2013); Boyhood (2014); Everybody Wants Some!! (2016); and Last Flag Flying (2017).

Linklater also serves as the Artistic Director for the Austin Film Society, which he founded in 1985 to showcase films from around the world that were not typically shown in Austin. Now one of the nation’s top film organizations, The Austin Film Society shows hundreds of films a year, has educational programs, and has given out over $1,500,000 in grants to Texas filmmakers since 1996.


Funding for Richard Linklater – dream is destiny is provided in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Transcript Print

I remember him set up his little tripod with his 8mm camera and he would turn it on and run around in front of the camera and act out a scene and run back and turn it off, and then he would reach down to his waist where he had a Sony Walkman recorder and switch that off, because he'd been recording audio by himself, and he was making a film by himself. And you can't stop somebody like that - there's no way to stop them.

I needed community. I wanted community. I didn't want it to be a solo effort ultimately. I didn't want to be a writer - that's a lonely thing - I wanted to be part of an artistic troupe. I wanted to be part of a group. You know, it's just so much more fun and collaborative and just better. So the film society slowly gets born out of that desire to kind of create - have a community. And that's where the film society starts in '85. I took the film's society very seriously. We can be a non-profit - you know - I was always nurturing that - but I never really differentiated, you know. I could be work on my own parallel projects, but also showing films meant a lot to me, so it was all one. What is this? Like a little time capsule of some kind - these were the stickers we were putting up everywhere. I could practically manage a Kinkos at this point having run the film society. You know, like making flyers and everything. So yeah, we just manufactured a ton of these. We were just kind of putting them up everywhere before anyone knew what it was. Is that a band? What is it?

I think the Film Society taught me everything I needed to know to hustle. This is the kind of thing we would do for the film society - it was just weird five years later to be doing it for our own film.