AUSTIN -- A cavernous metal building that was once a hangar at Austin’s former airport can suddenly seem small when packed with the biggest stars in Texas. The 13th Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards does just that.
This year, the Austin Film Society honored four Texas success stories and one movie that certainly made its mark.
"This is fun. This is probably the definition of fun," said Stephen Tobolowsky.
Tobolowsky has appeared in movies like Mississippi Burning and Spaceballs. He has also made hundreds of small screen appearances. But the actor's role Thursday night took top billing as an inductee.
"I want to make the people in Dallas proud of me. I want to make the people in Austin and the state of Texas proud of my career for some strange reason," said Tobolowsky.
Another inductee Henry Thomas shot to fame when he starred in the movie ET.
"It's a great honor. I definitely wasn't expecting it. In fact, I thought somebody was pulling my leg," said Thomas.
Actress Sissy Spacek discovered Thomas in San Antonio as a boy. Currently he is shooting a pilot for ABC.
Dallas born Robin Wright made fans fall in love with her in 1987's Princess Bride. She said this is the first honor she’s every received. It’s such a big honor, the movie's director introduced Wright.
"I came here specifically to honor Robin because you know if it wasn't for her I wouldn't have a film," said Rob Reiner.
Hundreds packed the gala dinner. And while it was a fun night, it was also a night to talk about the business of movies in Texas.
"The Austin Film Society is a really big part of promoting Texas film and a lot of money raised tonight is going to support emerging filmmakers," said Austin actor and writer Turk Pipkin.
Richard Linklater, whose film Dazed and Confused is being honored on its 20th anniversary, would like to see Texas take it one step further.
"I think the state needs to get its incentive program up a little bit to be competitive on the bigger budget films but for the independent minded filmmaker this is the place," said Linklater.
Austin based director Robert Rodriguez believes Central Texas has all the components to become a movie capital.
"People love shooting here. Actors, talent, crews, they love shooting in Texas. It's never hard to attract people here. That's kind of why I have such huge casts in my movies, I don't pay them that much, they come down because they love Texas," said Rodriguez.
All of the money raised at the gala goes to benefit the educational and artistic programs of the Austin Film Society.