Viewing entries tagged
Manish Pandey

Is Momentum Building at Austin's Newest Park?

Austin's track is gaining momentum, YEEHAW! It's been an amazing couple of weeks since all activity at the SXSW Film, Music and Interactive conference in Austin, Texas. Let's recap:

-Congratulations to Asif Kapadia, Manish Pandey, Working Title Films, Universal and all parties involved with the SENNA film, as release dates have been progressing:

  • 13 April - Valencia, Spain - Spanish premiere
  • 4 and 6 May - Toronto - Canadian International documentary film festival, "Hot Docs"
  • 3 June - UK Release
  • 15-19 June - Sydney, Australia Film Festival
  • 21 July - Australian Release
  • July - US Release

-Asif and the SENNA online outlets (Twitter, Facebook, web) have been working hard to keep us all informed of the latest release info. It is motivating to read inquires from fans all over the world: "When can I see SENNA in MY hometown!?" Keep asking and keep coming back here. We will continue to help bring this movie to you because it truly is an epic film which we so thoroughly enjoyed. Believe it or not, we have even more #SENNAxSW content to share with you in the coming weeks!

Congratulations to the entire Formula One drivers and teams for the amazing first two races of the season. Although Bahrain was cancelled, Sebastian Vettell gave everyone a run for their money at Australia and Malaysia. Check out this Formula 1 interview here.

And now...there have been many reports in the past few weeks that suggest development at the future home of the Austin Grand Prix is racing ahead.

-Tom O'Keefe published his recap of his Texas visit on Autosport today; you can read it here.

-Dave Doolittle, of the Austin American-Statesman, reports that zombie roadkill is halting F1 construction at the site! Oh no!

-Bob Varsha, of SPEED TV, said "We have a delegation from SPEED that’s going to go visit the track and assess the situation with our own eyeballs on April 13."

-During SPEED TV's airing of the Malaysian Grand Prix on April 9/10, they also made an announcement regarding the upcoming April 12 "special news conference" and said they plan on bringing you a live feed on Tuesday night at 8pm ET.

-Austin's KVUE News posted a supershort video of earth-movers and construction at the site from the ground level, however we're still partial to our exclusive aerial video which F1 Russia picked up and sent us viral! Here it is if you'd rather not dig through our archives:

Exclusive: First Aerial Video of Austin Track Construction from The Austin Grand Prix on Vimeo.


So, with all the recent rumblings, we want to know what YOU think will happen at tomorrow's news conference. Here are a few ideas we've heard and/or made up over a few cups of coffee this AM:

  • Tavo Hellmund and Bob Varsha will skydive out of an airplane to give you an idea of a real aerial descent upon the future track site, since they weren't too happy with our photos or video.
  • Since the Bahrain race was cancelled, construction is really going to ramp up and the Austin race will actually happen in <gasp> 2011 later this year!
  • Red Bull is going to return to Austin, the home of their largest U.S. Flugtag audience of 85,000, and create a permanent Flugtag stage constructed over the F1 pit area. (What's Flugtag? Read recap of 2007 event here.)

    by Lynn M. Stone

  • The official F1 USGP team is going to formally name the track: "The Best Little Race House In Texas."
  • SPEED TV will start the highly-anticipated 24/7 webcam of progress, so you never have to miss a second of the non-stop action as earthmovers crawl around the track!
  • Bernie decided that in addition to artificial rain, he would also like to create artificial snow for future driving "excitement" the summer.
  • While Tavo and Bob dive into the track location, Bernie will be on the ground to catch them atop his new ride, this lovely Texas Longhorn:


What are you expecting tomorrow and what would you like to see?

Before I go, I wanted to introduce you to our expanded product line at COME AND RACE IT©! We now have shirts in 4 different colors:



Natural, Texas Orange, Heather Grey and Ladies Mocha Brown! (Click on the pictures above to go directly to the order page.)

Here's our shirt Down Under at the Australian Grand Prix last month! We would love to get pics of you in your shirts at every Grand Prix and from all over the world. Please send them to us at COMEANDRACEIT {at} Thank you for your ongoing support!

Exclusive: Interview with Senna Director Asif Kapadia - #SENNAxSW

On Sunday I got the chance to sit down with Kevin and Asif to talk about how social media has affected the release of the movie, our growth of The Austin Grand Prix, and the Formula One community. The Social Media Club House at SXSW in Austin, Texas was the venue, as Social Media Club hosted a full four days of live Ustream broadcasts from the house. We had hoped to patch in the film's writer, Manish Pandey, to join us in the discussion but were unable to do so. Enjoy...

Exclusive: Interview with SENNA Director Asif Kapadia from The Austin Grand Prix on Vimeo.


Behind The Scenes Gallery


SENNA By Southwest (aka #SENNAxSW)

"SENNA Wins at Sundance," Courtesy of Working Title Films   "We were told that no one in the US knew who Ayrton Senna was, that there was no interest in Formula One, that we should forget about releasing the film here, so to win the Audience Award at Sundance is just fantastic, it makes us feel so proud. We hope this shows that there is an audience for SENNA in the US, both fans and people who have never heard of him before and I hope this is just the beginning of a long journey for SENNA in 2011.”-Asif Kapadia, Director of SENNA, upon collecting the World Cinema Audience Award for Documentary at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival


Hopefully you've heard the awesome news that the SENNA film will be screened at SXSW on two occassions. We've got a few more tricks up our sleeve for anyone in Austin this week for SXSW AND for our worldwide fans who are saving their pennies for the inaugural Grand Prix race in 2012. Let me simplify for you:

SENNA film posterSENNA premiere #1 at The Paramount Theatre on Saturday, 12 March, 11:00AM:

  • Doors open at 10:30AM.
  • If you have a SXSW Platinum or Film Badge, you are guaranteed entry to the film.* I would still get there by 10AM.
  • Next are SXSW Film Passes. I would get there by 9:45AM to get a earlier spot in line.*
  • Last are the Advance Single Tickets. These are what you bought online from The Paramount Theatre for $12 and congrats, you helped sell out the SENNA film first :) You should line up early, I'm thinking REALLY EARLY. Like 7AM. Call me crazy but if this is the first screening to completely sell out 100 these Advance tickets (which don't even insure your entry) wouldn't you want to be in line first?? The good news is that The Paramount is the largest screening in Austin (I think, however Vimeo may be larger) and if you don't get in, you can get your $12 refunded but you have to be at the box office "within 30 minutes of the film" (not sure if this means before or after; double check.)*
  • Bring tissues and waterproof mascara so you can continue your SXSW schedule after viewing this film as I am sure you will be touched and inspired.
  • RSVP ON OUR FACEBOOK INVITE so we know you're coming. Heck, the Director and Austin Mayor Pro Tem did; are you too cool? 
  • Please wear your COME AND RACE IT© shirt to the movie premiere!!
  • I purchased a few extra Advance Single Tickets so if you're looking for one please tweet me @AustinGrandPrix ASAP.

Post-Premiere Reception by the Formula 1 United States team at the Long Center.

  • Press & Media event including a discussion with Tavo and Asif on the SENNA film and the future Grand Prix in Austin and the appearance of the AT&T Williams F1 car (interesting choice); here's a preview:

    From AT&T Williams website.

  • Kevin and I will be sharing as much information as we can with you LIVE from the Long Center.
  • Watch our Facebook page and Twitter Feed for the latest.
  • I will also use the hashtag #SENNAxSW all weekend so watch for that.
  • If you want to interact with us and ask us questions about SENNA, Asif Kapadia or SXSW just use the hashtag #SENNAxSW or tweet it to us @AustinGrandPrix.

Social Media Club Panel broadcast live on Ustream

If you can't join us in Austin, On Sunday afternoon I'm conducting a discussion on how social media is affecting the Formula One world live from the Social Media Clubhouse 6 at SXSW. This year they've partnered with Ustream to broadcast the interviews LIVE on the interwebs!

  • The broadcast is at 1:30PM CST on Sunday, March 13.
  • You can join us at the Social Media Clubhouse 6 but you must have Social Media Club credentials.*
  • The panel will include me, Kevin and SENNA Director, Asif Kapadia. We're also still working on technology to include the SENNA writer, Manish Pandey, from London. We really wanted him to be here for SXSW but since he can't join us, we're still working to include him.
  • Again, use the hashtag #SENNAxSW to tweet us your questions and feedback. We'll do our best to participate with y'all live while on the air.
  • I'm embedding the Ustream channel below but in the event it does not work, watch it live from the SMCH6 Ustream channel.

Live Videos by Ustream

SENNA premiere #2 at The Paramount Theatre on Thursday, 17 March, 7:15PM

  • Same details as above but there are 56 Advance Single Tickets still available from The Paramount Theatre here.
  • Asif will also be in attendance at the second screening.
  • More details early next week.
  • RSVP on our Facebook invite for this event as well.
  • Please wear your COME AND RACE IT© shirt to the movie premiere!!

Kevin and I are extremely excited that we've been able to help bring the SENNA film and Asif to Austin and SXSW. Thank you to those of you who reached out and helped us for this amazing project! We'll definitely have a lot more to write about in the coming days including how this all came to be.

Please wear your COME AND RACE IT© shirt at SXSW and continue to spread the word about The Austin Grand Prix!

Thank you for your support. Without you, our amazing fans, we wouldn't have grown so incredibly these past 9 months.


Kerri Olsen
The Austin Grand Prix

*All suggestions in this post, especially regarding SXSW film viewings and entry, are solely my personal recommendation and are not to be taken as a guarantee for entry into any event. Ultimately SXSW is the gatekeeper and you should check for official directions and guidelines.

Will Today's America Embrace 'Senna'?

An important film had its US debut at Sundance a mere 48 hours ago. It's a film for Formula One fans past, present and future. It's a film that paints the picture of the “greatest that ever drove” with minutiae detail that rivals a Van Gogh. It's a film where producers Manish Pandey and Asif Kapadia whittled down 15,000 of never-before-seen archival F1 footage into a comfortable 104 minutes, without losing the essence of the legendary Brazilian Ayrton Senna.



In a Formula1Blog post 'Negative Camber' peels back the layers and gives us a deeper understanding of the writing and producing that went into making this epic film.  Check out the interview: Q&A With Senna's Manish Pandey and Asif Kapadia

I first heard about "The Senna Movie" from 'Lois Marketing' in her October 2010 post on the LinkedIn group "Friends of Formula 1 Austin Texas."  Once I heard about the film, watched the Japanese preview, and read up on its reviews, my immediate thought was "This needs to be screened in Austin during the SXSW Film Festival." I started tweeting Pandey and Kapadia and even posed the same question on the LinkedIn group page and our Facebook page.

After reading the interview my belief is reignited.  As Kapadia mentions in his interview with Negative Camber, he wasn't an F1 enthusiast when approached by Pandey to do this film. But they were both able to get to the heart of Senna's story with the aid of 15,000 hours of unseen archival F1 video, and create a story that "somebody who doesn’t like Formula One, or a person who has never heard of Senna, will get the film...".  So, someone who wasn't an F1 enthusiast spent the past few years pouring himself into 15,000 of archival footage to tell a story - one that you will probably love because you're already an F1 fan reading this blog - but also a movie that you can take your F1 newbie friend to as well - and they will probably enjoy it? <insert lightbulb moment>

This sounds like a no-brainer to me! Seriously - how can this movie NOT be screened in Austin - the future home of the United States Formula 1 Grand Prix from 2012-2021 (and hopefully beyond)?

Pandey and Kapadia have taken the time to tell a chronological and psychological story, and from everything I've read, they've done it well.  I hope F1US realizes the potential of this film for past, present and future US F1 fans.

Have you seen it? When do you think it will come to the American masses? How could this impact the future of F1 in the US?