South by Southwest returns from March 9th through the 18th for a characteristically wide-ranging program of films, music, and interactive media! Here are some selected highlights from this year’s festival, including our panel “An Asian American Lens on Diversity in Film”:
AN ASIAN AMERICAN LENS ON DIVERSITY IN FILM
Room 17B, Monday, Mar 12, 3:30PM
Four Asian American film professionals—PJ Raval (Come & Take It, SXSW ’18), Yen Tan (1985, SXSW ’18), Julie Whang (Tugg), and producer Sandhya Shardanand (Barracuda, SXSW ’16)—discuss the shifting landscape of Asian American cinema and the path towards true inclusion in the film industry.
FEMALE GAZE: ALTERNATIVE FACT OR ACTUAL MOVEMENT
Room 12AB, Saturday, Mar 10, 2PM
Film Fatales returns to SXSW for a conversation on how female-identifying directors can shift perspectives both behind the camera and among the audience, with filmmakers Amy Adrion (Half the Picture, SXSW ’18), Nijla Mu’min (Jinn, SXSW ’18), Leena Pendharkar (20 Weeks), and Suzi Yoonessi (Unlovable, SXSW ’18).
#OscarsSoWhite: WHAT’S NEXT FOR ENTERTAINMENT?
Room 17B, Sunday, Mar 11, 12:30PM
Matthew Cherry (The Last Fall, SXSW ’12), #OscarsSoWhite creator April Reign, and BET’s Robin Thede address the continued relevance of #OscarsSoWhite and the steps needed to bring further inclusion for underrepresented groups.
PRE-WOKE WATCHING: YOUR FAVES ARE PROBLEMATIC
Room 17B, Sunday, Mar 11, 2PM
Sam Escobar (Allure), Jeff Yang (They Call Us Bruce), and Jenny Yang (Disoriented Comedy) join Slate’s Aisha Harris for this live version of her popular podcast segment exploring old favorites that seem more dubious in hindsight.
1985 (dir. Yen Tan)
A closeted young man, Adrian (Cory Michael Smith), returns to his home in a small Texas town to inform his parents (Virginia Madsen and Michael Chiklis) about the dire circumstances that forced him to leave New York City.
MARTYR (dir. Mazen Khaled)
A young man’s death at Beirut’s seaside forces a group of friends to grapple with their loss and powerlessness as they partake in the community’s rites and ceremonies.
THE RIDER (dir. Chloé Zhao)
After a tragic accident, a young cowboy (Brady Jandreau) struggles to find himself after being warned against riding and competing in the rodeo circuit. The widely acclaimed second feature from the director of Songs My Father Taught Me (Sundance ’15).
UNLOVABLE (dir. Suzi Yoonessi)
Executive produced by Jay and Mark Duplass, Unlovable follows a sex- and love-addicted woman, Joy (Charlene deGuzman), who rediscovers intimacy when she begins to create music with a reclusive man (John Hawkes).
FROM ALL CORNERS (dir. Ryusuke Okajima)
Okajima makes his directorial debut with a documentary on Fuyuki Shimatsu, a passionate man who has a curious obsession with collecting cardboard boxes.
A LITTLE WISDOM (dir. Yuqi Kang)
An intimate look at young, orphaned monks in who live in an isolated monastery in Lumbini, Nepal.
PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF DESIRE (dir. Hao Wu)
Two online stars seek fame and fortune in one of China’s popular live-streaming showrooms. This vérité journey brings these characters together through a series of bizarre online idol competitions.
COME & TAKE IT (dirs. Ellen Spiro and PJ Raval)
A profile of Jessica Jin, UT student and leader of the irreverent anti-gun movement dubbed “The Great Texas Dildo Revolt.”
DON’T BE A HERO (dir. Pete Lee)
Missi Pyle (Galaxy Quest, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay) stars as a small-town homebody with a double life as a cross-dressing bank robber.
THE RISK FOR FREEDOM (dir. Alex Le)
The director’s grandmother relates her early life in Japanese-occupied Vietnam and her journey to the U.S. in the 1980s.
ROOMMATE (dir. Jinho Rhee)
A student has a strange encounter with her new dormmate.
KIMCHI (dir. Jackson Kiyoshi Segars)
An elderly Korean man looks back on a long-ago relationship while his family bickers over his end-of-life care.
JAY-Z – ‘MOONLIGHT’ (dir. Alan Yang)
Alan Yang (co-creator of Master of None) puts a new spin on the ’90s sitcom Friends in the acclaimed video for Jay-Z’s hit single.
THE THINGS YOU THINK I’M THINKING (dir. Sherren Lee)
A black male burn survivor and amputee dates a regularly-abled white man and attempts his first physical intimacy since his accident.
SISTER HEARTS (dir. Mohammad Gorjestani)
A documentary account of Maryam Henderson-Uloho, who went from prison to life on the streets of New Orleans before founding the Sister Hearts thrift store, staffed by ex-offenders like herself.
THE TERRORIST HUNTER (dir. Ann Shin)
Rita Katz is one of the few women to head up a private anti-terrorist intelligence organization—but does she see terrorist plots where none exist?
AGUA VIVA (dir. Alexa Lim Haas)
A Chinese manicurist struggles to describe her feelings in an unfamiliar language.
JEOM (dir. Kangmin Kim)
Jeom means “dot” or “mark”—as in the birthmark a son notices on his father’s butt, which mysteriously looks identical to his own and which he unsuccessfully tries to remove.
People of Color (dir. Raghav Arumugam)
Stories from young men and women about their experiences with racism in America, set to animation.
FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS (dir. X. Dean Lim)
A father strands his teenage son on the opposite end of the country as an attempt to make him “interesting,” in this dark comedy starring Steve Park (Fargo, The Mindy Project), Brandon Soo Hoo (Tropic Thunder, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series), and Nikki SooHoo (The Lovely Bones).
VIDA (dirs. Alonso Ruizpalacios and So Yong Kim)
The first three episodes of this upcoming Starz series about two estranged Mexican American sisters who return to their old neighborhood in East Los Angeles. Co-directed by So Yong Kim (In Between Days, Treeless Mountain, Lovesong).
SXSW Community Screenings
2018 Faces of Austin
AFS Cinema, Saturday, March 10th, 11 A.M.
Films by Austin filmmakers are showcased in this short film collection, selected from over 70 submissions. Including Belonging and Today, I Gave The World A Flower by Christopher Kim. Free and open to the public.
AFS Cinema, Saturday, March 10th, 4 P.M.
A selection of shorts by Austin Film Society MAKE members, including the supernatural thriller Devil’s Horse (produced by UT alumna Sophia Yu) and Kim Tran’s comedy Pussy Talk. Free and open to the public.
UT RTF Longhorn Denius Student Showcase
AFS Cinema, Sunday, March 11th, 9 P.M.
Short films from UT’s storied Radio-Television-Film program highlight top emerging filmmaking talent. Including HBO Visionaries 2018 finalist, June, by Huay-Bing Law. Free and open to the public.
#AsAmCreatorRollCall IN AUSTIN
The Market & Tap Room, Tuesday, March 13th, 3-7 P.M.
Kollaboration presents panel and mixer with free food from Chi’lantro and speakers from Pandora, HBO, and Comcast, including actor Leonardo Nam (Westworld) and Austin filmmaker Huay-Bing Law (June, HBO Visionaries 2018 finalist). This unofficial SXSW event is free and open to the public. RSVP at apaaustin.splashthat.com.
SXSW MUSIC SPOTLIGHT: ASIAN AMERICAN SPOTLIGHT 2018
The Market & Tap Room, Thursday, March 15th, 8 P.M.-2 A.M.
A lineup of Asian American acts from around the country bring you a night of hip hop, soul, electro pop, and indie acoustic. Presented by Kollaboration.