SXSW 2019: Spotlight on Diversity

The SXSW Film Festival begins on March 8, 2019 and runs through March 16. As always, the lineup has a strong focus on diversity with a number of underrepresented voices being featured in multiple films. Below are just a few of the many exciting films playing at this year’s festival that give a voice to underrepresented groups.

LGBTQ: State of Pride

Synopsis: Fifty years after the Stonewall uprising, Oscar winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman travel to three diverse communities – Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama – for an unflinching look at LGBTQ Pride, from the perspective of a younger generation for whom it still has personal urgency.

Zach Theatre, March 8, 6:15-7:25pm
AFS Cinema (Satellite Venue), March 9, 9:15-10:25pm
Alamo Lamar C, March 13, 8:45-9:55pm

Latinx: Days of the Whale

Synopsis: Cristina and Simon are two young graffiti artists who paint the city that they live in. Their restless spirit leads them to defy a criminal gang when they decide to paint the mural of a whale over a threat written in a wall. The love that unites them, their friendship with other artists at La selva- an old house they use as a refuge- and familiar tensions, come together to tell a story where the powerful strength of youth faces fear, violence and the difficulties of growing up.

Alamo Ritz 2, March 10, 7:00-8:20pm
Alamo Lamar C, March 12, 6:00-7:20pm
Alamo Lamar C, March 14, 3:00-4:20pm

sxsw diversity days of the whale

African-American: Vision Portraits

Synopsis: Vision Portraits is the personal story of filmmaker Rodney Evans (Brother To Brother) as he embarks on a scientific and artistic journey, questioning how his loss of vision might impact his creative future. Through illuminating portraits of three artists: a photographer, a dancer and a writer, the film looks at the ways each artist was affected by the loss of their vision and the ways in which their creative process has changed or adapted.

Alamo Ritz 1, March 9, 2:45-4:03pm
Alamo Lamar D, March 10, 11:45am-1:03pm
Alamo Lamar B, March 13, 9:30-10:48pm

Female Filmmakers: Mother’s Little Helpers

Synopsis: When Joy Pride, a groovy 70’s burn-out on the caboose of the flower power movement, learns she has weeks to live, her estranged children come together to do right by a mother who always did them wrong. Mother’s Little Helpers is a funny dysfunctional family drama, based on true events, about how family ties can twist and tear you– and though they may not break you, they might send you to prison.

Alamo Lamar E, March 9, 9:30-11:08pm
Rollins Theater at the Long Center, March 10, 10:00-11:38pm
Alamo Lamar A, March 15, 10:45am-12:23pm

Disabilities: The Peanut Butter Falcon

Synopsis: The Peanut Butter Falcon is an adventure story set in the world of a modern Mark Twain that begins when Zak (22), a young man with Down syndrome runs away from a nursing home where he lives to chase his dream of becoming a professional wrestler and attending the wrestling school of The Salt Water Redneck (50). Through circumstances beyond their control Tyler (34), a small time outlaw on the run becomes Zak��s unlikely coach and ally. Together they wind through deltas, elude capture, drink whisky, find God, catch fish, and convince Eleanor (26), a kind nursing home employee with a story of her own to join them on their journey.

Atom Theater at Austin Convention Center, March 9, 8:00-9:33pm
Alamo Lamar D, March 12, 4:45-6:18pm
Stateside Theatre, March 13, 5:15-6:48pm

I hope to see you at the festival! The 2019 SXSW Film Festival runs from March 8-16 in Austin, Texas.

By Sean Boelman

Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

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