Lisa Donato

Director, Writer, Creator

Lisa Donato is an award-winning writer, director, and activist based in Austin & Los Angeles. She's currently in post production on feature film, Gossamer Folds, executive produced by Yeardley Smith & Ben Cornwell. The 1986-set film tells the story of a 10-yr-old boy with an unhappy home life striking up an unexpected friendship with a trans woman who lives next door, played by Transparent’s Alexandra Grey. The film marks Donato’s feature directorial debut and will release to festivals in May 2019.

She co-wrote the feature film, Signature Move, which world-premiered at SXSW (2017), screened at over 150 festivals worldwide, and can currently be found on Amazon Prime, iTunes & Google Play. She’s directed six award-winning short films since 2014 and her work is dedicated to people and communities relegated to the margins. She’s earned a passionate following by telling stories that don’t shy from the unique struggles of women, queer and straight, but focus on the power, resilience, and love they demonstrate in the face of it.

She’s also working with actress and recent stroke survivor, Maggie Whittum, on a feature documentary about a group of female performance artists with disabilities called The Great Now What. Her mixed-media project, Hobo Salon, provides free haircuts for Austin’s homeless community and collects personal experiences through filmed interviews. Other story credits include shows for National Geographic Wild, Oprah Winfrey Network, PBS, and published personal essays in the LA Times, Self Magazine, Curve Magazine, Austin Women, Whole Life Times, and 5280 Magazine.

[Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.]

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.