Texas Shorts Program

An offshoot of our regular shorts program, composed of work shot in, about, or somehow relating to the Lone Star state.

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

Program Includes:

Moments in the lives of Austin teenagers during the heat of Texas summer.

Compelled by the vivid memories of the legendary Club Matinee by aging citizens, this film leaps into the music, the art, and the community of Houston's historic 5th Ward. The doc highlights the impossible to ignore cultural and social challenges of African-Americans in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s living in the South. The through-line of this story showcases how the music of these eras played a part in defining generations and bringing people of all ethnicities and backgrounds together and how memories, at the verge of being lost can be shared to propel the future.

Mugeni's story starts in a small village in southeastern Congo called Murambya, a Banyamulenge farming community where neighbors provided for one another. One night, when she was just fourteen, she and her family awake to the sounds of bombs—they are under attack by a militia, known as the Mai Mai, who sought their land and cattle and claimed that the Banyamulenge tribe did not belong in Congo. That night, Mugeni flees for her life. She survives the ambush but loses her family as each person scatters in an attempt to survive. Over the next 4 years, Mugeni searches for her family and stability, guided by the internal strength she learned from her mom.

Two men, Jack and Russell, head out to the desert in search of a mysterious briefcase that they hope will change their lives for the better, only to discover their motives may change the journey for the worse. Starring Russell Harvard and Julian Moiwai in a film written and directed by The Potter Sisters.

Lead singer Ray Benson describes how a bunch of East Coast counter-culture hippies almost singlehandedly revived interest in Western swing country music. After being rejected by Nashville, Willie Nelson invites them to move to Austin. The band arrives in 1973, just as the rest of the world is beginning to discover the new sound that's come to be called Outlaw Country. Through a mix of rare photos and footage -- including the legendary "lost Terlingua concert" shot by Nicholas Ray, we see and feel how the band broke down the boundaries between rednecks and hippies. Made possible in part with a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For a stand-up comic, a drastic life change can mean losing one’s entire act. Bisexual comedian Krista has decided her relationship with a trans woman is worth coming out over - but will she commit to an entire rebrand with one gay haircut?

Folk Frontera is a surrealist documentary about life in the borderlands that span the vast, remote Chihuahuan Desert. Its characters are scattered across the remote landscape on both sides of the border and are tied together by the broadcast frequencies of Gabriela Carballo’s radio show “Border, Beats, and Babes" and the folklorico dancing of Molly Rodriguez. Over the course of a tumultuous year, the lives of these two women inexorably change. With a cinematic approach inspired by the Latin American tradition of magical-realism, Folk Frontera attempts to reconcile the political realities of the border with the magic of its lands.

Stuart, a disabled man, is in a tight spot. His caregivers are abandoning him and for good reason: he's an asshole, a fact that becomes quickly apparent to the replacement tasked with getting him out of bed. Stuart's commute to work is interrupted by the discovery of a $100 bill lying on the sidewalk, just out of reach. It flutters away as soon as he moves towards it, leading him on a chase that forces him to reconsider his toxic ideal of self sufficiency. Written and directed by a disabled man (Spencer Cook) and his actual caregiver (Parker Smith), Act of God explores the tension between self reliance and true independence.

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Screening Category:
108 mins