SXSW 2011: Even More Austin Films, Thanks to AFS and Reel Women

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Slackerwood: Keir O'Donnell and Bradley Jackson on the set of 'The Man Who Never Cried'

I was going to do this big write-up about Austin films at SXSW, and Austin Film Society beat me to it on the Persistence of Vision blog. Thanks, Bryan, you did my work for me. Mosey on over there to see a comprehensive list of the Austin-connected films at SXSW this year.

Trying to pick which films to see from that list is hard, and I'm going to try to see them all, although I have to admit my personal favorite on that list is My Sucky Teen Romance, by Emily Hagins, which has such good buzz it's premiering at the Paramount. Watch this space for my interview with Emily over lunch at Olivia in South Austin this weekend. I unashamedly admit I’m not entirely objective, since I know Emily and quite a few people who worked on the film (not bragging, honest!) but when the SXSW film team chose the Paramount for very good reasons. It's Austin, indie, sending up pop culture, it's all good.

But wait! There's more! AFS announced the Austin Film Society ShortCase 2011, featuring AFS member shorts. If you aren't a festival veteran, you know that the shorts reels at Austin festivals are outstanding and SXSW is certainly no exception, and AFS isn't just a film appreciation society but an active association of filmmakers of all levels. This year's ShortCase includes The Man Who Never Cried, which you may remember Slackerwood's Debbie Cerda reviewed earlier this year. As I was researching this, I saw that Jackson worked on Script Cops, which played as bumpers for Austin Film Festival a few years ago. Hilarious stuff. Just remember that the shorts reels are very popular, so don't wait til the last minute to get to the venues when they play.

And there's still more: Not all the Reel Women events are official SXSW events. On Saturday, March 12, the TAG Talent "Unofficial" SXSW Party kicks off at 8 pm over at the Karma Lounge, and no badge or wristband is required (but you can purchase a $25 VIP pass with special access -- and the proceeds go to Reel Women and the Animal Trustees of Austin). Then on Monday, March 14, the Reel Woman SXSW showcase screens at the Rollins Theater at the Long Center (noon), featuring shorts by Reel Women members. This event used to be at The Hideout, but now they need a bigger venue from the sounds of it.

And on Wednesday, March 16, at 7 pm at Picturebox Studios, Reel Women presents a SXSW Film Festival Spotlight conversation with panelists Jennifer Wilson, film programmer at Film Independent & Los Angeles Film Festival; Jane Schoette from Toronto Film Festival; Tamir Muhammad from Tribeca All-Access; and Janet Grillo, director of Fly Away, which just happens to be screening at SXSW. For more information on the Reel Women events, check out the Reel Women website.

[Photo Credit: "Keir O'Donnell with Bradley Jackson" by Debbie Cerda]