Sound Unseen Comes Back to Rock the Movies

Fusion festival comes to AFS with Todd Rohal and more

I'm an Electric Lampshade, one of this year's selections at the Sound Unseen Film + Music Festival

Live music is back. Seeing films in the cinema, that's definitely back. So why not mix the two together with the second year in Austin of Sound Unseen Film + Music Festival, running in-person later this month and online in November?

The celebration of film, music, and films about music, is born of three cities: Minneapolis, where it began 22 years ago; Austin, to which it expanded last year; and Oxford, Miss., current home to longtime All Genders, Lifestyles, and Identities Film Festival program & artistic Director Jim Brunzell, now Interim Executive Director of the Oxford Film Festival. It was Brunzell who championed the Texas expansion last year, and who has helped bring Sound Unseen back for a second year - this time with in-person screenings at AFS Cinema (6259 Middle Fiskville) after the wholly virtual 2020.

Both Minneapolis and Austin have their own unique programming, and the ATX gets a look at an overlooked page of rock history with Fanny: The Right to Rock. Bobbi Jo Hart's look back at Fanny, the first all-woman band to release an LP on a major label (the eponymous Fanny, released on Warners/Reprise in 1970), looks at their groundbreaking career, and their reunion in 2018 for the album Fanny Walked the Earth, their first original material in over four decades. The screening (Oct. 27 at AFS Cinema) will include a special in-person Q&A with Fanny guitarist Patti Quatro, in conversation with Lisa Donato (Gossamer Folds).

It's history of a different kind for another in-person screening, with a 15th anniversary retrospective for The Guatemalan Handshake (Oct. 29), Todd Rohal's wild 2006 romp setting singer/songwriter/indie film fixture Will Oldham on an adventure that includes demolition derby, missing dogs, and a girl named Turkeylegs. Stick around after the screening for a conversation between Rohal and Jeff Nichols (Loving, Take Shelter).

Rounding out the retrospectives is October Country (Oct. 28), the 2008 documentary about the trials and tribulations of life in small town America. The screening feature a live score, and a special Q&A with the directors, Donal Mosher and Michael Palmieri.

But this is a show of two acts. The three in-person screenings will be followed by the virtual festival running Nov. 10-17, featuring a selection of titles from the main lineup including unlikely rock biopic I'm An Electric Lampshade, a new look at French musical culture in Marseille, Rap Culture!, and more. Head over to for the full lineup.

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Sound Unseen Film Music Festival, Sound Unseen 2020

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