SXSW Film 06

March 10-18

We've featured Steve Collins, Heather Courtney, Paul Gordon, Kat Candler, Korey Coleman, Jake Vaughan, and Bryan Poyser on our cover and front and center for our SXSW Film 06 preview because we've responded to their movies as art of consequence. Beyond that, though, we've done so because of what they mean to Austin filmmaking and to the apparent mission of this festival (which, full disclosure, the Chronicle's publisher and editor co-founded).

As Vaughan, director of The Cassidy Kids, tells his fellow filmmakers and our writer Spencer Parsons (a local director himself, it should be said) in the discussion that starts in "The Home School," "'When is Austin going to pop?' is sort of always the question, but maybe it's the wrong question. Maybe Austin just is what it is." He's talking about how the city's film industry could never approach those of Los Angeles and New York, as the group – some close friends and collaborators – is speculating whether they could ever live – and, more to the point, make a living – as full-time filmmakers here.

"I mean, on a certain level, isn't focusing on that really about displacing insecurity about our own careers on the city? You know, it's not because Austin hasn't reached its potential, you know?"

"We need for this to be sustainable," jumping off bridges director Kat Candler had said earlier, "and we need for people to get paid so they can stay, and that's our responsibility, and it should be, and that's a good thing."

Vaughan's and Candler's comments reminded me of an interview I did with the Duplass brothers last year, after they had moved to New York from Austin. Their The Puffy Chair played at SXSW Film 05. "Literally, although we've been in New York for a couple of years, the whole movie was put together with talent and crew from Austin," Jay Duplass had said, echoing many others during the past couple of decades. This, too: "And done with kind of the Austin ethic: Get your camera, get your friends, and make a movie." Earlier this week, as we were readying this issue for press, it was hard to not think of Duplass while reading Louis Black's appreciation (p.63) for the late Eagle Pennell's The Whole Shootin' Match: It "insisted that, rather than dream about Hollywood, filmmakers should go out and make their own films; it was a declaration that regional cinematic storytelling was as evocative as anything coming out of Hollywood ... it was a call to action. Moviemaking belongs to no industry; it belongs to the people who make movies."

And, so, SXSW Film 06. Like the films we've covered, our coverage speaks for itself.

Read what we have here, but also read our Music issue (available at the Austin Music Awards on Wednesday night, March 15, and everywhere the next day), as well as our daily editions of March 16, 17, and 18. Therein, you'll find more interviews, previews, reviews, and, perhaps most notably, takes on this year's Competition documentaries and narratives, which we ignore as a matter of fairness until they've screened at least once.

A few more things before we begin: Please turn your cell phones off; please page through this issue to find a SXSW supplement complete with schedules, grids, blurbs, and basically anything you can't find in the Screens section; and please see Special Screenings, p.110, for a listing of the Austin Media Arts Council Screenings at the Hideout (617 Congress).

Otherwise, now, enjoy the show(s).

March 10-18

Austin Convention Center (Cesar Chavez & Red River)

Alamo Drafthouse Downtown (409 Colorado)

Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar (1120 S. Lamar)

Regal Arbor Cinema @ Great Hills (9828 Great Hills Trail)

Landmark's Dobie Theatre (2025 Guadalupe)

Paramount Theatre (713 Congress)

Admission, conference, and celebrities:

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SXSW Film 06

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