AFS @ SXSW 2022

(Still from WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND, directed by Iliana Sosa)

SXSW 2022 is here! The festival will take place in person from March 11-19, and AFS will have a big presence this year. We are excited to return to SXSW once again with our member showcase. AFS ShortCase is a program of short films made by Austin Film Society MAKE members and is part of SXSW Community screenings. The lineup is curated internally and will be presented at AFS Cinema on Sunday, March 13 at 2:30 pm. The screening is free and provides an opportunity for our members to have their work seen during the 2022 Festival. Visit here for this year’s full schedule.

And we are thrilled to announce that ten projects from AFS-supported filmmakers will be a part of this year’s official roster. Five of those projects making their world premieres were directly funded by the AFS Grant. Opportunities like SXSW shine a spotlight on the very purpose of AFS’s grant program—to support and elevate the incredibly diverse voices of our region’s emerging filmmakers and help them share their stories with Texas and the world. The full list of films is below and you can find the complete schedule at

AFS Grant Funded Films

Directed by Iliana Sosa
After a lifetime of bus rides to the US to visit his children, Julián quietly starts building a house in rural Mexico. In filming his work, his granddaughter crafts a personal and poetic love letter to him and his homeland. (Documentary Spotlight)

Read more about WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND in this feature by Chale Nafus for Sightlines magazine

Directed by Morrisa Maltz
An unexpected invitation launches a grieving young woman on a solitary road trip through the American Midwest as she struggles to reconcile the losses of her past with the dreams of her future. Cast List: Lily Gladstone, Raymond Lee, Richard Ray Whitman, Lainey Bearkiller Shangreaux, Devin Shangreaux, Jasmine “Jazzy” Bearkiller Shangreaux, Pam Richter, Dale Leander Toller, Florence R. Perrin, Teresa Boyd (Visions)

Directed by Spencer Cook and Parker Smith
A disabled man’s commute is interrupted by 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. (Texas Shorts)

Directed by Katherine Propper
Moments in the lives of Austin teenagers during the heat of Texas summer. (Texas Shorts)

Directed by Amy Bench
One night at her home in southeastern Congo, 14-year-old Mugeni awakes to the sounds of bombs. As her family scatters to the surrounding forests to save themselves, Mugeni finds herself completely alone. (Texas Shorts)

Other Previously Supported Filmmakers and Films

Directed by Margaret Brown
Descendant follows the search for and discovery of The Clotilda, the last known ship to illegally carry enslaved Africans in the United States. Guided by the voices of their ancestors, descendants of The Clotilda’s survivors reclaim their past and examine what justice looks like today. (Festival Favorites)

Directed by Bradley Jackson
In the world of Major League Baseball no one has created a mythology like Nolan Ryan. Told from the point of view of the hitters who faced him and the teammates who revered him, Facing Nolan is the definitive documentary of a Texas legend. (Documentary Spotlight)

Directed by Haley Elizabeth Anderson and Kyle Thrash
Michael Thompson is the longest serving non-violent offender in the history of Michigan and he is finally up for clemency. After 25 years, 3 appeals, and 2 denied applications for clemency it seems like Michael may finally have a chance at freedom. (Documentary Shorts)

Directed by Renee Zhan
Two ex-lovers cross paths at a train station. (Animated Shorts)

Directed by Gretchen Stoeltje
Both cautionary tale and rallying cry, Shouting Down Midnight recounts how the Wendy Davis filibuster of 2013 galvanized a new generation of activists and reveals what is at stake for us all in the struggle for reproductive freedom. (Documentary Spotlight)