Austin Film Society Films and Events during SXSW 2019


Austin Film Society celebrates Texas film year-round, and we are thrilled to be a part of the 2019 SXSW Film Festival. AFS’s participation in SXSW represents the many ways that AFS supports filmmaking: by providing career leaps through its AFS grant, providing filmmaker education and training, and building community. Together, AFS and SXSW give filmmakers opportunities to share their work and engage with a community of diverse artists and film enthusiasts.

WHO: Austin Film Society

WHAT: Austin Film Society Films and Events during SXSW 2019

WHEN: Selected dates, February 21 through March 17


MEDIA CONTACT: Christine Lee | | 512-322-0145 x 3213 | 214-908-2704


SXSW has announced another incredible line-up for their 2019 festival. Texas talent are well-represented this year, including many films by AFS-supported filmmakers. The full list is below.


AFS will host a MovieMaker Dialogue “Guide to the 2019 SXSW Film Festival” on Thursday, February 21, at 7 p.m. at its Austin Public location.


AFS’s Texas Film Awards (Thursday, March 7) will kick off SXSW, as the stars of Texas film join AFS for Red Carpet arrivals, dinner, and an awards ceremony. This year’s honorees include actress/entrepreneur Brooklyn Decker, filmmaker John Lee Hancock, and the cult classic film Office Space, with Mike Judge in attendance. Filmmaker Lynn Shelton and comedian/actor Marc Maron will emcee the evening. Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates will present her longtime collaborator John Lee Hancock with his award, and actress June Diane Raphael will present her Grace and Frankie co-star Brooklyn Decker with her award. Details at


The short films of AFS members will be screened on Saturday, March 9, at 4 p.m. at the AFS Cinema as part of the annual SXSW Community Screening shorts program. Submissions are free but restricted to AFS members at the MAKE level and above. Details at


During SXSW, celebrate Texas film with AFS at its annual SXSW party on Wednesday, March 13, at from 8 to 10:30 p.m. at THE EXPERIENCE by Dell Technologies. AFS-supported filmmakers will be in attendance. The event is invitation only; for press credentials, please contact

Full list of Austin Film Society films at SXSW 2019

Frances Ferguson
Director: Bob Byington (AFS GRANT ALUMNI), Screenwriter: Scott King
A small town’s reaction to scandal.
Cast: Kaley Wheless, Nick Offerman, Keith Poulson, David Krumholtz (World Premiere)

Building the American Dream (AFS GRANT FUNDED)
Director: Chelsea Hernandez
In Texas, construction workers face the deadliest conditions in the country. Building the American Dream follows three immigrant families who are rising up to seek justice and equality in an industry rife with exploitation. (World Premiere)

Director: Jacob Ryan Hamilton
Jump Shot uncovers the inspiring true story of Kenny Sailors, the developer of the modern day jump shot in basketball, and how he defined the game, but why the game never defined him. (World Premiere)

Director: Ben Masters
Five friends venture into the unknown wilds of the Texas borderlands to document the environment before a wall is built. As the wilderness gives way to the bustling Rio Grande Valley, they encounter the unexpected and enter uncharted emotional waters. (World Premiere)

Running with Beto
Director: David Modigliani (AFS GRANT ALUMNI)
Follow Beto O’Rourke behind the scenes of his breakaway campaign to unseat Ted Cruz in the US Senate. With intimate access to the candidate, his family and team, the film captures Beto’s rise from a virtual unknown to a national political sensation. (World Premiere)

Becoming Leslie (AFS GRANT FUNDED)
Director: Tracy Frazier, Screenwriters: Sandra Guardado, Tracy Frazier
Becoming LESLIE reveals the inner and bizarre world of Leslie Cochran, a cross-dressing homeless misfit who became the most iconic and unlikely civic symbol of Austin, Texas. (World Premiere)

Nothing Stays The Same: The Story of The Saxon Pub  (AFS SPONSORED PROJECT)
Director: Jeff Sandmann, Screenwriters: Jeff Sandmann, Jeffrey Brown (AFS FILMMAKER ADVISORY COMMITTEE), Lisa Kay Pfannenstiel
Nothing Stays the Same celebrates the last 30 years of live music in Austin, while also examining the challenges faced by musicians and music venues in one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, all through the lens of the legendary Saxon Pub. (World Premiere)

Directors: Ivete Lucas, Patrick Bresnan
In a small agricultural town in the Florida Everglades, hopes for the future are concentrated on the youth. Four teens face heartbreak and celebrate in the rituals of an extraordinary senior year.

The Infiltrators
Directors: Cristina Ibarra (AFS GRANT ALUMNI), Alex Rivera, Screenwriters: Alex Rivera, Aldo Velasco
A rag-tag group of undocumented youth – Dreamers – deliberately get themselves detained in order to infiltrate a shadowy for-profit detention center and help free other immigrants. Cast: Maynor Alvarado , Chelsea Rendon, Manuel Uriza, Juan Gabriel Pareja, Vik Sahay

Red 11
Director: Robert Rodriguez (AFS ADVISORY BOARD), Screenwriters: Robert Rodriguez, Racer Rodriguez
Rob, an independent filmmaker, loses his investor’s money only to find out his investors are the Cartel. He checks himself into a medical research facility to pay off his debt, but quickly realizes it won’t be that easy. Cast: Roby Attal, Lauren Hatfield, Carlos Gallardo, Alejandro Rose Garcia, Rebel Rodriguez, Racer Rodriguez, Eman Esfandi, Steven Brudniak, Brently Heilbron, Pierce Foster Bailey (World Premiere)

Sister Aimee
Directors/Screenwriters: Samantha Buck, Marie Schlingmann
Producer David Hartstein and Lead Actor Anna Margaret Hollyman (Both AFS GRANT ALUMNI)
After faking her own death, America’s most famous evangelist finds herself on a wild road trip towards Mexico, haunted not only by the police but by her own persona. Cast: Anna Margaret Hollyman, Michael Mosley, Andrea Suarez Paz, Julie White, Amy Hargreaves, Macon Blair, Lee Eddy, Blake Delong, John Merriman, Nathan Zellner

Texas Films

J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and The Church of the SubGenius (AFS MEMBER PROJECT)
Director: Sandy K Boone, Screenwriters: Sandy K Boone, Jason Wehling
This film explores the underground movement that has galvanized the imaginative, the artistic, the nerdy, even the deranged – to examine the simmering dystopia in their culture, and do absolutely nothing about it… except, maybe, poke fun at it all. (World Premiere)

Community First, A Home for the Homeless
Director: Layton Blaylock
Community First, A Home for the Homeless, is a feature documentary about a totally unique concept for mitigating homelessness. Conceived and created in Austin, Texas, Community First! Village is truly transforming the lives of homeless people. (World Premiere)

Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins
Director: Janice Engel, Screenwriters: Janice Engel, Monique Zavistovski
Six-feet of Texas trouble, Molly Ivins, a legendary journalist and a warrior for the Bill of Rights, fought Good Old Boy corruption with razor-sharp wit that left both sides of the aisle laughing and craving ink in her columns. Raise Hell y’all!

Ernie & Joe
Director: Jenifer McShane
Ernie & Joe is an immersive look at the issues involved when the mentally ill and law enforcement collide. Part buddy film, part social commentary, and vérité in its approach, Ernie & Joe will take audiences on a personal journey, weaving together their experiences during daily encounters with people in crisis. These two officers are not your everyday cops. They are part of the San Antonio Police Department’s 10-person Mental Health Unit. (World Premiere)


Reneepoptosis (AFS GRANT FUNDED)
Director: Renee Zhan
Three Renees go on a quest to find God, who is also Renee. As they traverse the great mountains and valleys of Renee, they discover all the joys, mysteries, and sadnesses of being Renee.

Director/Screenwriter: Emily Hagins
Drew and Allie, two nervous teens, sneak away from a Halloween party to share their first kiss. But each time they lean in for that special moment, something sinister makes its presence known.

Texas Shorts

Chicle (Gum)
Director: Lizette Barrera (AFS GRANT ALUMNI), Screenwriters: Lizette Barrera, Renier Murillo, Vittoria Rodriguez, Katy Atkinson, Elyssa Chapa
An ill-tempered teenager attempts to find peaceful solitude on the day of her grandfather’s passing until an estranged friend pays her a visit. (World Premiere)

A Good Son
Director/Screenwriter: Suzanne Weinert (AFS BOARD MEMBER)
When Tommy, 75, asks his son Mike to put a Hefty bag over his head and suffocate him to death, neither believes the other will really go through with it. Until MIke’s son Chris, 17, devises a plan that will satisfy both his father and grandfather. (World Premiere)

I Am Mackenzie
Director: Artemis Anastasiadou (AFS GRANT ALUMNI), Screenwriter: Brittany Worthington
Caught among toxic masculinity, a sequin dress and a teenage crush, a teen skater, growing up in rural Texas, will have sex for the first time in the back of their dad’s truck. (World Premiere)

A Line Birds Cannot See (AFS GRANT FUNDED)
Director: Amy Bench
Separated from her mother at the border, a determined 12-year-old sets out across the desert with only a plastic sack, survives starvation on the streets of Ciudad Juarez, and escapes kidnappers to find her mother and a place where they can be safe. (World Premiere)

About Austin Film Society

Founded in 1985 by filmmaker Richard Linklater, the Austin Film Society’s mission is to empower our community to make, watch, and love creative media. AFS curates and screens hundreds of repertory, international, and art house films annually at the AFS Cinema; delivers financial support to Texas filmmakers through the AFS Grant; operates Austin Studios, a 20-acre production facility, and Austin Public, a space for our city’s diverse mediamakers to train and collaborate. Through its award-winning after school classes, intern training, and the Ed Lowry Student Film program, AFS encourages media literacy and provides a place for youth of all backgrounds to learn the craft of filmmaking and gain access to tools for media production. By hosting premieres, special events, local and international industry events, and the Texas Film Awards, AFS shines the national spotlight on Texas filmmakers while connecting Austin and Texas to the wider film community. To learn more about the AFS Cinema or about Austin Film Society’s mission visit and follow @AustinFilm on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Feature photo courtesy of Reneepoptosis 

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