Faces of Austin partnered for the second year with SXSW to create a community screening of talented local artists and filmmakers. The selection of films represents Austin in a truly unique way and strives to incorporate people from all different socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds to create a portrait that reflects the heart of the Austin community. While this is only the second time that the screening has happened in conjunction with SXSW, they plan to continue working together. This year, the films covered a number of subject matters, each one showcasing a different aspect of the Austin community. In fact, the judging panel specifically looked for films that covered a wide array of topics. They received approximately 56 submissions for consideration and narrowed it down to the twelve that screened. Faces of Austin worked in conjunction with Channel 6 and Austin Film Society to select the films presented.
A crowd descended on the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center to support the filmmakers and
everyone involved. Keith Reeves, Station Manager for Channel 6, commented that it seems the word really got out and the locals involved are honored to promote their films. This allows those in Austin without the budget for the SXSW competition to still create something worthwhile and share it with the community. It also lets SXSW give back to Austin through this and the other SXSW Community Screenings happening throughout the festival.
Many of the shorts show us a particular aspect of Austin culture – non-profits, community events or activists. Specifically, local non-profits such as American YouthWorks, The Paramount (and other theaters) as well as community endeavors like the Khabele School are featured prominently so Austinites can learn about the great work being done here through film. Narratives are mixed in, many of which focus on something Texas related or have a Texas theme. Others highlight a local artist or figure who creates something unique that might only be found in Austin. Locally known individuals are interviewed for many of the pieces and add to the stories being told. History, culture, local artists, local characters, all people who make Austin the eclectic and unique city it is are shown as one of the Faces of Austin. Now that they have premiered, the films will continue to screen on Channel 6, at Austin City Hall and can be found online here.