Top Picks for SXSW 2016

LOEV pix

We at aGLIFF are always excited for when SXSW hits Austin. There is no shortage of events happening everyday at SX, including over 150+ films screening over the course of nine days at various venues all over Austin. From the majestic Paramount Theater in the heart of downtown off Congress, where huge premiere films usually have screening including opening night film, “Everybody Wants Some” from local writer/director, Richard Linklater, to Alamo Drafthouse Ritz off of 6th St or Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, a little south of downtown off of Lamar Ave, SXSW films will be screening at 13 different venues. There are plenty of film categories to choose from American, Foreign, Narrative, Documentaries, Short Films, Music Videos, and Episodic section of upcoming television shows.

If you wanted to take the time to go through all the films, reading the descriptions, seeing what venue they are playing at, and what time and day they screen, you could probably spend an entire going through the entire catalog mapping out your crash course of the film schedule.

Well, we have taken the time to go through the entire catalog in search of all the LGBTQ feature length films and we would like to share what we found that we’re hoping to see as they screen, and hope you valued reader can fit some of these into your insane schedule.

We are also welcoming visiting filmmakers, producers, actors, and distributors and many of them will be attending our annual brunch, this Saturday, March 12 from 11am – 2pm at The Iron Bear, 121 W 8TH St and Colorado Ave. (Only one block west of Congress and nearby the Paramount & Stateside Theater).

Meet up with friends and filmmakers, for food and drinks, networking, receive info on aGLIFF events and future screenings and the opportunity to meet with new, returning and local filmmakers with films screening at SXSW. Some of the special guests who will be stopping by are from films, “The Incomparable Rose Hartman,” “The Liberators,” “Loev,” “Mr. Gaga” and “UIO: Take Me For a Ride.” So stop on by and meet some of these fabulous folks and catch their films while you’re at SXSW.

No RSVP required, but kindly requested – brunch@agliff.org

Enjoy SXSW and see you at the movies!

-Jim Brunzell III (aGLIFF, Program Director)

Below is the list of LGBTQ related films screening at SXSW (All film synopsis’ provided by SXSW)

The Incomparable Rose Hartman (World Premiere) “You may not know her by name but you’ve seen her work. Starting with Studio 54 and moving forward into the New York celebrity fashion scene, Rose has photographed every major celebrity, fashion designer, artist, and socialite who has ever ventured out into the nightlife of NYC. Rose was one of the first photographers to capture the backstage environment of the fashion world and is known by the industry elite as the woman who takes a portrait that the subject would have taken themselves. The film follows Rose through her life of entrée as she put the lives of the glamorous and famous on film that serves as one of the few visual histories of NYC.” Film Trailer Screening Info

The Liberators (World Premiere) “Medieval art treasures seized by the Nazis go missing at the end of World War II. Were they destroyed in the chaos of the final battles? Or were these thousand-year-old masterpieces stolen by advancing American troops? For over forty years, the mystery remained unsolved. A true detective story, THE LIBERATORS follows a dogged German art detective through the New York art world and military archives to the unlikeliest of destinations: a small town on the Texas prairie. The film raises intriguing questions as to the motivations of the art thief and the whereabouts of the items that, to this day, remain waiting to be discovered.” Screening Info

Loev (North American Premiere) “When hot shot, Wall Street dealmaker Jai thinks of putting some pleasure into his 48 hour business trip to Mumbai, Sahil, his young, music-producer friend, drops everything, including his reckless boyfriend Alex, to help him execute the perfect getaway. Hiking the hills and canyons of Maharashtra, amidst half-attempted conversations and sudden silences, business calls and old jokes, the friends discover there is more than just time-zones keeping them apart. Things take another turn when Alex shows up with a new male-companion at his side, throwing up old conflicts and bringing unanswered questions to the fore.” Screening Info

Mr. Gaga (North American Premiere)“Enter the world of Ohad Naharin, renowned choreographer and artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company. MR. GAGA, eight years in the making, captures the elusive beauty of contemporary dance and immerses the audience in the creative process behind Batsheva’s unique performances. Using intimate rehearsal footage, extensive unseen archive materials and stunning dance sequences, acclaimed director Tomer Heymann (PAPER DOLLS, I SHOT MY LOVE) tells the fascinating story of an artistic genius who redefined the language of modern dance.” Film Trailer Screening Info

UIO: Take Me For a Ride (World Premiere)“Starting her senior year in high school, Sara doesn’t have many friends and is caught between an overbearing mother, and a more understanding father. With uneasiness at school and tension in the household, Sara escapes to smoke in a little alley alone – that is – until Andrea, a new classmate, arrives. A close friendship develops to all that can see, but behind closed doors, an intimate relationship unfolds, which, when discovered, throws everything into disarray.” Film Trailer Screening Info

Operator (World Premiere) “Joe (Martin Starr) loves data. He tracks his diet and exercise, his mood and sex life – turning the information into beautiful charts that help him control his often overwhelming anxiety. At work Joe designs personalities for digital customer service voices, but his latest robo-agent for a client is a disaster. In a moment of inspiration he enlists his wife Emily (Mae Whitman) to serve as the template for the redesigned voice. The project goes well until Joe’s obsession with replicating his wife’s empathy threatens their marriage.” Screening Info

Presenting Princess Shaw (Texas Premiere) “By day, Samantha Montgomery cares for the elderly in one of New Orleans’s toughest neighborhoods. By night, she writes and sings her own songs as Princess Shaw on her confessional YouTube channel. Raw and vulnerable, her voice is a diamond in the rough. Across the globe, Ophir Kutiel creates video mash ups of amateur Youtube performers. Known as Kutiman, he is a composer, a musician, and a pioneering video artist. Two strangers, almost 7,000 miles apart, begin to build a song. The film unfolds as Kutiman pairs Princess Shaw’s emotional performances in a beautiful expression of generosity and compassion, revealing the bona fide star underneath and her fight to never give up on her dreams.” Film Trailer Screening Info

Slash (World Premiere) “Neil is an introverted, questioning high school freshman. His main social outlet is the steamy erotic fan fiction he writes about Vanguard, the brawny, galaxy-hopping hero of a popular sci-fi franchise. When his stories are exposed in class Neil is mortified, but the fearless, effortlessly cool Julia comes to his defense. An erotic fan fic writer herself, Julia pushes Neil to publish his stories to an online “adult” forum, where they quickly grab the attention of the site moderator, Denis. When Neil is invited to present his work at a comic con live-read event, he has to face the fact that Denis’ interest in him may be more than simply professional… perhaps like his own feelings for Julia.” Screening Info

Baby Bump (U.S. Premiere) “Mickey House is an 11-year-old who is increasingly frustrated with his changing body. He is no longer a child but he doesn’t know who he is. A loner at school, his mom is an enigma to him, and he finds solace in dealing in urine at school to put off the medical checks of other students. On top of hating everything that is happening to his body his imagination and reality blend together into a toxic mix and as everything takes a turn to the extreme, Mickey faces the fact – that growing up is not for kids.” Screening Info

You Me Her (Episodic program/World Premiere) “YOU ME HER, television’s first “polyromantic comedy,” infuses the grounded and relatable sensibilities of an indie rom-com with a distinctive twist. What begins as an impulsive “date” between suburban husband Jack and neophyte escort Izzy spins into a whirlwind three-way affair including Jack’s wife Emma, who’s been keeping secrets of her own. Their “arrangement” soon breaks free of its financial bonds to become something else entirely – a real romance with real stakes involving three real people – confronting viewers with a compelling question: What if your best, truest, happiest life looked nothing like you thought it would? Would you be brave enough to live it?Screening Info