In the week leading up to South by Southwest this spring, I interviewed eight SXSW-related people for Austinist. An interview a day doesn’t sound like much, but believe me, it was. Most of the other film writers I talked to during the festival had emailed standardized, “20 questions” style interviews to filmmakers on the press list (which, in retrospect, seems like the smart thing), but for some reason I decided to focus on Texas filmmakers, and to phone each one of them up for a one-on-one chat. So between researching films and watching screeners and transcribing microcassettes, I probably got twelve hours of sleep the entire week. And when I did sleep, I was dreaming of interviewing people.
Anyway–I’ve got a whole bunch of interviews stockpiled (including some non-sxsw stuff), and I thought I’d post a quick rundown of each.
- SXSW Film Festival Producer Matt Dentler
Matt started out in an intern-ish type position at Southby, and now he runs the film festival. Incredibly nice, smart, film-lovin’ guy.
- Grammy’s Director Bryan Poyser
In addition to being a filmmaker, Bryan is also Director of Artist Services at the Austin Film Society. Again – fantastically cool guy. His short Grammy’s has since gone on to screen at the Jacksonville FF and Cinevegas.
- The Unforeseen Director Laura Dunn
The Unforeseen is a Terrence Malick / Robert Redford-produced doc about controversial land development here in Austin. Laura had previously directed a film about environmental issues along the Mississippi River called Green.
- Third Ward TX Director Andrew Garrison
Andrew is a filmmaker and UT Film School professor, as well as a Guggenheim, Rockefeller, NEA and AFI Fellowship award recipient. Third Ward TX is a film about the grassroots revitalization of an unusual neighborhood in Houston.
- Hell on Wheels Director Bob Ray
Bob started out making skate videos (something I can relate to), and Hell On Wheels seems a kind of natural extension of that. It’s about the Austin-born resurgence of roller derby, and the people who made it happen.
- Fish Kill Flea Directors Brian Cassidy, Jennifer Loeber and Aaron
Fish Kill Flea chronicles the slow demise of a colorful upstate New York flea market–and it was easily one of my favorite films at SXSW this year. I loves me the sociology stuff.
- Monkey Warfare’s Don McKellar
I know – I posted about this the day it ran. But I’m still excited about it. I should also mention that Monkey Warfare director Reg Harkema and actor/publicist Cindy Wolfe were both very cool people. Cindy literally gave me the Monkey Warfare promo short she was wearing, right off of her back.
- A Lawyer Walks Into a Bar… Director Eric Chaikin
Eric had previously directed Word Wars, a doc about obsessive Scrabble players. I never actually got to see this movie, which makes me sad.