Moody College @ SXSW 2017

Faculty, students, staff and alumni represent at interactive, film and music festivals

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The Moody College always has a significant presence across events at the annual festivals hosted through South by Southwest. Here is how Moody faculty, students, staff and alumni are involved. SXSW runs Friday, March 10 through Sunday, March 19. Join the conversation by using hashtag #UTatSXSW.

*Note: All films being screened at SXSW will cater first to platinum, gold, film, and film festival wristband badgeholders before releasing remaining tickets for purchase to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Most films will screen three to four times throughout the festival.

Due to the the impressive showing of films from students, alumni and faculty, the Department of Radio Television Film is keeping a schedule of screenings and events on the SXSW site. Please check out the following link as RTF continues to update its activities at the festival: RTF events at SXSW.

UT RTF Longhorn Denius Film Showcase | Features | Shorts | Panels | Mentor Sessions | RTF Schedule | RTF Alumni Reunion Party


Monday, March 6
KUT Radio Senior Producer and Host Rebeccca McInroy
The Art & Science of Spatial Perception
11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
JW Marriott, Salon A
Our perception of space and how we navigate through it involves coordinated interactions among neuronal ensembles throughout the brain. Aesthetically, we are rooted in a traditional system of constructed visual cues and resort to our collective consciousness of the haptic as a means of envisioning and successfully maneuvering among foreign locations in order to familiarize and learn an environment through demarcation. Prompted by an installation sculptor’s animation of rendered maze-like interior passages, a neuroscientist, an architect and the artist discuss how memory, form and light influence internal and external representations of our experiences.


By students and alumni

RTF Denius Film Showcase Thumb

SXSW Community Screenings: UT Radio-Television-Film Student Showcase
Films by Mira K. Lippold-Johnson, Cameron G. Quevedo, Lizette Barrera, Caleb b. Kuntz, Caitlin Ward, Ed Hancox, Daniel Abramson, Leah-Lani Griffin
For the first time, the UT RTF Longhorn Denius Film Showcase will screen as part of the SXSW Film Festival. Taking place the evening of Sunday, March 12, as a SXSW Community Screening, the showcase highlights a rich diversity of recent fiction and documentary student films from the University of Texas at Austin's Radio-Television-Film department. The screening will be free and open to the public. More details about the films can be found here, and the official SXSW event is here.

All other short films below will screen together Friday, March 10 from 8 p.m. to 9:36 p.m. in Vimeo Theatre; Monday, March 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:06 p.m. in Rollins Theatre at The Long Center; and Thursday, March 16 from 9:15 p.m. to 10:51 p.m. in Zach Theatre.

Makeup Thumb

“Makeup” (Narrative Short)
Director and screenwriter Hannah Whisenant (B.S. '16)
When a young girl visits her mother, whom she gets to see very rarely, she is fascinated by watching her get dressed and put on makeup. She uses this interest as an attempt to get closer to her mother but soon discovers why this is an impossible feat.

The Wait Thumb

“The Wait” (Narrative Short)
Director and screenwriter Juan Pablo González (M.F.A. '15, former lecturer)
An exploration on the way fear shapes the contour of spaces, "The Wait" portrays at once the straits of immigrant life and the haunting soundscape of reprieve.

Rabbit Hunt Thumb

“The Rabbit Hunt” (Documentary Short)
Screenwriter/Producer: Ivete Lucas (M.F.A. '12, former lecturer)
In the Florida Everglades rabbit hunting is considered a rite of passage for young men. "The Rabbit Hunt" follows seventeen-year-old Chris and his family as they hunt in the fields of the largest industrial sugar farms in the US. Rabbit hunting has long been a rite of passage for young men growing-up in the rural farming communities of central Florida. As much for sport and bragging rights as food and income, the rabbit hunt is a place boys learn to catch, process, market and sell the day's catch. We enter the rabbit hunt on Sunday morning with seventeen-year-old Chris who along with his mother, three brothers and two sisters all work to put food on the table.


By alumni and former lecturers

Song to Song Movie

“Song to Song” (Narrative Feature) – world premiere
March 10 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Paramount Theatre
Lead sound designer Will Patterson (B.S. '11)
In this modern love story set against the Austin, Texas music scene, two entangled couples -- struggling songwriters Faye and BV, and music mogul Cook and the waitress whom he ensnares -- chase success through a rock ‘n’ roll landscape of seduction and betrayal.

La Barracuda

“La Barracuda” (Narrative Feature) – world premiere
March 11 from 1 p.m. to 2:38 p.m. at Stateside Theatre; March 12 from 5:15 p.m. to 6:53 p.m. at Alamo Lamar D; March 16 from 8:30 p.m. to 10:08 p.m. at Alamo Lamar E
Director Julia Halperin (M.F.A. '99)
Director and screenwriter Jason Cortlund (M.F.A. ’98)
Producer David Hartstein (M.F.A. ’04)

A young British woman named Sinaloa comes to Texas to find Merle, her half-sister by way of their dead country musician father. It doesn’t take long for Sinaloa to charm her way into Merle’s life. Her singing awakens something in Merle and erases some of the lingering doubts about their shared bloodline. But an all-too-familiar chaos comes with it, which soon starts to unravel Merle’s stable world—her job, her upcoming marriage, and an already tense relationship with her mother, Patricia. And while the family music legacy brought this stranger to town, darker motives are woven into the songs she sings, showing glimpses of a violent rage that’s been building for years.

Bad Idea Gone Wrong

“A Bad Idea Gone Wrong” (Narrative Feature) – world premiere
March 11 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:55 p.m. at Stateside Theatre; March 12 from 12:45 p.m. to 2:10 p.m. at Alamo Lamar D; March 15 from 6 p.m. to 7:25 p.m. at Alamo Lamar E
Producer Kelly Williams (B.S. '99, former lecturer)
Producer Jonathan Duffy (B.S. '00
Two would-be thieves forge a surprising relationship with an unexpected housesitter when they accidentally trap themselves in a house they just broke into.

Infinite Baby Movie

“Infinity Baby” (Narrative Feature) – world premiere
March 11 from 9:30 p.m. to 10:50 p.m. at Zach Theatre; March 12 from 7:45 p.m. to 9:05 p.m. at Alamo Lamar B; March 17 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:50 p.m. at Stateside Theatre
Producer Barry Lacina (B.S. '09).
Cast member Noël Wells (B.S. ’10)

A comedy about babies that don't age.

Honor Farm

“The Honor Farm” (Narrative Feature) – world premiere
March 11 from 11:55 p.m. to 1:09 a.m. at Stateside Theatre; March 13 from 11:45 p.m. to 12:59 a.m. at Alamo Lamar D; March 14 from 9:45 p.m. to 10:59 p.m. at Alamo Lamar B; March 16 from 12:15 p.m. to 1:29 p.m. at Alamo Lamar B
Director and screenwriter Karen Skloss (B.S. '01)
Executive producer Louis Black (M.A. '80)
Producer David Hartstein (M.F.A. '04)

When Lucy’s prom night falls apart, she finds herself jumping into a hearse headed for a psychedelic party in the woods. Looking for a thrill, the party wanders deeper into the forest, to a haunted prison work farm. A secret wish and a summoning of the dead sends the group on a mind-bending trip that may be a dangerous trap.

Walking Out Movie

“Walking Out” (Narrative Feature) – festival favorites
March 12 from 2 p.m. to 3:35 p.m. at Zach Theatre; March 13 from 9:30 p.m. to 11:05 p.m. at Rollins Theatre at the Long Center; March 15 from 4:45 p.m. to 6:20 p.m. at Rollins Theatre at the Long Center
Director and screenwriter Alex Smith (former lecturer)
David, 14, city mouse of a kid, travels to rural Montana for his annual hunting trip with Cal, 40, his lonely, estranged “off-the-grid” father. As they ascend deep into the woods, Cal teaches David about predators and prey, fathers and sons, the past and the increasingly complicated present. An encounter with a bear cub results in serious injuries to both David and Cal. After futile attempts to hike out together, David resolves to carry his father on his back to safety while simultaneously healing his broken spirit.
"Walking Out" is an intimate epic, a relentlessly primal, fiercely rawboned tale of connection, survival and the true path to manhood.

Mr. Roosevelt

“Mr. Roosevelt” (Narrative Feature) – world premiere
March 12 from 2:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. at Paramount Theatre; March 14 from 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. at Rollins Theatre at the Long Center; March 15 from 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Rollins Theatre at teh Long Center
Director and screenwriter Noël Wells (B.S. ’10)
Producer Chris Ohlson (lecturer)
Emily Martin is a struggling 20-something who moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in comedy after graduating college in Austin, Texas. When a loved one falls sick, she returns to Austin and runs into her ex-boyfriend, as well as his amazing and intimidating new girlfriend. Low on funds and stuck in Texas for the weekend, Emily stays with the two of them in her old, but miraculously remodeled house. She quickly finds her way into the circle of a local female badass who shows Emily a good time and tries to keep her from spinning out as she goes toe-to-toe with the new girlfriend, all the ways her ex has changed, and ultimately, her own choices and guilt about leaving the past behind.

Small Town Crime Movie

"Small Town Crime" (Narrative Feature) - World Premiere
March 12 from 10 p.m. to 11:31 p.m. at Rollins Theatre at the Long Center
Steadicam Operator: Jess Haas (BS '07)
Ex-cop Mike Kendall (John Hawkes) discovers the body of a young woman and, in an act of self-redemption, becomes hellbent on finding the killer. While his un-couth and quirky detective style helps break open the case, his dogged determination unwittingly puts his sister (Octavia Spencer) and best friend (Anthony Anderson) in danger. Additional cast members include Robert Forster, Clifton Collins, Jr., Michael Vartan, James Lafferty, Daniel Sunjata, Caity Lotz, Jeremy Ratchford, Don Harvey, Stefanie Scott and Dale Dickey.


By alumni & former lecturers

TRF Movie

“Through the Repellent Fence: A Land Art Film” (Documentary Feature) – festival favorites
March 11 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:44 p.m. at Rollins Theatre at the Long Center; March 13 from 7:45 p.m. to 8:59 p.m. at Alamo Lamar C; March 17 from 10:15 p.m. to 11:29 p.m. at Alamo Lamar C
Producer David Hartstein (M.F.A. ’04)
"Through The Repellent Fence: A Land Art Film" follows art collective Postcommodity as they construct Repellent Fence, a two-mile long outdoor artwork that straddles the U.S.-Mexico border. Postcommodity consists of three artists who put land art in a tribal context. In 2015 the artists worked with communities on both sides to install a series of 28 huge inflatable spheres emblazoned with an insignia known as the “open eye” that has existed in Indigenous cultures from South America to Canada for thousands of years. The artwork crossed the border a mile in each direction and symbolized a suture stitching together cultures that have inhabited the land long before borders were drawn.


“The Secret Life of Lance Letscher” (Documentary Feature) – world premiere
March 12 from 11:15 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. at Alamo Ritz 1; March 13 from 5 p.m. to 6:35 p.m. in Alamo Lamar A; March 15 from 9:30 p.m. to 11:05 p.m. in Alamo Lamar A
Director of Photography: Jason Gamble Harter (BS '09) 
"The Secret Life of Lance Letscher" is a deeply personal and psychological portrait of internationally known, and Austin based, collage artist Lance Letscher. Told through memories of trauma and triumph, the film provides a doorway into Letscher’s profound insights on creativity, the subconscious, work ethic and spirituality. Through his intricate artistic process, we witness the artist’s unwavering determination to stay in the moment—free of mind, thought and preconception. Featuring detailed images of more than a hundred of his collages, sculptures, and installations, viewers are offered a visual feast while gaining intimate access into Letscher’s methodical techniques and brilliant mind.



Dealt Movie

“Dealt” (Documentary Feature) – world premiere
March 13 from 11:15 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. at Alamo Ritz 1; March 14 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:55 p.m. at Alamo Lamar A; March 16 from 9:30 p.m. to 10:55 p.m. at Alamo Lamar A
Screenwriter and co-producer Bradley Jackson (B.S. ’07)
Co-producer Andrew Lee (B.S. '06)

Sixty-two year old Richard Turner is renowned as one of the world’s greatest card magicians, yet he is completely blind.  In this documentary, Richard traces his journey from his troubled childhood, when he began losing his vision, to present day as he relentlessly pursues perfection while struggling with the reality that his biggest weakness might also be his greatest strength.


Saturday, March 11
Directing Your Editor -
Lecturer Chris Roldan
2 p.m. to 3 p.m. 
Austin Convention Center, Room 15

Casting the Indie Film - Lecturer/alum Megan Gilbride
3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Austin Convention Center, Room 17B

Sunday, March 12
What is a Smart City: Technologies & Challenges - Professor Craig Watkins
9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
3Ten Austin City Limits Live, 310 Willie Nelson Blvd Ste 1A

Innovation in Health Communication - Moody College Dean Jay Bernhardt
11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
3Ten Austin City Limits Live, 310 Willie Nelson Blvd Ste 1A

UT Live @ SXSW – UT3D / Immersive Reality Demonstrations & Panel
12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
310 space on West 2nd St. downtown, near the Moody Theater

RTF Lecturer Deepak Chetty (MFA ’15), UT3D Production/Post-Production Specialist Simon Quiroz (MFA ’13), and the UT3D Director, Associate Professor Don Howard will showcase their 360 degree 3D video work at a SXSW session titled “Emerging Realities.” Other presenters will be from the Department of English, showing a Jane Austen-themed virtual reality experience, and the Texas Advanced Computing Center, demonstrating an augmented reality air traffic control simulation. School of Journalism Director R.B. Brenner will introduce the demos.

Documenting Politics in the Trump Years - RTF Chair Paul Stekler, Lecturers/Alumni Miguel Alvarez and Heather Courtney
2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Austin Convention Center, Room 16AB

Tuesday, March 14
Tower Recall: How UT Shooting Changed the Media - Full alumni panel of Neal Spelce, Cile Spelce Elley, Chris Elley, Zach Ryall 
11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Hyatt Regency Austin Texas Ballroom 5-7


Mentors - Doc Filmmakers: PJ Raval (Unraval Pictures)
Mentors - Doc Filmmakers: Heather Courtney
Mentors - Doc Filmmakers: Nancy Schiesari (University of Texas)
Mentors - Doc Filmmakers: Andrew Garrison (University of Texas at Austin)
Mentors - Screenwriting: Suzanne Weinert (Production For Use)

Mentors - Screenwriting: Andrew Logan
Mentors - Screenwriting: Taylor Allen
Mentors - Funding and Artist Support: Louis Black (SXSW)
Mentors - Production: Chris Ohlson (Revelator)
Mentors - Sales and Acquisitions: Deborah McIntosh (WME Entertainment)
Mentors - Narrative Filmmakers: Nathan Zellner (Zellner Bros)
Mentors - Narrative Filmmakers: Karen Skloss
Mentors - Doc Filmmakers: David Modigliani


Wednesday, March 15 through Friday, March 17
KUT Live at The Four Seasons Broadcast
 – KUTX 98.9 will air four early morning broadcasts live from the Four Seasons ballroom from 7 to 11 a.m., Wednesday, March 15 through Friday, March 17, and from 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, March 18.

Tamara Bell will be the onsite/official blogger for the SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event

Marc Speir
Senior Content Producer