SXSW 2019 Women in Film Faves

Photo from  BUILDING THE AMERICAN DREAM  directed by Austin filmmaker Chelsea Hernandez.

Photo from BUILDING THE AMERICAN DREAM directed by Austin filmmaker Chelsea Hernandez.

As long-time Austin residents we have our ear to the ground about films made by Texas women. Most of these events and films have deep ties to the Austin community. Some are free, and some require credentials.

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. #BetterForBalance #IWD

Follow us along on @transformfilmfest to see where we’ll be during SXSW 2019!

2019 Faces of Austin Premiere at SXSW

Faces of Austin is a partnership between the City of Austin's Cultural Arts Division, ATXN, and Austin Film Society to support emerging local filmmakers. The program showcases shorts that reflect the many diverse faces, voices, and experiences of Austin. Over 75 short film submissions (documentary, narrative, music video, experimental) go through a multi-step selection process. There will be 13 films in the final program that premieres during SXSW.

Transform Scoop: “A Brief Encounter with Two Austin Creatives” by Funmi Ogunro. Funmi was a 2018 Transform Film Fest judge, and Art is Cool is a 2019 Transform Film Fest community partner.
MAR 9, 2019 | 11:00AM – 1:00PM

AFS CINEMA, 6259 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin TX 78752

*Free, and open to the public

Official SXSW Showcase: Community Works

Selected works from Austin School of Film's Narrative, Experimental, Animation and Documentary Filmmaking courses created in 2018. All work is created by real-life students and highlighting their experience as filmmakers and artists through new work and short films. Works extend a wide variety of mediums including: Super 8, 16mm, digital, and more. Come hear the stories of those who live, work, and breathe in the Lone Star State.

Transform Scoop: Austin School of Film is a Transform Film Fest 2019 sponsor!

MAR 10, 2019 | 2:30PM – 4:00PM

AFS CINEMA 6259 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin TX 78752

*Free, and open to the public

BUILDING THE AMERICAN DREAM, director chelsea hernandez

Across Texas an unstoppable construction boom drives urban sprawl and luxury high-rises. Its dirty secret: abuse of immigrant labor. BUILDING THE AMERICAN DREAM captures a turning point as a movement forms to fight widespread construction industry injustices. Grieving their son, a Mexican family campaigns for a life-and-death safety ordinance. A Salvadorian electrician couple owed thousands in back pay fights for their children’s future. A bereaved son battles to protect others from his family's preventable tragedy. A story of courage, resilience and community, the film reveals shocking truths about the hardworking immigrants who build the American Dream, of which they are excluded.

Transform Scoop: Chelsea Hernandez is a local Austin filmmaker, and we are so happy for her first documentary feature playing at SXSW!

Check the official SXSW program for times and venues.

Sister aimee, Directors Samantha Buck and Marie Schlingmann

In 1926 America’s most famous evangelist is a woman. And she’s looking for a way out. Fed up with her own success, she gets swept up in her lover’s daydreams about Mexico and finds herself on a wild road trip towards the border. Based on true events. Mostly made up.

Transform Scoop: This film was made in our very own Texas backyard at New Republic Studios! Not to mention the directors are both women, Samantha Buck and Marie Schlingmann.

Check the official SXSW program for times and venues.

BECOMING LESLIE, Director tracy frazier

Told with unapologetic humor, Becoming LESLIE is a portrait that follows the life of a vagabond who became a cultural icon. Known only as “Leslie,” he shined a satirical light on police accountability and was a liberating shape-shifting mirror for many -- a personification of pure self-expressionism. 

At the height of his fame, Leslie was found left for dead, leaving the entire city in shock. After cheating death, he makes a comeback but the real struggle begins as his efforts to preserve his own identity are paralleled with that of a rapidly changing city.

Transform Scoop: Leslie was an Austin icon, and this film is directed by Texas filmmaker Tracy Frazier.

Check the official SXSW program for times and venue.

Texas shorts program

The Texas Shorts Program includes Texas women in film such as “Yirga” directed by B.B. Araya, “Sweet Sweet Kink: A Collection of BDSM Stories” directed by Maggie Bailey, and “Chicle(Gum)” directed by Lizette Barrera.

Transform Scoop: One of these Texas shorts will also be playing at Transform Film Fest … !

Check the official SXSW program for times and venue.


RAISE HELL is the story of Molly Ivins, the political columnist and Texas maverick that spoke truth to power and gave voice to those that had none. The first woman to co-edit The Texas Observer, she took on the good ol’ boys, cracking wise and drinking them under the table. At the height of her popularity 400 newspapers carried her column. She railed against “Big Bidness” in government, and often said, “Texas is the national laboratory for bad gub’ment.” Prescient words as the “Texification” of U.S. politics: anti-intellectualism, public religiosity and machismo is here. With her death in 2007, the nation lost a freedom fighter that charged us to continue to Raise Hell.

Check the official SXSW program for times and venue.