Austinites have to share their city during SXSW, so it only seems fair that a few featured documentary films would highlight Austin’s intriguing history with new information for both natives and newcomers to learn.
“A Song For You: The Austin City Limits Story,” “Honky Tonk Heaven: Legend of the Broken Spoke,” and “Tower” make their debut during the 30th SXSW Music, Film and Interactive Conferences and Festivals. Each film aims to skillfully investigate significant happenings in our city.
On the Broken Spoke Dance Floor
The Broken Spoke has remained a true Texas institution for 50 years. “Honky Tonk Heaven: Legend of the Broken Spoke” looks at the history of the iconic South Lamar music venue/dancehall and digs into the details of maintaining a family business in an ever-changing city. Interviewees in the film include Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, Dale Watson, James Hand, Jesse Dayton, the Waco Brothers and Alvin Crow.
“Honky Tonk Heaven: Legend of the Broken Spoke” premieres on March 13, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. at the South Lamar Drafthouse. Three additional screenings are planned for Marchesa, Topfer Theatre at Zach and the South Lamar Drafthouse. Details can be found here. You can also send in your own story about The Broken Spoke on their website.
Like most official SXSW events, priority will be given to badges and then wristbands. If any seats are still available, tickets will be available for purchase.
Inside Austin City Limits
“A Song For You: The Austin City Limits Story” allows viewers to discover what it’s like to curate incredible performances on public television for 40 years. To only scratch the surface of the documentary’s content, this film takes a peek at performances by Willie Nelson, Wilco and Radiohead, with interviews from Dave Grohl, Sheryl Crow, Dale Watson, Gary Clark Jr., Emmylou Harris, Jim James and Jenny Lewis.
Director Keith Maitland says, “I’ve snuck backstage at nearly every concert I’ve attended since I was 15 years old, and it was in the spirit of that kind of ‘backstage pass’ that I wanted to approach ‘A Song for You.’”
“A Song For You: The Austin City Limits Story” debuts on March 17 at 2:30 p.m. at Paramount Theater. This screening will be followed by a Q&A with Maitland and will include special guests. An additional screening is set for March 19 at 4:15 p.m. at Topfer Theatre at Zach. Check out the film’s website for more information on when the documentary is due for wide release.
At the Top of UT’s Tower
Maitland’s fascination with Austin’s past spills over into another documentary debuting at SXSW Film 2016, called “Tower.” This film tells the stories of the witnesses, heroes and survivors of the 1966 sniper attack from the top of The University of Texas at Austin tower. By using footage and rotoscopic animation, “Tower” creates a unique and harrowing look at “when the worst in one man brought out the best in so many others.” The run time of the film is the exact length of time the shooter held the campus hostage.
“Tower” premieres on March 13 at 11 a.m. at Stateside Theatre. Information on two additional showings at the Rollins Theatre at the Long Center and Paramount Theatre can be found here. Check the official website for more information on screenings, the film team and images.
Austin in the Limelight of SXSW Film
“Tower,” “A Song For You: The Austin City Limits Story” and “Honky Tonk Heaven: Legend of the Broken Spoke” remind us how historically rich our city is. It’s no mystery why we have to share our city every once in a while.
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