His grandma called him Popcorn ‘cause his eyes were so big. And those eyes saw a lot as he grew to adulthood in East Austin. The beatboxer, breakdancer, and former drug dealer has seen murder, death, and the desperate things people will do for crack. Now, although he’s straightened his life out, he’s seeing the younger generation make the same mistakes he did.
Daniel Del Favero
Since 1986, Casa Marianella has sheltered, among others, young men fleeing lethal gangs in Central America. This film shows how wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador and the waves of U.S. political asylum and deportation that followed gave rise to violent pandillas. Human rights activists explain how the issue has been distorted through binoculars of hype and machismo. Government crackdowns, they say, only punish the victims -- people like Osman, Jorge and Marlon, who have found refuge at Casa Marianella. Bearing los heridos (the scars) of gang membership, they are struggling to their feet in Austin, as students and as workers, sending support to their families back home.
Damien Brockmann,Maure Kennedy,Juan Valadez
Portraits Behind the Paint - Meet Chris Rogers, the artist behind the mural at 12th & Chicon streets. “…Chris Rogers’ mural at 12th and Chicon streets was painted over, sparking outrage from the community over what many saw as an act of gentrification…” (Austin American-Statesman, 2/19/2018). Chris shares his passion behind his work, what it was like painting for and with the East Austin community, and his thoughts on dealing with change while staying true to one's self.
Rebecca Stewart,Léa Cuveliewr
Queer folks in East Austin reflect on their unique identities and experiences. They share their appreciation for the community they have built.
JoJoe Johnson hosts a call-in show for teens on cable access TV. Even though he sometimes has to field calls from racist viewers, he would never consider quitting, and considers it a tremendous opportunity to hone his communication and hosting skills.
Reness Broussard left prison two years ago hoping to make a life for himself in Austin, Texas. However, the near non-existence of housing open to convicted felons has kept him houseless and unable to live a full and independent life. This short documentary is a personal insight into some of the issues of life after incarceration.
Eloise Santa Maria
When Bella Zapata and her mother Dianna Perez moved out of Grandma's house, Bella painted a map of the way back...that became a prize-winner and a neighborhood park mural. Three generations of women tell their story.
Sean Mimms,Michelle Mejia,Huay-Bing Law
In Roman Rocha's Spanish class, verbs are conjugated and floors collapse. He dims the lights and students' eyes open wide, ready for another tale of local mystery. Martin Middle School's Rocha says he makes ghost stories "a reward" for work, but, weaving two languages in the tale-telling, his "kinesthetic" teaching never stops. Everyone will remember that a bruja (witch) makes candles out of corpses. Pencils scratch and doors creak. That whooshing sound is Roman Rocha, sneaky as a phantom, passing East Austin's lore on to another generation.
Caroline Hoffman,Maure Kennedy,Laura Kincaid,Melissa Woodward
Rose Pulliam decided she needed to live differently after a marriage, children, and career. It took her until she was almost 50 before she understood she could create who she was and allow herself to be more than "one thing or the other." This is a beautifully told biography of a queer woman of color.
Chris Kim,Kelly Sloan,Zoja Ulesoo
The Rude Mechanicals strives to be a different kind of theater company, one that works collaboratively to create unique artistic works.
In more than 20 years of helping the homeless get back on their feet, Ruth Robinson has learned that you cant help everybody. But for those who just need a place to stay, a good meal, and a little time to sort things out, her Community Crossroads Home on East 12th Street is a haven. Maybe its because Ms. Robinson knows what its like to just need a little help through the hard times.
Russel Baldonado,Wes Stone
Phyllis Holloway Hawkins
Emmet Campos,Pete Elam
Shop Talk explores local East Side barbershops, the men who own them, and the constant haven they provide in an ever changing neighborhood.
Sarah Kolb,Kyle Greenberg
Brooks Bennett,Ellen Risch,Xotchitl Paredes
This film documents the work of Skillpoint Alliances Community Technology Training Centers that have served more than 4,000 low-income and unemployed adults, while helping build the Information Technology capacity of the two under-resourced high schools--Reagan High School and Travis High School. The documentary narrates CTTCs work through the stories of past and current students, instructors and individuals who coordinate the program. You will hear stories of how these student lives have changed for the better because of the CCTC program.
Pete Elam,Emmet Campos
Jonas-Hall Noreggaard,Brittany Hammer,Sergio Rabczuk
TC's Lounge is an old blues bar off of 12th Street in East Austin with a rich history and atmosphere that reflects the story of the city. This short portrait piece introduces the bar and some of its frequent clientele, focusing on Thomas Perkins, the dedicated owner of the place since the late seventies.
A night club with the inflammatory history of the shooting of a young African-American man by police is transformed by a church into a community space.
Christina Kim,Mary Ann McQuillan,Roger Timm
SXSW is known for bringing people from all over the world together, but how is it seen by the people of the East Side who are having their everyday lives interrupted by an influx of temporary vagabonds? That's where SXSEast comes in. This is a documentary shot over 10 days during the SXSW Music/Film/Interactive festival in Austin, TX.
What season is it? Baseball! The community that surrounds the Montopolis Baseball Complex isn’t bonded by wins or losses, strikeouts, walks or home runs, but through their love of the game and playing it with friends and families. Take a glimpse into baseball season, from aspiring little leaguers; volunteer coaches, devoted high schoolers, to carefree younger siblings and see East Austin’s take on America’s pastime.
Chelsea Logsdon,Chelsea Kujawa,Nidhi Reddy,Keaton Anderson
JoJoe Johnson made his television debut on Austin Community Access in the second grade. Now, he hosts his own call-in show called “What’s On Your Mind,” where young people can talk about their troubles and concerns. Next, he says, he’ll be a famous television producer—on the way he’s happy hearing what Austin kids have to say.
Some people do their art on paper, canvas, or glass. Arnoldo Carrillo does his art on skin, where his intricate, lifelike tattoos inspire admiration and repeat business. He knows that he loses some business because some people won't go over to the East side. Too bad for them, they miss Arnoldo's art as well as his ideas on life.
Eric Jenkins,Steven Ray