East Austin Stories

Since 2000, as the forces of gentrification and development make profound changes in neighborhoods of East Austin, University of Texas RTF students have made short documentary films about the communities, families, individuals, institutions, and businesses east of I-35.

East Austin Stories is the name of the ongoing class in documentary filmmaking; the annual, free, public screening of new films in neighborhood venues; and this collection of all of the short films. 

Yardists
Yardists
Yardists

If there are lines between Art, Play, Spirituality, and a little Hokum, they are sometimes hard to find when these Yard Artists go to work. People aren't just making this stuff, they're living it.

Directors
Huay-Bing Law, Michelle Dahlenberg, Matty Greene
Green & White
Green & White
Green & White

John Cazares at The Green and White Grocery sells traditional medicines and velas espirituales. But step into the back and you might find him drumming or leading a martial arts class. The Green and White is a place to connect with the community with a history that goes back farther than the building itself.

Directors
Tristan Becker, James Boisvenue, Sarah Garcia
Five Generations
Five Generations
Five Generations

In 1860 Joe Sing migrated from China and became one of the first Asian immigrants to reside in Austin. Five generations later, his family recounts his history and celebrates their American, Mexican, and Chinese culture. Sing's great-great-great grandson, Raul, reached the Austin History Center with long-untouched photos and documents his mother found several years ago. Anywhere from rushing over new photographs to completely remodeling his family's home, Raul has gone through great lengths to dig up and preserve the uncovered mystery that is his heritage.

Directors
Rhea Rivera, Chelsea Hernandez, Adrian LaGuette
The History of Green & White
The History of Green & White
The History of Green & White

The Cazares family has owned their grocery for three generations. In the beginning it was a place where Mexican-Americans could avoid discrimination and find the foods that reminded them of the old country. Now, it is a place where people can find the candles, powders, herbs, and other ingredients they need for esoteric spiritual pursuits.

Director
Elizabeth Lepe
Meals on Wheels and more
Meals on Wheels and more
Meals on Wheels and more

The nonprofit group Meals on Wheels and More serves 1,750 meals to hungry people every day. But as Michael Goldstein explains, its about more than delivering food. Its about developing independent living.

Director
Mathew Gray
Our Guadalupe
Our Guadalupe
Our Guadalupe

Sisters Carmen, Frances, Olga, and Josie Salas have always been a part of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on 9th and Lydia. "We were born to the church. Church came first," says Josie. A family history intertwined with church history. The sisters still live two blocks away from the church in the same house where Josie was born 76 years ago.

Directors
Chelsea Hernandez, Juan Elizondo, Lacey Triplett
Ginko Studios
Ginko Studios
Ginko Studios

Ceramicist Sunyong Chung uses a complex technique called nerikome to make exquisite designs. "To find something each day that inspires you - whatever it is - and make something..create something each and every day...that's my advice."

Directors
Erica Bullis, Kushan Dasgupta, Yuta Yamaguchi
Wesley United
Wesley United
Wesley United
Directors
Megan Bennett, Traci Duran, Jordan Garcia, Landry Gideon
78702 Live Stories Thumbnail - Two boys
78702 Live Stories: A place for the kids
78702 Live Stories: A place for the kids

Sometimes being a kid can be, well, boring, especially if you dont have a lot of money to spend or computer games at home. Thats when it helps to have a place to go to hang out with other young people and see what the city has to offer.

Directors
Sean Goodrich, Amy Grafe, Sara Ponce
Rose's Story
Rose's Story
Rose's Story

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.

Directors
Chris Kim, Kelly Sloan, Zoja Ulesoo
Petanque at the French Legation
Petanque at the French Legation
Petanque at the French Legation

Back when Mirabeau Lamar was the President of the Republic of Texas, the French opened diplomatic relations with the new country. They built on 22 acres of land just east of Austin. Today the French Legation is a part of East Austin and an outpost for French citizens and francophiles to gather. And here we see them engaged in the revered sport of Petanque, the game that is the French cousin of horseshoes and Italian bocce. They are also somewhat engaged in other revered sports of cheese, wine, and bread and associated revelry.

Directors
Adrian LaGuette, Michelle Dahlenberg, Matty Greene
Fire Island
Fire Island
Fire Island

At Fire Island Hot Glass Studio, Matthew LaBarbera and Teresa Ueltschney work together to build their glass-blowing business and develop their art. Sometimes it's hard, but they love it when customers appreciate their work, and appreciate the chance to make a living doing what they love.

Directors
Sunhee Cho, Mike Cintron, Lisette Garza, Drew Masada
Making the Grade
Making the Grade
Making the Grade
Directors
Taylor black, Sweta Vohra, Caroline Hoffman, Lindsay Stillman
Tattooing from the Heart
Tattooing from the Heart
Tattooing from the Heart

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.

Visit the web site of Arnoldo's businesss, Shades of Grey Dermagraphics

Directors
Eric Jenkins, Steven Ray
LBJ High School - A Look at Two Sides
LBJ High School - A Look at Two Sides
LBJ High School - A Look at Two Sides

LBJ High School in East Austin has a magnet program and a non-magnet program in one building. The magnet school draws kids from all over Austin, while the non-magnet is mainly local students. Students from both schools discuss their high school experience.

Directors
Vanessa Orr, Mariah Taylor
Soccer
Soccer
Soccer
Directors
Jonas-Hall Noreggaard, Brittany Hammer, Sergio Rabczuk
Hands Off My Home
Hands Off My Home
Hands Off My Home

Darwin Hamilton struggles with the City of Austin over an eminent domain abuse case of his property at 912 East 11th St.

Directors
Jessie Pollak, Gerald Martinez, Alex Skalomenos
Raised on Public Access
Raised on Public Access
Raised on Public Access

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.

Director
Henry Gayden
El Dia de Los Muertos
El Dia de Los Muertos
El Dia de Los Muertos

It's a day to celebrate death, and a day to celebrate life. It's Dia de los Muertos, when Mexican-Americans in East Austin remember deceased loved ones with music, dancing, religious services, and food at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.

Links:

Visit the web site of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church

Teachers! Check out this lesson plan for Dia de los Muertos activities.

Director
Wade Couturiaux
The Juan and Only
The Juan and Only
The Juan and Only
Directors
Melissa Woodward, Laura Kincaid, Jack McWilliams
Chispas
Chispas
Chispas
Director
Nisha Madhani
Capirotada
Capirotada
Capirotada

Yolanda Solis is a fourth-generation Mexican-American. Alejandro Mendez is a recent immigrant from Mexico. Both face the quintessential American challenge: surviving junior high. In this documentary, they talk about their families, their lives, their perceptions of other races, and what their Mexican heritage means to them.

Directors
Melissa Aellos, Laura Donnelly
Eastside Pride
Eastside Pride
Eastside Pride

Perla Arpero is a senior at the recently re-named Eastside Memorial High School. Eastside is a troubled school fighting for its existence and that has a profound effect on the students. Perla talks about her hopes for her school and her community. Made by Jazmine Ulloa and Rita Chapa.

Directors
Ulloa Jazmine, Rita Chapa
A Moment
A Moment
A Moment

Father J.C. Cain and Father Prado spend their lives in spiritual pursuits. But sometimes, spiritual experiences strike them without warning. Here, they tell the story of one mystical encounter.

Links:

Director
Alec Dahl