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. 

Celebration of our Future
Celebration of our Future
Celebration of our Future

Education should be a lifelong process, one that begins before kindergarten. At the Ebenezer Baptist Church Child Development Center, the staff provide children with a place to play and learn from very early childhood

Directors
Christine Castano,DJ Carwille
Americanos
Americanos
Americanos

Museums are a place we can see ourselves for what we are, says Edward James Olmos. At Mexic-arte Museum, visitors can see the many ways Americans—who Olmos explains are all the people who inhabit the North and South American continents—represent themselves and their cultures.

Links:

Director
John Benner
Filipino Soul Food
Filipino Soul Food
Filipino Soul Food

Maria Ford is the chef and co-owner with husband Fred ("I have some experience in soul food") of Cebuana Filipino Store. Come in for the lunch special, maybe the Kare-Kare platter or the chicken ginger rice soup, and load up on martial arts videos. Maria cooks the old-fashioned way--cooking slowly and with her own prepared ingredients. In Austin, it is the unique Filipino grocery store/restaurant/video shop combination.

Directors
Rhea River,Jose Perez,Rachael Schroeder
Victory
Victory
Victory

Learning to read—and especially spell—English is hard for anyone. For native speakers of other languages, a little extra help is often required. The Victory tutoring program provides that help.

Director
John Johnson
Cuevas Produce
Cuevas Produce
Cuevas Produce

Cuevas Produce is a short documentary about a man who serves his community through his business. He works seven days a week, 365 days a year and approximately fourteen hours everyday. He has devoted his life to helping others and treasures his accolades more than gold.

Directors
Heather Saenz,Vanessa Orr,Mariah Taylor
In Search of Public Art
In Search of Public Art
In Search of Public Art
Director
Sean Cauthen
Playing Papi
Playing Papi
Playing Papi
Directors
Miguel Guajardo,Lane Genzlinger,Arlette Saucedo,Juan Valadez
For Me and Him
For Me and Him
For Me and Him
Directors
Helen Gagne,Jennifer Parales,Christina Kim
Nuevo Leon
Nuevo Leon
Nuevo Leon

It’s the American Dream—building a business from scratch and watching it grow. Over 18 years, the Nuevo Leon restaurant has developed a loyal customer base that makes Rachel Davila and Kevin Ortiz proud. Some day, they hope, generations of East Austin children will remember their special recipes and personal service.

Links:

Director
Terence Tang
Mentor
Mentor
Mentor
Soundmix
Soundmix
Soundmix

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.

Director
Alicia Choina
Cab
Cab
Cab

A documentary about weathermen, psychiatrists, politicians, and professional talkers---or as we've come to know them, cab drivers. This is the story of the people who spend their lives on wheels.

Directors
Donovan Gentry,Meenakshi Ramamurthy,Merisa Ibrahimovic,Carol Means
ABAD
ABAD Documentary
ABAD Documentary

When Joe Vela saw a gang problem developing in Austin, he decided that teaching kids boxing was one way to get them off the streets. Through his organization, Austin Boxing Against Drugs, he estimates he helps about 600 kids a year to learn confidence and discipline through training.

Links:

Feeding Austin
Feeding Austin
Feeding Austin

Paula and Glen Foore, owners of Texas Trees and Landscapes, created Springdale Farm, an organic farm, to help pay the bills and to create a better way of living for themselves and their community.

Directors
Juan Elizondo,Michelle Mejia,Rachael Schroeder
What is Shorty's?
What is Shorty's?
What is Shorty's?
Climb Higher
Climbin' Higher
Climbin' Higher

The girls in the rock-climbing club at the Camacho Center have learned a lot. They learned to tie harnesses, to figure out routes, to push themselves when they're tired, and that boys just aren't that good at climbing.

Links:

Director
Julio Noboa
In the Shadow of Downtown
In the Shadow of Downtown
In the Shadow of Downtown
Directors
David Elkins,Chris Case
Pool Rats
Pool Rats
Pool Rats

"A pool rat is a kid who shows up every single day and does not leave until we close'" says a Rosewood Pool lifeguard..This is a tour of a hot summer day in Austin spent, as much as possible, in the cool pleasure of the public pool. Our guides are Brione, Breece, Brownie, Looney, Keith, Lil' James, the Curry Brothers, and Jarell – all Pool Rats.

Links:

Directors
Sean Cunningham,Ryan Jarrell,Sam Shaffer
George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center
George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center
George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center

It’s always Black History Month at the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center. With exhibits on jazz, quilts, the visual arts, and much more, the museum celebrates the contributions of African-Americans to Texan and American culture

Links:

Director
Michael Pope
On the Bus
On the Bus
On the Bus
Director
Alissa Davis
Life's Lessons
Life's Lessons
Life's Lessons

At Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, there's a lot more going on than religious services. One of the many ways the community uses the church is for an after-school tutoring program where older students help younger ones—and learn a lot in the process.

Links:

Save Our Youth
Save Our Youth
Save Our Youth
Directors
Emmet Campos,Pete Elam
Blurring the Lines
Blurring the Lines
Blurring the Lines

While East Austin is home to both African-Americans and Hispanics, both groups don't always intermingle. Community activists Juan Valadez and Boyd Vance decided to do something about it. By inviting both communities to celebrate cultural festivals like Mexican Independence Day and Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, they hope to make East Austin feel more like one big community than many fragmented groups.

Links:

Directors
Wade Couturiaux,Rob Ripperda,David Tilman,Ryan Williams
A Taco For Me
A Taco for Me
A Taco for Me
Director
Raul Ramirez