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. 

Hot Type
Hot Type
Hot Type
Director
Anita Prewett
Peter and Smiley
Peter and Smiley
Peter and Smiley
Directors
Rose Saenz, Matt Castro
Memories are More Vivid at Night
Memories are More Vivid at Night
Memories are More Vivid at Night
Director
Mary Ann McQuillan
The Great Divide
The Great Divide
The Great Divide
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
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
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
Cemetary of Steel
Cemetary of Steel
Cemetary of Steel

Sculptor Barry George builds his art out of found objects and metalworking techniques he picked up traveling the world. In his sculptures, wood, steel, cardboard, and wire are transformed into political statements and images of beauty.

Links:

Directors
John Johnson, Alec Dahl
American Dollars and Cokes
American Dollars and Cokes
American Dollars and Cokes

Arturo Escamilla came to this country for "American dollars and cokes", that is, to make a better life for his family.

Directors
Raul Ereivev, Josh New, Jordan Peterson
How Roller Derby Saved My Life
How Roller Derby Saved My Life
How Roller Derby Saved My Life

Roller Derby is alive and well in Austin and Rebecca Gutierrez (aka radioACTIVE) is here to talk about it. While it didn't exactly save her life, it definitely gave her another way to have some fun. Meet radioActive, Cherry Crush, and the other Hot Rod Honeys who are part of the txrollergirls.com scene.

Directors
Wayne Cheong, Jeb Kendrick
Yellow Bike Stories
Yellow Bike Stories
Yellow Bike Stories

One of the many great things about East Austin is that there are plenty of places to walk and bike. For many people, riding a bike is the ultimate form of freedom. It gets you where you need to go, you get some exercise, you're never stuck in traffic, and even if you have a crash, you've got a great story to tell.

Links:

Director
Danielle McMillen
Familia Aztlan
Familia Aztlan
Familia Aztlan

The artists at Aztlan Dance Company use tradition as their inspiration, but they don't let it constrain them. Instead, Director Roen Salinas and company start with dances from across Latin America, from Mexican folklorico to Argentina's tango, and use them to build their own choreography. The result is a unique statement that pays homage to the past while moving Austin's dance scene into the future.

Directors
Andrew Lasky, Manny Mendoza
The King Holds Court
The King Holds Court
The King Holds Court
Director
Amber Rademacher
Save Our Youth
Save Our Youth
Save Our Youth
Directors
Emmet Campos, Pete Elam
In the Shadow of Downtown
In the Shadow of Downtown
In the Shadow of Downtown
Directors
David Elkins, Chris Case