AFF IN SIX SQUARE
AFF’s FREE Community Festival Programming within the Six Square Cultural District
Saturday, October 23rd, 11 AM – 5 PM
Vesper Austin (3106 E 14th 1/2 St., Austin, TX 78702)
Both in partnership with the Historic Six Square Cultural District and as part of Austin Film Festival’s recently launched Uplifting Storytellers Initiative, AFF presents a full day of FREE Festival programming aimed at helping emerging creatives get a foot in the Entertainment Industry door. Open to all storytellers wanting to learn more about the process of translating their creative talents into careers, these events include a panel and two short film showcases (one family friendly!) completely open to both our Festival audience and the public with NO badge needed to attend!
So what is the Uplifting Storytellers Initiative?
A long-time advocate of emerging writers and creators within film and television, AFF understands the industry’s need for diverse storytellers is paramount. Committed to creating a more equitable industry, The Uplifting Storytellers Initiative curates skills-based and career-focused enrichment programs with the intention of developing and showcasing stories from underrepresented voices, thereby usurping industry trends and challenging the notion of who makes the storytellers of today. Initiative Programs are vast including fellowship opportunities with major networks and studios, year-round events, scholarships for local students, and last, but not least, our free Festival programming.
2021 Uplifting Storytellers Festival Event Specifics
Free programming starts at 11 AM at Vesper Austin with our panel ‘Creating a Creative Career’ featuring pioneer creatives of color Chuck Hayward (writer, Dear White People) and Jameel Saleem (writer/co-executive producer, Bob’s Burgers) as they discuss both their creative processes and navigating the industry. Following the panel at 1 PM CDT is a family friendly short-showcase highlighting seven short films that can be enjoyed by film lovers of all ages. At 3 PM CPT, join us for the short film showcase ‘New Voices in Short Content’ to see premiere short films from BIPOC creators! Select filmmakers from each shorts block will be in attendance and available to discuss their work. We know this community event will leave our audience, both young and old, enlightened and inspired to tackle their next story!
Please note, our COVID-19 protocols for this event will match those of the 28th Annual Austin Film Festival. To be admitted into the venue, attendees must present either proof of completed COVID-19 vaccination or present a negative COVID-19 test dated no more than 48 hours prior to the event. These credentials must match and be presented in tandem with a government-issued ID. For more information on AFF’s COVID-19 Policies please see here.
Be on the lookout for more information on our free sessions of the 20th Annual Summer Film Camp and our annual summer Roundtable event, both hosted within the Historic Six Square Cultural District!
CREATING A CREATIVE CAREER
11 AM – 11:45 PM
A discussion with pioneer creatives of color Chuck Hayward (writer, Dear White People) and Jameel Saleem (writer/co-executive producer, Bob’s Burgers), about their creative processes and navigating the industry.
writer Wandavision, Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead, Dear White People, Flatbush Misdemeanors, Santa Inc.
Chuck Hayward is a renaissance man – in that he’s a man who’s stayed multiple times at Renaissance Hotels. But mostly he writes things. A lot. And sometimes he actually writes them well. And sometimes they’re even funny! Just ask his fellow writers on Netflix’s Dear White People, Disney+’s WandaVision, ABC’s Mixed-Ish, or Showtime’s Flatbush Misdemeanors. Or you can ask the directors and producers of the movies he’s written, Netflix’s Step Sisters, the indie film Fat Camp; and the upcoming remake of the 90’s cult classic, Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead. Chuck promises they’ll confirm it. You calling him a liar?!?!
writer/co-executive producer Bob’s Burgers; writer/producer Disenchantment; writer South Park Digital
Jameel began his professional writing career with the 2012 nation-wide release of his indie film, EXIT STRATEGY. After producing three indie feature films and a web series, Jameel set his sights on television. He wrote and produced a pilot for NBC Playground and soon after staffed on his first network show, ABC’S MANHATTAN LOVE STORY in 2014. Since then he’s worked on multiple TV projects. He’s currently a Co-Executive Producer and Writer on BOB’S BURGERS, Writer and Producer for Netflix’s DISENCHANTMENT and Writer for SOUTH PARK DIGITAL, and has several TV and film projects in development, including an animated film with his mentors South Park’s Matt Stone and Trey Parker.
12:30 PM – 1:55 PM
Join us for a shorts block that is for the whole family! We will present seven short films that will be full of laughs, tears, nail-biting moments, and everything in between.
1:55 PM – 2:15 PM
Filmmaker Q&A session
Dear Destiny – (USA, 5)
writer/director: Brian Chase Mack
DEAR DESTINY follows a young girl named Destiny as she writes a letter to her future self after the recent loss of her father.
Perfect – (USA, 3)
writer/director: Daniel Epega
A stick figure realizes that “perfection” is more than what it seems.
Red Horizon – (USA, 30)
writer/director: T.C. Johnstone
A group of young pilots attempt to carry on the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen while struggling to overcome racism and prejudice in today’s world.
Sprout – (USA, 6)
writer/director: Nayt Cochran
Sprout follows a botanical child and a kind-hearted gardener who nurtures the child’s individuality when a prize-winning plant causes self-doubt.
The Ocean Duck – (USA, 7)
writer: Huda Razzak, Toby Osborne
director: Huda Razzak, My Anh Ngo
A woman visits her ailing grandmother in a hospital during a flood, bringing back fond memories of the past – spilling over into fantastical visions in the present – as an ancient tale comes to life.
The Weather is Lovely – (China, 14)
writer: Pohan Lee/Chun-Chien Lien
director: Chun-Chien Lien
A cloud maker and a researcher in a weather observatory accidentally cross paths and end up joining forces to stop a water-thirst cloud monster.
Wonderfully Made – (USA, 15)
director: Benita Ozoude
Kash was born without arms, but she does not allow her disability to limit her pursuit of happiness and self-love.
NEW VOICES IN SHORT CONTENT
3 PM – 4:21 PM
See premiere short films from BIPOC creators!
4:21 PM – 4:41 PM
Filmmaker Q&A session
Cary in Retrograde – (USA, 28)
writer/director: Priya Domfeh, Philipp Yaw
A tale about ALMOST never giving up, “Cary in Retrograde” follows a failed musician as he traverses a surrealist Los Angeles in hopes of a second chance.
HEARTLAND – (USA, 11)
writer/director: Jahmil Eady
A woman attempts to immortalize her dying grandfather using virtual reality technology, but her obsession with documenting drives a wedge between them.
In the Darkness – (USA, 7)
writer/director: Meko Winbush
A man’s life is disrupted when he begins to suffer from sleep paralysis.
Last Bodega in Brooklyn – (USA, 10)
writer: Mosiah Moonsammy
director: Mosiah Moonsammy, Jared Glenn
An Afro-latino family in Brooklyn runs a local bodega in their neighborhood. A new organic store owner moves across the street with plans of expanding his empire and taking over the bodega. This Brooklynite Tribe must band together to save their business and community from being gentrified.
Metal – (USA, 20)
writer/director: Mischa Webley
A grieving grandfather takes up graffiti to overcome the loss of his grandson, a talented graffiti artist.
When the Sun Sets – (South Africa, 14)
writer/director: Phumi Morare
A young, black nurse living in 1985 apartheid South Africa must face her worst fears when she learns that her activist, younger brother may be in danger when he doesn’t return after school.
Witchsters – (USA, 5)
writer/director: Charla Lauriston
A mockumentary that follows sister witches Michelle and Maya as they search for love in LA.
This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Special thanks also to the National Endowment for the Arts, The Texas Commission for the Arts and the Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation for their support.