SXSW 2019 was an amazing experience. The precision with which every session was coordinated by the volunteer staff was incredible and the information provided at the session I attended was great. I attended several speaker panels on marketing, immigration and variations on purpose driven businesses. Providing insights for my own business and good tips for my clients as well.
Big shout out to my fellow panelists Nina Vizcarrondo (our moderator), and Pilar Timpane. Theo Rigby was scheduled to be on the panel as well, but at the last minute needed to attend several sanctuary activities in Denver related to his ongoing Sanctuary documentary project. He did send a short video of himself and Ingrid, a woman in sanctuary, that was shown during the discussion.
The panel was attended by people who are passionate about immigration and Sanctuary. (other panel discussions related to immigration had similar audience size). Also in the audience were several people from the Austin Sanctuary Network (ASN) and Sarah Masters and Macky Alston from Auburn Seminary. Their support was very much appreciated. Pilar described her 26-minute short documentary which is currently in festivals and set for broadcast, providing an intimate look at a mother and her family struggling with the strain of separation and the possibility of deportation.
I described the videos I made with the four Colorado women in Sanctuary to help promote their call for immigration reform through the People’s Resolution. The conversation then turned to how the medium of video is an effective tool for transforming a situation that is by its nature confined, into a public platform. The hope is to inspire change through uplifting someone’s struggle and framing the conversation.
A story of the retaliatory actions against the Sanctuary movement by ICE in North Carolina was tempered with hopeful news in Colorado as a People’s Resolution created by women in Sanctuary was scheduled to be presented on the floor of the Colorado Senate on the same day as the panel discussion. For the last 10 minutes of the presentation, Austin resident Hilda Ramirez came on stage and spoke of her firsthand experience of sanctuary. And of course there was a little time for some good questions at the end. If you are interested, SXSW made the audio recording available on our panel’s page.
While at SXSW Polly and I caught a few documentary films. Two really stood out in my mind, and now knowing how much time and energy it takes to make a documentary, I feel it is worth giving them a shout out.
The River and the Wall is a beautiful movie that follows a group as they travel by bike, horse, and canoe down the Rio Grande river while making the most concise, and well laid out argument against building the border wall between the US and Mexico I have come across.
Bellingcat: Truth in a Post-Truth World follows the leader of a new citizen journalist group as he and the Bellingcat group perform some very impressive investigative journalism, all using information available on the web. The catch: they needed to spend months looking for it. In my opinion, you will be very happy if you get to see either of these movies.
We were of course scheduled to come back from Austin TX on Wednesday when the bomb cyclone was hitting Denver, so we happily stayed a few days longer than planned in sunny and warm Austin.
Back in Longmont, Colorado we are busy finishing off some videography projects for clients, and are in the early stages of editing our documentary. Polly is also working on some coding and web projects, which she’ll have to update you on at some point.