SXSW2021: Themes of Relationships Highlight Virtual Film Festival

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CHICAGO – The virtual/online 2021 SXSW Festival began on March 16th, and continues through March 20th. The independent films in the festival touch upon relationships, mother-to-society, sister-to-sister and adult-woman-to-younger-self. Three more film capsules are below.

There will be many advantages and unique opportunities through this event, centered as usual in Austin, Texas, including the keynote/speeches, conference sessions, music festival showcases, film festival screenings, world-class networking, online exhibitions, and the unexpected discoveries that are always a part of SXSW, all in a digital setting.

Our Father
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StarFILMS OF SXSW: Capsule Reviews

Click the title for film information and screening status … Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

”I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking)” – Kelley Kali stars in and co-directs this stark reality smack involving the two Americas of rich and poor. Kali is Danny, a Los Angeles mother who is “camping” with her daughter and trying to negotiate a new apartment. The backstory is she is widowed, and obviously was struck down by the financial crisis of the pandemic. When she needs an extra two hundred dollars to secure the apartment, the journey she takes in trying to get the money is fraught with the conditions of slapdash USA. Deon Cole, also a producer of the film, makes an indelible cameo. Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

”Our Father” – This film has a Chicago connection, as it is populated with theater folk from the Windy City and Goodman Theatre (including writer/director Bradley Grant Smith). Two sisters, Zelda (Allison Torem) and Beta (Baize Buzan) are reunited when their father commits suicide. This begins a cavalcade of circumstances, including a bizarre encounter with their half brothers. The film takes place in a dream-like state, in which all the sister’s encounters become fodder for their status as women, and the men they come across. The great Austin Pendleton makes a cameo as a key relative, and his conversation with Beta is a marvel of emblematic invention. Belies its roots in staging, but worth every moment. Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

”How It Ends” – Co-writer/directors Zoe-Lister Jones and Daryl Wein deliver apocalyptic comedy that adds the right touch of poignancy. Jones portrays Liza, a woman who needs to search for something on the Last Day for Earth (a comet is coming). Accompanying her throughout the day is Young Liza (Caille Spaeny), a metaphoric teen tomboy from her past. Lister-Jones and Wein recruited their talented friends – including Whitney Cummings, Bradley Whitford, Nick Kroll and Olivia Wilde – for roles portraying the stops along Liza’s path. And who wouldn’t want to access their younger, fresher self to count down the hours of the last day? Funny, philosophical and deeply personal, this is the end of the world as they know it, and …

The trailer for “I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking)" …

Patrick McDonald of will be providing coverage of the SXSW 2021 throughout the duration of the festival.

The virtual 2021 South by Southwest Festival will take place March 16th through March 20th. For tickets, events schedule and all information click on senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

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