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An Emersonian’s Guide to the 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival

lim sitting at counter with laptop, large window behind her
Adele Lim ’96 made her directorial debut with Joy Ride, premiering at SXSW next month. Photo/Derek Palmer

Some of Emerson’s biggest names in screenwriting, producing, and documentary filmmaking will premiere their latest projects at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film & TV Festival next month.

Adele Lim ’96, co-writer of the runaway hit Crazy Rich Asians, is making her directorial debut with Joy Ride, a comedy starring Ashley Park and Stephanie Hsu about four Asian American women traveling through Asia searching for one of their birth mothers.

RuPaul’s Drag Race executive producer and multi-Emmy Award winner Randy Barbato ’82 executive produced Frybread Face and Me, the story of a Native American boy from San Diego who meets his cousin on a Navajo reservation and learns about their family and each other.

Ines Hofmann Kanna, MA ’96, who has brought stories of government secrets, surveillance and malfeasance to the screen with documentaries Landfall, Enemies of the State, and United States vs. Reality Winner, produced You Were My First Boyfriend, which follows filmmaker Cecilia Aldarondo as she relives her adolescent years – literally.

Headshot of Randy Barbato
Randy Barbato ’82. Photo/Mathu Andersen.

SXSW will be held March 10-19 in Austin, Texas. Alongside the Film & TV Festival, there will be Music and Comedy festivals (Comedy lineup will be announced later this month), as well as a conference with tracks focusing on technology, culture, film, and music.

Taylor Jenkins Reid ’06, author of the novel, Daisy Jones & the Six, is joining a panel of cast and creators discussing the hit Prime Video series adapted from the book.

Hunter Harris ’16 is interviewing activist, filmmaker, and musician Boots Riley, director of Prime Video’s I’m a Virgo.

Jenny Halper, MFA ’09, executive vice president and head of creative for Maven Screen Media, will serve on a panel of experts for the SXSW Film Fest Episodic Pitch-A-Thon Presented by SeriesFest.

And over in the Startups track, Bea Arthur ’05, founder/CEO of The Difference, will join the panel on “How to Keep Your Sh*t Together as an Entrepreneur”.

Anna Feder, Emerson’s head of film exhibition and festival programs, is presenting “Expanding Audience: Empowering Filmmakers to Engage in Accessibility,” and Mari Walker ’08 will discuss “Sharing Equity Through Independent Film” as part of the 90-Minute Film School panel.

Danny Madden ’09 will be an Animated Shorts Juror.

And Anthony Atamanuik ’97 is performing at a number of events in the Comedy track.

The following alums also have films in the festival:

Narrative Spotlight Category

Adele Lim ’96 directed Joy Ride

Randy Barbato ’82 executive produced Frybread Face and Me. 

Alex Disenhof ’09 was cinematographer on If You Were the Last.

Tyler Carl Robinson ’14 was a finishing colorist assistant on Down Low.

Narrative Feature Competition

Sergio M. Vaccaro ’15 was production manager, Jenna Tresidder ’22 was sound editor, and Shiheng (Jedy) Xu ’20 was sound mixer on Parachute. Tresidder also was sound editor on Scrambled, and Vaccaro was production manager on Story Ave, for which Matheus Bastos, MFA ’23 did additional photography.

Trevor Yost ’22 was an office production assistant for Late Bloomers.

Documentary Feature Spotlight

Thomas Tancred ’02 directed and executive produced Last Stop Larrimah. Sean Bradley ’04 was a producer.

Documentary Feature Competition

Ines Hofmann Kanna, MA ’96 produced You Were My First Boyfriend.

Midnight Features

Pete Keeling ’10 was an additional Steadicam operator on The Wrath of Becky.

XR Experience Spotlight

Andrina Smith ’07 wrote the screenplay for MLK: Now Is the Time.

TV Premieres

Michelle Parvin ’92 was a unit production manager and Nathan Bailey ’07 an art director on Mrs. Davis. Noelle Viñas ’13 was a staff writer.

Narrative Shorts Competition

Andrew Gavin ’13 played a man who buys roses in Closing Dynasty, and David Levi ‘17 had a featured role in I Probably Shouldn’t Be Telling You This.

Jacqui Carriere ’16 was 2nd assistant camera on The Breakthrough.

Patrick DeVine ’05 was colorist on Deliver Me.

Documentary Shorts

Dean White ’14 was sound designer on Ball People.

Animated Shorts Competition

Amanda K. Miller ’99 executive produced Christopher at Sea. Alex Wysota ’16 worked in the editorial department.

Midnight Shorts Competition

Liliana Winkworth ’13 played Officer Anna-Laurie in Dead Enders.

Evan Belliveau ’22 was key grip on The Mundanes.

Heading to SXSW? The Emerson Alumni Association is hosting an Emerson @ SXSW Happy Hour on Monday, March 13, 5:00-6:00 pm, at the Austin Convention Center. To mix and mingle with fellow Emersonians, register on Eventbrite.  

Did we accidentally leave anyone out? Let Alumni Relations know at alumni@emerson.edu.

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