First Annual To The Contrary Women’s Film Festival

To the Contrary

To The Contrary, a PBS show dedicated to discussing issues from diverse perspectives, will hold their first annual film festival. Winners will have their documentaries broadcasted on national television.

First launched in 1992, To The Contrary has given a space for women to discuss issues impacting themselves, children and their diverse communities. Almost 25 years later, they are still committed to this mission and through this film festival, will work to achieve it in a new way.

If you are a first-time documentarian who completed a program in 2015 which highlights the struggles of women, girls or diverse communities, consider applying to this feeless contest. Winners’ documentaries will air on To The Contrary, which airs on 91% of PBS stations nationwide, on Canadian television and Voice of America internationally.The five categories include:

  • Current event documentaries that highlight issues in the United States 
  • Current event documentaries that highlight issues globally
  • Documentaries chronicling the history of a woman’s movement from any era (can be profiles of influential women)
  • Documentaries about the changing cultural attitudes on gender from a woman’s perspective
  • Undergraduate or graduate student documentaries that fall into any of the above categories

Submissions opened on March 14 and will close May 15. Winners will be announced July 29.

To read the full rules and guidelines, click here.

Q Night At The Movies 2/27: Glory & much more

KLRU Q - Night at the Movies

This week, Night At The Movies will explore works that highlight the struggle for equality in America. On Variety, we will hear from actors about their newest projects, including actresses from Suffragette and Carol. Then, the writer of Philadelphiaa story about a man with AIDS who was fired for his condition, discusses the impact of his screenplay. After that, Glory will tell the story of an all-black regiment during the Civil War. To end the night, we’ll take a broader look at the black experience before, during, and after the Civil War.

Variety Episode #302 at 6:30 p.m.
An intimate conversation between some of the greatest actors working today. Featuring Kate Winslet (Jobs) with Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn), Carey Mulligan (Suffragette) with Elizabeth Banks (Love & Mercy), Steve Carell (The Big Short) with Rooney Mara (Carol), Bryan Cranston (Trumbo) with Jason Segel (The End of the Tour).

On Story Watch Philadelphia: A Look Back at 7:30 p.m.
Ron Nyswaner recounts the social impact of his screenplay Philadelphia, a bold film released during a delicate time in history. Followed by Oliver Kember’s Puzzled, about a young boy whose only chance at survival on the playground is to outsmart the other children.

All-star Film Collection Glory at 8:00 p.m.
Col. Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick) trains and leads an all-black regiment of the U.S. Civil War.

Looking Over Jordan: African Americans And The War  at 10:05 p.m.
This documentary chronicles the black experience in the South before, during and after the war. It features interviews with Civil War scholars, historical re-enactments, and primary readings. Among many topics, the documentary covers the marked rise of slavery between 1790 and 1860, the role of religion and music in the slave narrative, the influx of freed black slaves into the Union army, heroics at the Battle of Nashville in December 1864, both Confiscation Acts, and the creation of the Bureau of Freedman, Refugees and Abandoned Land to aid freed slaves in the early Reconstruction era.

Night At The Movies 2/20: The Right Stuff & more

KLRU Q - Night at the Movies

The 60s are coming alive again with this week’s Night At The Movies! The creator of Mad Men will analyze various aspects of the show and its protagonist, Don Draper. Then, The Right Stuff will put you alongside the first U.S. astronauts during the height of the space race. But first, we’ll start the night with conversations with artists involved in making some of 2015’s best movies.

Variety Studio Episode #301 at 6:30 p.m.

Exclusive conversations between some of the most exciting actors working today. Featuring Cate Blanchett (Carol/Truth) with Ian McKellen (Mr. Holmes), Will Smith (Concussion) with Benicio Del Toro (Sicario), Brie Larson (Room) with Joel Edgerton (Black Mass), Samuel L. Jackson (The Hateful Eight) with Michael Keaton (Spotlight).

On Story Watch Mad Men: A Conversation With Matthew Weiner at 7:30 p.m.

Mad Men creator, Matthew Weiner, dissects the culture, identity, and status quo of the show, and the psychology behind its beloved antihero, Don Draper. Followed by Faraday Okoro’s short film, Full Windsor, about a young boy’s quest to preserve a meaningful piece of his past.

All-star Film Collection The Right Stuff at 8:00 p.m.

The selection and training of the first U.S. astronauts take place amid political maneuvering and media hype.

Night At The Movies 2/13

This week, Night At The Movies is out of this world! We start off with a variety of actors from shows like Jane the Virgin and Orange is the New Black. Then, screenwriters John August and Ashley Miller will analyze Alien and play the short film, Delicacy. After discussing Alien in depth, we will watch the director’s cut of this classic sci-fi movie. Finally, learn more about one of the movie’s stars, Harry Dean Stanton by watching the documentary, Harry Dean Stanton – Crossing Mulholland. 

Variety Studio Episode #202 at 6:30 p.m.

An intimate conversation between some of the greatest actors working today. Featuring Claire Danes (Homeland) with Don Cheadle (House of Lies), Matt LeBlanc (Episodes) with Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), Clive Owen (The Knick) with Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder) with Jane Fonda (Grace and Frankie), Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) with Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black).

On Story Watch Alien: Deconstructing A Sci-Fi Classic at 7:31 p.m.

An iconic example of its genre, Alien’s tension, pacing, and craftsmanship are deconstructed by veteran screenwriters John August and Ashley Miller. Accompanied by Jason Mann and Frieda Luk’s mystical short film, Delicacy, following a culinary connoisseur and his loyal chef as they dangerously navigate into the unknown with hopes to obtain a rare treat.

Alien (director’s cut) at 8:00 p.m.

After answering an SOS, a crew (Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt) encounters a merciless and horrific creature aboard a space tanker.

Harry Dean Stanton – Crossing Mulholland at 9:59 p.m.

A favorite of directors, critics, colleagues, and audiences, actor Harry Dean Stanton has carved his name into the cultural consciousness of cinematic arts with dozens of roles in films ranging from Cool Hand Luke and Alien to Paris, Texas and The Green Mile. This documentary traces Stanton’s story from his birth in a small Kentucky town to his rise as a noted character actor. The program also takes time to look at Stanton’s other passion – music.

 

Night At The Movies 2/6

KLRU Q - Night at the Movies

We’ve got a political Night At The Movies for a political year! The night opens up with Jenelle Riley speaking one-on-one with actors about their work. Then, House of Cards creator and The West Wing writer debate politically-driven narratives and all the dynamics they create. Following that is The Manchurian Candidate, a political thriller set during the Korean War. Finally, we end the night with a documentary about African American kung fu artists and their role in film and society.

Variety Studio Episode #201 at 6:30 p.m.
Exclusive conversations between some of the most exciting actors working today. Featuring Julia Louis Dreyfus (Veep) with Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent), Queen Latifah (Bessie) with Taraji P. Henson (Empire), Jessica Lange (American Horror Story), with Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black), Liev Schrieber (Ray Donovan) with Maggie Gyllenhaal (An Honorable Woman), Michael Sheen (Masters of Sex) with Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul).

On Story The Left And Write: Politically Driven Narratives at 7:30 p.m.
Beau Willimon (creator House of Cards) and Eli Attie (writer The West Wing) debate politically-driven narratives, power struggles, and dramatizing the truths and fictions that comprise ideologically-charged stories. Accompanied by Topher Field’s short film, The Hustle, offering a glimpse inside a swindler’s artful technique and deception.

All-star Film Collection The Manchurian Candidate at 7:59 p.m.
A Korean War hero’s (Laurence Harvey) commanding officer (Frank Sinatra) discovers he and his platoon were brainwashed.

Black Kungfu Experience  at 10:07 p.m.
The Black Kungfu Experience introduces kungfu’s African-American pioneers, men who challenged convention and overturned preconceived notions while mastering the ancient art.The four martial artists profiled include Ron Van Clief, an ex-Marine and Vietnam veteran who starred in more than 40 kungfu films.Their compelling stories illustrate how kungfu began as – and remains – a unique crucible of the black experience.

Q Night at the Movies 12/12

KLRU Q - Night at the Movies

Gary Cooper is the star of this week’s Q Night at the Movies with a doc about the actor’s life at 7 and the feature film Meet John Doe at 8.

Hollywood Idols Gary Cooper: The Face Of A Hero 7 pm
Known for his personification of the Western Hero, it was Montana-born Gary Cooper’s horse-riding skills that first brought him bit parts in movies – and he never lost his love of the great American outdoors. Though he rarely played a villain and was an adept comedian, Cooper is best remembered for the strong, silent heroes he portrayed. With his lanky, country-boy looks and shy manner, he created a unique screen presence, though his real life was one of sophisticated elegance. He received three Academy Award nominations and two Academy Awards for his resume of more than 100 films.

On Story House Of Cards: A Conversation With Beau Willimon at 7:30 pm
House of Cards creator, Beau Willimon, discusses writing for Netflix, working with David Fincher, and delving into the psychology of narrative power struggles.

Meet John Doe at 8 pm
Fired reporter Ann Mitchel (Barbara Stanwyck)l prints a fake letter from unemployed “John Doe,” who threatens suicide in protest of social ills. The paper is forced to rehire Ann and hires John Willoughby (Gary Cooper) to impersonate “Doe.” Ann and her bosses cynically milk the story, until the made-up “John Doe” philosophy starts a whole political movement.

Short film highlighting Bruce Jackson’s prison farm photography on KLRU

A new short film from director Deborah S. Esquenazi highlights Bruce Jackson’s visits to 1960s “prison farms” in Texas. Jackson, a renowned folklorist, documentarian and photographer, was one of few documentarians to have received unprecedented access to the southern prison farms, which were modeled after the American slave plantation and occupied lands that plantations stood on before the Civil War. Jackson studied black convict work songs and folk culture, highlighting the parallels between slave plantations and these now-vanished prison farms.

WAKE*UP, DEAD MEN: A Retrospective of Bruce Jackson’s Prison Farm Photography, 1965-1975, coming to KLRU on Oct. 1, showcases Jackson’s photography tracing the roots of the prison farm into today’s massive prison system and industrial prison complexes. The film will be available online through March 2016.

Photo courtesy Deb Esquenazi

Photo courtesy Deb Esquenazi

Deborah S. Esquenazi is an Austin-based documentary film and radio producer, instructor, and video artist. She was a Sundance Documentary Film Fellow at the Sundance Festival in 2014, and Sundance Creative Producing Fellow in 2015. She is currently working on a documentary about the San Antonio Four, four women who were convicted of sexually assaulting two young girls but were later released from prison and are still fighting for full exoneration today. Visit  Esquenazi’s website for details on this upcoming project and her other work.

Artists Den presents alt-J in theaters

Get a sneak peak at the new season of Artists Den on September 2 when the PBS show and Fathom Events will feature a performance by U.K. rock group alt-J. Artists Den Presents alt-J includes an exclusive performance during which the group played hits from its most recent albums for a packed crowd of 600 invited guests for a private performance inside the soaring, historic meeting hall of the Hollywood American Legion in Los Angeles. Tickets for Artists Den Presents alt-J can be purchased online or at participating theater box offices.

“Artists Den Presents alt-J” includes an intimate concert performance with interview footage captured exclusively for the big screen. Theaters across the country will have a unique cinema experience for this one-time event, showcasing many of alt-J’s hits from its debut album, 2012’s An Awesome Wave, and songs from the band’s most recent album, This Is All Yours.

Tickets for Artists Den Presents alt-J can be purchased online or at participating theater box offices. In Austin, “Artists Den Presents alt-J” will be shown on September 2 at:

Artists Den’s new season will air on KLRU Q in the Spring of 2016.

2015 PBS Online Film Festival Winners

PBS OLFF 2015

Two winners of the fourth-annual PBS Online Film Festival have been announced!

The film that took the “People’s Choice” top honor was “Sinner Victim Saint,” a short narrative presented by CET & Think TV, centering on a newlywed husband who has recently lost his wife in a car accident and the dark turn of events that teaches him the power of sacrifice.

The creator, Moses Flores, is a local Austin cinematographer, director and editor.

The animated film “11 Paper Place,” presented by member station Vermont PBS, a love story about two sheets of paper who meet in a recycle bin, was the most-viewed of the 25 short films screened online.

During the six weeks the films were available for screening, entries were streamed more than 400,000 times, up from 312,000 streams in 2014 over a seven-week period.

More information about the PBS Online Film Festival can be found at pbs.org/filmfestival. The festival is also on Twitter at #PBSolff.

Arts In Context Shorts: Riding the Line

This week, Arts in Context Shorts takes you up handrails and down half-pipes to explore skateboarding culture in a new light.

Torque and Axis, an exciting new exhibit by artist Jared Steffensen, showcases the materials, shapes and movements generated by skateboarders as they travel through urban landscapes in innovative ways. Using bright colors, fluid lines and repurposed materials, the exhibit emphasizes the contemplative and imaginative aspects of skateboarding. Many of the exhibit’s sculptures highlight the beauty of skateboarding equipment while a film installation explores the perseverance skateboarders employ in their practice.

Presented by the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas, Torque and Axis pulls skateboarding into the art world with fascinating results.