SXSW 2012 gets off to a proper queer start (updated)

Posted on 08 Mar 2012 at 11:30pm

Austin turns into a frenzy as South by Southwest kicks off Friday introducing crowds to a wealth of films, multimedia, live music and not enough showers to go around for everyone. As I researched the festival’s schedule and created my own of (fingers-crossed) all the LGBT-related events, I noticed how tomorrow starts a big ol’ gay weekend for SXSW.

I’ve excerpted my schedule below up until Monday. You’ll see the panels and discussions, but two films also help open the festival. Friday, the documentary Wildness screens the first of four scheduled times through the fest and the short film Liar makes its world premiere on Saturday followed by two additional screenings. From SXSW.com.

Rooted in the tropical underground of Los Angeles nightlife, Wildness is a portrait of the Silver Platter, a historic bar that has been home to Latin/LGBT immigrant communities since 1963. With a magical-realist flourish the bar itself becomes a character, narrating what happens when a weekly party called Wildness explodes into creativity and conflict. What does “safe space” mean? Who needs it? And how does it differ among us? At the Silver Platter, the search for answers creates coalitions across generations.

(Liar) After 14 year-old Tara’s boyfriend comes out to her and ends their relationship, she can’t help feeling confused and angry with him. But when Tara’s older sister and her friend become convinced that Brian was lying about being gay, Tara gets drawn into a revenge mission that she’s not even sure she believes in. When the girls catch up with Brian and their plan takes an unexpectedly violent turn, Tara is forced to choose between standing helplessly on the sidelines or stepping in to defend the boyfriend that hurt her.

Find the trailer for Liar here, but watch this clip from Wildness along with the queer-interest weekend skedge for SXSW’s opening weekend after the jump.

Friday, March 9
Perfect Timing: Evolving GLBT Suicide Prevention. Austin Convention Center, 2 p.m.

Queer Viral Practices in New Media Art and Theory (panel). Austin Convention Center, 3:30 p.m.

Wildness, Alamo Lamar B, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 10
How to Be Yourself When Everyone Else Is Faking It (panel). Omni Downtown, 9:30 a.m.

Liar. Alamo Lamar A, 10:45 a.m.

LGBT Meet Up. Palm Park Meet Up Tent, 3:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 11
Wildness. Violet Crown 2, 11:15 a.m.

Celebs & Causes: A Thin Line btwn #winning & #fail (panel). Austin Convention Center, 12:30 p.m.

Monday, March 12
In Search of the Muslim Sassy Gay Friend, (panel). Austin Convention Center, 12:30 p.m.

Subtext and Shipping: The Lesbian Community Online. Sheraton Austin, 3:30 p.m.

Everyone Is Gay: Social Media As Social Action. Austin Convention Center, 5 p.m.

UPDATE: After this post published, I received emails of two other events of q-interest happening this weekend. Thanks to the not from Joe Sudbay, deputy editor of AMERICABlog, for pointing out his panel, Still Invisible? Waging Stories with Social Media that includes four out contributors. He and Heather Cronk of GetEQUAL will focus on the fight to end “don’t ask, don’t tell.” The panel is scheduled for Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at the Omni Downtown.

Elliot Tomaeno messaged also that he is helping to facilitate the first LGBT tech event at SXSW on Sunday.The event benefits The Trevor Project.

“The panel will feature leaders from the LGBT tech community discussing what it means to be gay in the world of online entrepreneurship and social media. Participants include Kara Swisher ofAllThingsD.com; Joel Simkhai, CEO of Grindr; Nick Vivion, founder of Unicorn Booty; and Cathy Brooks, social media maven and spokesperson for dot429.com,” he wrote

There’s even going to be a tech happy hour. On Monday, Tomaeno’s Elliot and Friends on Gay Tech will live stream Monday starting at 2 p.m.

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